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Crypto startup expands electricity top-up service in Africa

UK-based cryptocurrency startup, Electroneum has expanded its innovative electricity top-up service to four more African countries.

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UK-based cryptocurrency startup, Electroneum has expanded its electricity top-up service to four more African countries. The service will now be available in Sierra Leone, Togo, Benin, and Ivory Coast.

The service is accessible through its mobile app that allows registered users to top up on electricity or send electricity to friends or families.

The Electroneum app is the first startup that offers an in-app electricity service with crypto to nine African countries

The cryptocurrency app utilises an instant payment system that enables registered users to send, receive, or transfer funds quickly and more effectively.

In an official press release, Richard Ells, CEO of Electroneum explains the convenience of the in-app electricity top-up service.

“Electricity and mobile phone top-ups are a great way for people living and working away from their home countries to help friends and families by sending them airtime and data or by refilling their electricity meters.”

Electricity and mobile airtime are globally identified as daily essentials. The services offered through the Electroneum app allow people, worldwide, to send airtime and electricity refills as well as save on time and the cost of transportation.

The Electroneum app

According to the cryptocurrency startup, it has nearly 4.1-million registered users on the Electroneum app that are able to send, receive and transfer data, mobile airtime, and electricity.

In addition to the four African countries that the in-app electricity service expanded to, Nigeria, Mali, Gambia, Senegal, and Guinea-Bissau currently have access to this service.

The main objective of the Electroneum app is to solve real-world problems that its users experience worldwide.

Electroneum is one of the only crypto apps that enables users to purchase airtime and data in more than 140 countries. This is in addition to the electricity top-up service it hosts in nine African countries.

Registered users have reportedly completed more than 300 000 app-to-app transfers as well as over 200 000 airtime and data top-ups. This led to Electroneum being ranked as one of the most widely used crypto apps.

The app allows registered users to save on time and money when sending, receiving, or transferring funds. The remittance charge for transferring money reportedly costs between 5 – 10% of the amount being sent.

Ells explains that the Electroneum app aims to further expand its service range in the future.

“Topping up airtime and electricity with the Electroneum app costs a fraction of a US cent. In countries where the minimum wage is $2 to $3 a day or sometimes even less, to pay up to $5 for a $50 transfer makes a huge difference. Top-ups are particularly useful for freelancers earning ETN on AnyTask. We will soon enable people in Africa to purchase food items and construction materials with the Electroneum app and have them delivered to their families back home.”

AnyTask refers to Electroneum’s freelance platform, which includes a multitude of registered users as well as tasks across various categories. Electroneum and AnyTask allow users to instantly gain access to the digital economy as users do not require a bank or PayPal account.

Ells explains that developing countries use airtime and data as a medium of exchange.

“This means immigrant workers can send their families airtime instead of a transfer through Western Union, for example, and the recipients can then trade that airtime for funds they then can use to purchase food and other everyday essentials. And they can also top-up electricity meters remotely.”

Electroneum is the first cryptocurrency startup to offer electricity top-ups through its app.

Read more: Cryptocurrency platform Luno reaches over 4 million users
Read more: Global crypto marketplace partners with African fintech startup

Featured Image: mali maeder via Pexels

The cryptocurrency app utilises an instant payment system that enables registered users to send, receive, or transfer funds quickly and more effectively.

Source: https://ventureburn.com/2020/12/crypto-startup-expands-electricity-top-up-service-in-africa/

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OneDayOnly’s daily deals reaffirms SA liquor industry support

SA’s leading flash sale site OneDayOnly has announced its continued assistance to the local liquor industry through the recent move to Level 4 lockdown.

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SA’s leading flash sale site OneDayOnly has announced its continued assistance to the local liquor industry through the recent move to Level 4 lockdown.

The e-commerce site has displayed resilience and innovation through previous alcohol bans by allowing vendors to keep taking orders, thereby supporting many local businesses to continue seeing a profit. “During the previous lockdowns we continued to support the local liquor industry by running weekly promotions that made wine and other locally produced products available for purchase on the site which was then delivered directly from the supplier as soon as trading resumed,” says Laurian Venter, Director for OneDayOnly.

Continued support for local SA liquor industry

In a report published in February 2021, the South African Liquor Brand owners Association (SALBA) published the cumulative economic losses incurred over the last three bans. Commenting on the report, SALBA CEO Kurt Moore said that not only is the industry and its people suffering, but the Government itself was experiencing considerable losses to the fiscus.

The site will continue to run daily liquor deals through Level 4

The report shows that the tax revenue loss (excluding excise) to the fiscus from the value chain arising from the bans amounted to R29.3- billion (equivalent to 2.3% of tax revenue) and direct excise tax revenue lost across the nation was R8.7-billion (equivalent to 21.2% of excise revenue).

Moore clarified that SA’s GDP loss was approximately R51.9-billion. “If you factored in the loss of potential total capital formation – some R21.7-billion (equivalent to 0.3% of national capital formation, or fixed capital investment in 2019) – then the prohibition measures could only be viewed as a national socio-economic disaster,” he said.

The e-commerce site will be running daily liquor deals, Wine Wednesday, Thirsty Thursday and Festive Friday promotions and will deliver once the lockdown lifts to assist local farms and businesses with expenses and staff costs.

Clarifying the decision, Venter concludes: “From a professional and personal standpoint, we have friends across both these industries that have been devastated by the last two lockdowns.”

Read more: Imperial donates R1-million for healthtech to Unjani Clinics
Read more: SA tech startup aims to create the fastest insights on the planet [Sponsored]

Featured image: Maja Petric via Unsplash

The site will continue to run daily liquor deals through Level 4

Source: https://ventureburn.com/2021/06/onedayonly-daily-liquor-deals-reaffirms-support-sa-industry/

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She Loves Tech calls for African female-focused startups

Applications are open for She Loves Tech, the world’s biggest startup competition for women in tech. Prizes of up to $50 000 available!

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Applications are open for She Loves Tech, the world’s biggest startup competition for women in tech. The competition is hosting its seventh edition with prizes up to $50 000. This year’s focus hones in on African tech startups.

Fundraising will be front and centre this year

Since its inception, the global non-profit organisation has committed to closing the funding gap for women entrepreneurs and building an ecosystem for technology, entrepreneurship and innovation that creates opportunities for women. Fundraising will be front and centre this year and this pitch round will be held across over 40 countries. Partners of the event include ATAST, Beijing Women’s International Center, Circle, Girls in Tech Macau, Gobi Partners, Hatch and the Kerala Startup Mission.

More than just a tech competition

“Last year, we announced our new mission to catalyse $1-billion funding for startups coming through She Loves Tech by 2030,” says co-founder Rhea See.

Startups can expect increased funding and one-on-one opportunities with leading VCs, mentoring hours, and direct cash and investment prizes throughout the series. Alumni startups from previous years have received over $250-million in aggregate funding from some of the world’s top investors, including Sequoia Capital, Vertex Ventures, Wavemaker, Microsoft and Amazon

“She Loves Tech 2021 is more than a competition, it is an acceleration platform designed to take women-led and women impact startups to the next level,” remarks co-founder Leanne Robers. Previous participants include Arianna Huffington (Co-Founder & CEO, Thrive Global), Ann Cairns (Executive Vice Chair, Mastercard) and Mahmoud Mohieldin (UN Special Envoy on Financing the 2030 Agenda).

“Without women, we are unable to solve the world’s greatest challenges. Women represent a new generation of innovation and disruptive thinking,” comments co-founder Virginia Tan.

If you are a tech startup with at least one female founder or a majority of female consumers or end-users, apply here before registrations close.

Read more: Harambee Youth Accelerator acquires SA hiring app Giraffe
Read more: Women in tech at risk of being left behind

Featured image: @canweallgo via Unsplash

“She Loves Tech 2021 is more than a competition, it is an acceleration platform designed to take women-led and women impact startups to the next level,” remarks co-founder Leanne Robers. Previous participants include Arianna Huffington (Co-Founder & CEO, Thrive Global), Ann Cairns (Executive Vice Chair, Mastercard) and Mahmoud Mohieldin (UN Special Envoy on Financing the 2030 Agenda).

Source: https://ventureburn.com/2021/06/she-loves-tech-calls-for-african-female-focused-startups/

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The value of effective servant leadership in 2021

In a crisis, servant leadership is an organisation’s most useful tool. Alwyn Rossouw, CEO of The Marathon Group features.

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A significant crisis in an economy that affects the business can either drive a team to greatness or widen any cracks in the company’s foundations. The difference between the two often rests on the effectiveness of a company’s leadership.

According to Alwyn Rossouw, CEO of The Marathon Group, a management consultancy and financial services company, navigating a global pandemic has put this principle to the test. “Over the last year, we have seen many companies have to deal with loss in revenue streams, pivots to business models and a digital revolution that has changed the way business is being done.”

…it came naturally to them to serve, to care, to be humble and be authentic

Rossouw explains that one of the critical components that will help business owners navigate the rocky path ahead is effective leadership. “With the emergence of remote work and highly dispersed workplaces, being able to drive teams to success is hugely dependent on this.”

The pandemic and servant leaders

“During times of uncertainty, employees want to feel connected to their leadership. They must be able to get emotional reassurance that their leaders will take care of them and the business when things are tough. Leaders with a servant leadership mindset were able to demonstrate this during the pandemic, as it came naturally to them to serve, to care, to be humble and be authentic,” he adds.

With a delayed rollout of vaccines in SA, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has predicted that SA’s local economy is likely only to expand by a mere 3.1% in 2021 and 2% in 2022.

“The slow recovery in SA will continue to put a severe strain on businesses. This will require leaders to look inward at what better they can do to effectively manage both their business and the people who help drive its success,” says Rossouw.

This also puts a massive spotlight on many of the fundamental components that help to build successful organisations. “This goes beyond just robust systems and structures. Often companies forget about one of the most important parts – the human element,” he clarifies.

“People make up organisations,” Rossouw explains. “As simple as this may be, this plays a significant role in shaping a positive employee experience, building a better workplace culture, and driving employee success – which in turn equals business success.”

“The ability of leadership to develop, maintain, and retain their unique culture over the life of a company is what leads to enduring success,” he says.

Rossouw says that an interesting reality is that money is not the prime motivator for many employees. “Instead, most would prefer working in an environment that fosters a healthy, high-performing culture that isn’t only obsessed with generating profit. Many of these employees love the family-like spirit in their organization and a shared purpose that keeps them motivated and inspired to perform at their best.”

Effective leaders understand the value of building a committed and engaged workforce. “The knock-on effect of this is that their employees eventually feel empowered enough to take on greater accountability,” he explains.

“By delegating authority to their employees, asking them for their input, and encouraging them to make their own decisions, it all leads to a more proactive workforce in which everyone is working towards building company success,” Rossouw adds.

An important marker, he explains, is that when leaders take time to both understand and appreciate the effort of their team members it not only shows care about their employees but also the outcomes they are producing.

“Being an effective leader ultimately helps to build clarity, alignment and trust in businesses in SA. Similar to the famous Stockdale Paradox, leaders on the one hand have to accept the current reality, but remain steadfast in the faith that they have that if they follow through things will eventually prevail.”

What leaders can do right now

Rossouw explains that there are three fundamental steps that business leaders can take today to improve connection, clarity and creativity:

  • In times of uncertainty, instil a caring culture and connect deeply with your team. Human beings are built for connection and more so when we are anxious. People face significant worries at the moment and have additional caring duties. This is not the time to feel isolated. Go out of your way to care deeply and be exceedingly human. You might not have definitive answers to every concern your team has, but don’t let that deter you from listening and connecting with your team.
  • Be clear about what your new short-term thematic goal and strategic priorities are. When you lead from afar, managing and inspiring your team can be difficult. Be persistent. Communicate with confidence and over-communicate with consistency to ensure everyone feels close to the heartbeat of the organisation. Your future direction may be unclear, but be clear about the processes you are going to be following and keep your team informed along the way.
  • Be creative. Find new routines and rhythms to ensure your processes, workflows, structures, meeting formats, roles and decision-making processes are still relevant and effective. In short, recognise what isn’t working and change fast. And be open to test, fail and learn quickly as we need to be agile to survive in these times.
  • Read more: Blogging is (still) the perfect side hustle
    Read more: Pixelsmith Studios opens digital marketplace for SA creatives

    Featured image: Mapbox via Unsplash

    Rossouw explains that one of the critical components that will help business owners navigate the rocky path ahead is effective leadership. “With the emergence of remote work and highly dispersed workplaces, being able to drive teams to success is hugely dependent on this.”

    Source: https://ventureburn.com/2021/06/the-value-of-effective-servant-leadership-in-2021/

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