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How small businesses can build employee engagement [Opinion] –

Here are some key tips from Viresh Harduth, Vice President, Small Business, Sage Africa & Middle East, on how to build employee engagement….

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We celebrate Global Entrepreneurship Week (16 – 22 November) against the backdrop of a year that has been exhausting for small and medium businesses and their people. As entrepreneurs start to think about what comes next, higher productivity and growth are very much on the agenda.

One of the keys to achieving this goal is to boost employee engagement

As much as it sounds dry and corporate, employee engagement matters as much for smaller businesses as for large organisations. It’s not to be confused with concepts such as ‘employee satisfaction’ or workplace happiness. Your people can be happy or satisfied without being truly engaged.

Employee engagement goes further – it is about how emotionally invested your colleagues are in the business, its goals, and their role in it. A satisfied employee will come in 9 to 5 and do the bare minimum asked in their job description. An engaged employee will put their heart into helping the business, their colleagues, and their customers succeed.

So, how do you build engagement as a small business? Here are a few ideas:

Caring is a two-way street. Showing employees that you care is not just about their mental and physical wellbeing, but also about their growth and happiness will help boost their motivation and engagement. Whether it’s offering them access to a psychologist in these difficult times, hosting company yoga sessions and fun runs, providing them with paid training (even if it’s via a voucher from Udemy), or simply remembering their birthday, these gestures can energise your team.

If you want your employees to go the extra mile, offering the right rewards and incentives is key. In a tough economy, where many small businesses are barely hanging on, the incentives can’t always take the form of a big financial reward. However, you can reward people who go the extra mile in a range of other ways:

· A thank you note and a chocolate bar

· Public recognition

· A bonus day of leave

· Access to the prime parking space for a month

· A shopping voucher for R100 or R200

· The opportunity to work on a particularly interesting project

Employees will feel more engaged when they feel like their voice is heard. They will feel more committed when they have a say in planning and goals. Colleagues like to be asked for feedback, whether in a formal process like their performance review or an informal chat. Of course, you can’t ask your team for their opinions on every decision—but knowing that you’re listening to their ideas, suggestions, and concerns drives better engagement.

The right technology and tools can make a massive difference in employee engagement and the employee experience. If people have access to easy-to-use software that makes their lives easier, they can focus on the enriching parts of their job rather than on fighting processes and technology. Today’s cloud-based solutions are slick and easy to use. You can also use cloud-based tools to keep employees engaged and connected during this time via digital self-service and employee communications.

Gallup has a global database that analyses the engagement and performance of 35 million employees worldwide. The company’s research shows that productivity among highly engaged teams is 14% higher than that of teams with the lowest engagement. It also reveals that two-thirds of the global workforce is not engaged.

These stunning figures highlight just how much of a competitive advantage you could gain by outperforming when it comes to employee engagement. More engaged employees mean better productivity, better customer service, and better business outcomes all round. It’s an ideal place to focus as you rebuild after a year that has left many people feeling burnt out and anxious.

This article was written By Viresh Harduth, Vice President, Small Business, Sage Africa & Middle East

Featured image: Campaign Creators via Unsplash

Source: https://ventureburn.com/2020/11/how-small-businesses-can-build-employee-engagement-opinion/

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Joburg healthtech startup secures undisclosed seven-figure funding –

Quro Medical has secured an undisclosed seven-figure USD amount of funding in a seed round led by Enza Capital and Mohau Equity Partners.

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Quro Medical, a South African health tech startup that has created Africa’s first technology-driven hospital at home offering, has secured an undisclosed seven-figure USD amount of funding in a seed round led by Enza Capital and Mohau Equity Partners.

Quro Medical is a South African health tech startup that has created Africa’s first technology-driven hospital at home offering

According to the healthtech startup, the funding will be used to accelerate the growth of the businesses.

Mike Mompi, Partner at Enza Capital attributes the investment made into the healthtech startup to its unique offering that goes beyond traditional telemedicine and in-hospital treatment.

“As our collective healthcare systems struggle to care for patients beyond the walls of a hospital, which we’ve seen exacerbated with the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, remote patient monitoring, and healthcare delivery will undoubtedly form a core part of the lasting solution. Vuyane, Zikho, and the exceptional Quro Medical team are redefining how world-class healthcare is delivered across Africa.”

Quro Medical

Founded in 2018, Quro Medical is a healthtech startup that aims to provide affordable and high-quality healthcare solutions to South Africans.

With a focus on a digital-first approach, the healthtech startup is currently building Africa’s largest virtual hospital ward with a focus on providing premier healthcare at a lower cost.

Quro Medical claims that its platform reduces the cost of healthcare delivery by utilising real-time and data-driven clinical interventions as opposed to traditional healthcare approaches.

Dr. Vuyane Mhlomi, Quro Medical’s Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer explains that the key drive behind its offering is the technology employed within the startup.

“We are focused on saving lives and enhancing patient care. The technology is the enabler, making all of this possible. This investment will enable us to accelerate our growth and meet the increased demand from our clients.”

Affordable healthcare at home

The global pandemic has placed severe strain on hospitals and Africa’s healthcare landscape, with excessive demand, limited bed capacity which in turn hinders patient treatment and recovery as the overall outcomes.

Zikho Pali, Quro Medical’s Co-Founder and Chief Operations Officer highlights that there has been a dire need for an innovative approach to the problems faced in treating acute patients in South Africa.

“The healthcare sector across the globe has experienced extreme pressure and strain caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and desperately needs digital solutions to ease many of the problems experienced in it.”

With this in mind, Quro Medical has reported that research has indicated that acute patient care at home has the ability to result in better clinical outcomes, lower costs, and an overall improved patient experience.

“Quro Medical’s affordable and accessible solution combines state-of-the-art hardware and software and clinical excellence to manage acutely ill patients in the comfort of their homes,” explains Quro Medical.

The healthtech startup enables effective homecare treatment by incorporating clinical data and remote healthcare monitoring tools to provide effective treatment to patients.

“Apart from the high and continuously escalating costs, traditional brick and mortar hospitalization carries with it the risk of hospital-acquired infections that can be resistant to antibiotics and have serious consequences for vulnerable patients,” adds Pali.

Read more: Innovative South African fintech secures funding
Read more: SA biomedical engineering startup receives funding

Featured image: Quro Medical team (Supplied)

Mike Mompi, Partner at Enza Capital attributes the investment made into the healthtech startup to its unique offering that goes beyond traditional telemedicine and in-hospital treatment.

Source: https://ventureburn.com/2021/04/joburg-healthtech-startup-secures-undisclosed-seven-figure-funding/

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Pan-African fintech Appzone secures $10-million 

Appzone has secured $10-million in a Series A round of funding led by CardinalStone Capital Advisers with participation from V8 Capital and others.

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Based in Lagos, Appzone, a Pan-African fintech software provider that creates proprietary solutions for Africa’s banking and payments industry, has secured $10-million in a Series A round of funding led by CardinalStone Capital Advisers with participation from V8 Capital, Lateral Investment Partners, Constant Capital, and Itanna Capital Ventures.

Appzone secures $10-million in funding

Obi Emetarom, co-founder and CEO of Appzone comments on the funding raised.

“We’re excited not only to be securing a significant capital raise, but also welcoming on board some strategic investors whose support will be key to our growth journey. Today’s news allows us to scale Appzone’s products and services rapidly. For the last 12 years, we’ve worked in stealth mode, building the really complex infrastructure to power the continent’s growing digital financial services space and forging partnerships with the continent’s biggest financial institutions.”

The funding will be used towards Appzone’s core technologies and the expansion of the platform to promote the digitisation and automation of the delivery of financial services in Africa.

Emetarom adds that the funding will help the fintech to increase its team member size and range of employed experts to elevate the platform’s current offering.

“In terms of next steps, we are now looking to hire from Africa’s top 1% to grow our team of elite talent who have proven themselves to be true African builders; the brightest senior software engineers and domain experts, doing the incredibly hard work of building the backbone andnext-generationn infrastructure for digital financial services at a level beyond world-class. We are seeking out gifted and audacious engineering and entrepreneurial minds, hungry to accelerate economic prosperity and tackle challenging technology with us. We are not just trying to bring African fintech on-par with the rest of the world – we exist to make our financial sector the most innovative and technologically advanced on the globe through solutions built for Africa by Africans.”

Appzone

Founded and launched in 2008, Appzone provides products for digital core banking and interbank transaction processing with clients across multiple African countries.

Appzone claims to have served 18 commercial banks and over 450 microfinance banks and amassing a yearly transaction value and yearly loan disbursement of $2-billion and $300-million.

The products designed by Appzone assist African banks in addressing several challenges such as legacy cost structures and lack of operational efficiency. As there is a lack of African-based solutions, Appzone has created a solution catering to African banks, mitigating the blocks existing with African banks opting for foreign technology solutions.

With a track record of excellence in the fintech space, in 2008 Appzone obtained official approval from the Bank of Nigeria to operate as a Payment Solution Service Provider (PSSP).

Yomi Jemibewon, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Cardinal Stone Capital Advisers provides closing remarks on why the VC invested into Appzone.

“Our investment in Appzone is further proof of Africa’s potential as the future hub of world-class technology. Appzone is building a disruptive FinTech ecosystem that will be the backbone of Africa’s finance industry with products across payments, infrastructure, and Software as a Service. The impact of Appzone’s work is multifold – the company’s products deepen financial inclusion across the continent whilst providing best-fit and low-cost solutions to financial institutions. Its emphasis on premium talent also helps stem brain drain, rewarding Africa’s best brains with best in class employment opportunities.”

Read more: Kenyan fintech tech startup secures funding to regionally expand
Read more: Ghana healthtech secures $1.5-million in funding

Featured image: Founders of Appzone (Supplied)

Source: https://ventureburn.com/2021/04/pan-african-fintech-appzone-secures-10-million/

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Algebra Ventures launches $90-million fund to invest in startups –

Algebra Ventures has announced the launch of its second fund worth $90-million. The fund is dedicated to investing in startups in Egypt and the MEA region.

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Cairo-based venture capital firm Algebra Ventures has announced the launch of its second fund worth $90-million. The fund is dedicated to investing in startups in Egypt and the MEA region.

The VC is reportedly targeting its first closing in the third quarter of 2021 and the fund is focused on investing in the following sectors; fintech, logistics, healthtech, and agritech.

Algebra Ventures has launched a second fund worth $90-million

Karim Hussein, Managing Partner at Algebra Ventures explains that there is untapped potential in the tech startup space in Egypt and that the VC aims to support its growth with the new fund.

“Having built a couple of successful technology companies in the US, I see tremendous opportunities for tech transformation in the Egyptian economy and continue to meet exceptional entrepreneurs who address these challenges. I am also encouraged by the significant steps taken by the government to facilitate the growth of tech-enabled businesses in Egypt.”

Algebra Ventures

Founded in 2016, Algebra Ventures is focused on investing in entrepreneurs and startups in the tech space that are driving transformation in Egypt and the MEA region.

According to the Egypt-based VC, it has invested in 21 startups since its launch and its portfolio of Series A investments is the largest in the country. As a result of its investments, Algebra Ventures claims that it has, directly and indirectly, assisted in creating over 20 000 jobs.

Tarek Assaad, Managing Partner at Algebra Ventures comments on the rapid growth in the tech space in Egypt.

“I am grateful for the LPs of fund I, specifically EAEF, EBRD, and IFC who supported us back when there was no venture capital to speak of in Egypt. Over the ten years, I have worked in venture capital, I have witnessed the evolution of the tech entrepreneurship ecosystem in Egypt which has grown steadily over that period and exponentially in the past three years – vastly exceeding our expectations. Growth rates, capital deployed, sophistication of investors, track record of entrepreneurs are all pointing to unparalleled growth moving forward.”

Read more: SA asset manager secures funding towards Renewable Energy and Infrastructure Fund
Read more: Uganda fintech secures $3.6-million in funding

Featured image: Tarek Assaad, Managing Partner at Algebra Ventures (Supplied).

Source: https://ventureburn.com/2021/04/algebra-ventures-launches-90-million-fund-to-invest-in-startups/

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