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New accelerator for African tech startups launches 

Telecel Group’s ASIP has partnered with Startupbootcamp AfriTech to launch the Africa Startup Initiative Programme Accelerator.

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Telecel Group’s subsidiary Africa Startup Initiative Programme (ASIP) has partnered with Startupbootcamp AfriTech to launch the Africa Startup Initiative Programme Accelerator.

New accelerator for African tech startups launches

The newly launched accelerator aims to recognise and assist early-stage African startups in the fields relating to telecom and technology.

Eleanor Azar, Executive Board Deputy of Telecel Group comments on the launch of the new accelerator.

“Telecel is committed to expanding the tech ecosystem and we will help startups to scale by providing industry expertise and access to markets across our networks. We are very excited to partner with Startupbootcamp AfriTech to leverage their expertise and access to the most disruptive startups on the African continent.” She continued “Telecel strongly believes in collaboration and we look forward to working with Innovative Corporate Partners as part of this Consortium.”

The Africa Startup Initiative Programme Accelerator

The accelerator is focusing on early-stage startups in the following sectors; fintech, insurtech, agritech, eCommerce, healthtech, and cleantech.

Participating startups will be provided access to markets via Telecel’s mobile services, executive mentors, commercial contracts, and more. The overall aim is to help early-stage tech and telecom startups scale their business model.

Ten startups will be selected to paticipate in the three month accelerator programme.

According to reports, scouting for participating startups will start within the next month.

Read more: Platform offering free education resources for SMMEs expands
Read more:

+South African fintech startup secures R10-million

Featured image: Marvin Meyer via Unsplash

Eleanor Azar, Executive Board Deputy of Telecel Group comments on the launch of the new accelerator.

Source: https://ventureburn.com/2021/02/new-accelerator-for-african-tech-startups-launches/

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Applications for 2021 SAB Social Innovation and Disability Awards open –

Applications for the SAB Foundation‘s 11th annual Social Innovation and 6th annual Disability Empowerment Awards are now open.

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Applications for the SAB Foundation‘s 11th annual Social Innovation and 6th Disability Empowerment Awards are now open.

Applications close on 31 March 2021

Bridgit Evans, SAB Foundation Director explains that the awards promote innovation and help entrepreneurs push-boundaries in their concept development.

“Over the years, we have seen entrepreneurs who had barely more than an idea when they started with us, go on to reach national and even international significance in addressing complex social problems in efficient and sustainable ways. With the world being where it is right now, we are excited to see what emerges through this application process. We always look forward to seeing the innovations that emerge each year.”

The awards aim to empower innovative entrepreneurs to develop unique products and services that assist the county’s most vulnerable communities. Winning social innovators stand the chance of receiving R200 000 to R1.3-million in funding for their innovations along with valuable business coaching and technical support.

The SAB Social Innovation and Disability Awards

Applications for the awards opened on 25 February and close on 31 March 2021. Interested applicants must apply via the online SAB Foundation portal.

The Social Innovation Awards target innovators, social entrepreneurs, institutions, and social enterprises that are early-stage startups with prototypes that aim to tackle social challenges.

Requirements for this category are that the products, services, business model, and processes must directly address challenges faced by low-income women, youth, people living with disabilities, or individuals living in rural areas.

The Disability Empowerment Awards focus on awarding social enterprises that have developed innovative solutions aimed at improving access to the economy or as a general solution for individuals living with disabilities. In addition, entrants proposed early-stage business model should be able to generate sustainable revenue.

Ntandokazi Nodada, Social Innovation Specialist at the SAB Foundation, comments on the launch of this year’s award applications.

“These awards give us the opportunity to meet so many talented social innovators who are really eager and enthusiastic to drive change and improve the lives of people in their communities and beyond.”

According to the SAB Foundation, to date, the awards have deployed over R92-million in grant funding and supported 139 social innovators.

Read more: Applications for SA Accelerator for black women tech founders opens
Read more: Google launches second News Initiative Innovation Challenge

Featured image: Portia Mavhungu – 2020 Disability Empowerment Awards finalist (Supplied)

“Over the years, we have seen entrepreneurs who had barely more than an idea when they started with us, go on to reach national and even international significance in addressing complex social problems in efficient and sustainable ways. With the world being where it is right now, we are excited to see what emerges through this application process. We always look forward to seeing the innovations that emerge each year.”

Source: https://ventureburn.com/2021/02/applications-for-2021-sab-social-innovation-and-disability-awards-open/

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New SA fintech startup aims to make travel affordable

South African-founded travel-focused fintech Wunderlust aims to make travel more affordable to locals by offering monthly installment payments for flights.

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South African-founded travel-focused fintech Wunderlust aims to make travel more affordable to locals by offering monthly installment payments for local and international flights.

Wunderlust’s platform enables locals to pay for flights with monthly installments

In an interview with Ventureburn, Dylan Solarsh, co-founder of Wunderlust provides insight into what led to the creation of the inventive startup.

“Personal experience with friends; who landed up missing trips, family events and crucial moments because they could not afford the upfront travel costs. After seeing this happen to so many people it became clear that people were always putting off travel for a future date which never seemed to arrive. Life was passing them by! We conceptualised how best we can allow people to travel and thus Wunderlust was born. This offering allows people to do the things that matter most instead of spending their money on material goods.”

Wunderlust

Founded by Dylan Solarsh and Dylan van der Merwe, Wunderlust officially launched in December 2020.

Wunderlust aims to make travel accessible to anyone with its monthly installment repayment system for flights.

“‘For families looking to reunite or go on a well-deserved holiday; to young professionals looking to travel abroad and opening the landscape for people who have never had the opportunity to experience the joy of travel. We are for everyone. We want to be the service that enables these moments to happen,” explains Solarsh.

The travel fintech startup has reportedly received funding from an angel investor at the idea stage of development.

How does it work?

Users are prompted to conduct a credit application process when booking their flights for travel. The startup’s unique platform has made this process simple and easy.

Users are able to maintain their credit card facility and use it while visiting their destination.

“In time, with scale, Wunderlust will be a much cheaper option for financing travel compared to financing it on your credit card,” adds Solarsh.

The process is fully transparent and users are charged interest on the ticket price when financed over a period of six to 12 months. This interest reportedly varies from 9,5% to 15%, depending on a user’s credit score. An additional monthly fee is charged to users for managing the booking.

In order to secure a successful application on the platform to purchase flight tickets, users must be over the age of 18, a South African citizen, employed and have a good credit score.

Partnering with top players in the travel industry, the Wunderlust platform is completely custom built featuring airlines, flight purchases, credit verifications, and loan management, making it a one-stop-shop for all a user’s flight needs.

When asked about the future of the startup, Solarsh explains that the company plans to expand its offering.

“We are an ambitious company with International aspirations. We are planning to expand our product offering to include accommodation, trip packages, rental cars, and travel insurance. We plan to finance the entire travel journey all with the goal of making travel affordable!”

Read more: SA car tech startup creates automotive marketplace for locals
Read more: New SA legal tech platform launches for SMEs

Featured image: Dylan Solarsh and Dylan van der Merwe, founders of Wunderlust (Supplied)

Source: https://ventureburn.com/2021/02/new-sa-fintech-startup-aims-to-make-travel-affordable/

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Stellenbosch Network Opens Programme to upskill local entrepreneurs –

The Stellenbosch Network Entrepreneurial Mentorship Programme, an initiative aimed at supporting and upskilling budding entrepreneurs, applications open.

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The Stellenbosch Network Entrepreneurial Mentorship Programme, an initiative aimed at supporting and upskilling budding entrepreneurs, has officially opened for applications.

Applications close on 1 March 2021

Conducted over eight months, the programme aims to equip selected participants with the skills and knowledge to grow their business and improve their management skills with mentorship provided by experienced business moguls.

The Stellenbosch Network Entrepreneurial Mentorship Programme

The programme is flexible and aims to fit the busy schedule of entrepreneurs and business owners allowing selected participants to organise their sessions with mentors.

Selected participants of the programme will receive two-hours of mentee training and will be briefed on how to prepare and make the most of the mentee and mentorship relationship.

Over the course of the programme, mentees who have been paired with a mentor will receive at least 12 hours of mentorship support.

Hanli Brink, Operations Manager at Stellenbosch Network comments on the importance of one-on-one mentorship for budding entrepreneurs.

“Feedback received from our previous initiatives indicates that entrepreneurs who frequently engage with a mentor develop better decision-making skills. They also tend to feel more inspired to tackle the various challenges associated with starting one’s own business and the feelings of isolation, which many people feel when pursuing entrepreneurship, are reduced.”

Applications for the programme can be found here and must be submitted to [email protected]. Applications close on 1 March 2021.

Requirements

Interested applicants must adhere to the following requirements to qualify for the programme:

  • Be a full-time owner of a business that has been operating for at least 12 months, not employing more than 15 people, and with a maximum annual turnover of R1.5-million.
  • Not be in the employment of another company while running their current business and have no previous management education at tertiary level.
  • Be a South African citizen aged 23 years or older, with a Grade 12 school-leaving certificate (although applications may be looked at on a case-by-case basis if applicants have not completed Matric/Grade 12).
  • Be proficient in English and live or work in the Stellenbosch or Franschhoek area. They must also be willing and available to receive at least 12 hours of mentoring support for the duration of the Programme.
  • Be able to travel to training sessions at Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch. (Please note that accommodation is not provided.)

Read more: Applications for SA Accelerator for black women tech founders opens
Read more: Google launches second News Initiative Innovation Challenge

Featured image: Mario Gogh via Unsplash

Source: https://ventureburn.com/2021/02/stellenbosch-network-opens-programme-to-upskill-local-entrepreneurs/

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