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New programme launches for women-led Nigerian startups

The Women in Business Growth Lab is accepting applications for their three-month programme for early-stage women-led startups in Nigeria….



The Women in Business Growth Lab is accepting applications for their three-month programme for early-stage women-led startups in Nigeria.

The programme is hosted by Connect Lab and aims to accelerate business profit and sustainable enterprises to increase job creation in Africa.

Applications for The Women in Business Growth Lab closes on 30 November 2020.

The programme is structured to eliminate inequalities faced by women in business through entrepreneurship development, access to financing, networking, and learning.

Connect Lab is an innovation lab that focuses on African startups. The Lab aims to develop the next generation to drive social enterprises, develop Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and accelerate the entrepreneurship ecosystem through entrepreneurship development, policy advocacy, and startup investment.

The creation of the Women in Business Growth Lab is targeted at the African tech ecosystem through impact investment. The Connect Lab is supporting 40 female entrepreneurs by covering four key components of the programme which include, The Co-creation and Value Proposition Bootcamp, Incubation Programme, Women in Business Deal Day, and the Growth Mentorship Exchange.

Connect Lab will be awarding one innovative startup with a $1 500 equity-free grant. In addition, the programme offers access to a network of partners and community and support in business and administrative work. This also includes access to industry experts through mentorship, access to investor funding, and office space.

  • Applicants should be passionate about accelerating their startups
  • Must be between the ages of 18 to 35 years old
  • Applicants must be the founder, co-founder, or Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of the startup
  • Applicants must have an early-stage or Minimum Viable Product (MVP) startup
  • Applicants must be physically available to attend the program in Abuja
  • Applicants must be female.
  • Women entrepreneurs who occupy the position of the founder, co-founder, or CTO of a Nigerian early-stage startup can apply online for the Women in Business Growth Lab to contribute to social sustainability and inclusion in the African tech ecosystem.

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    Featured Image: Christina @ via Unsplash



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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.



    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).



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    Takealot has a new SA competitor Everyshop

    Everyshop, a new eCommerce platform has launched in South Africa and is a direct competitor to popular eCommerce site Takealot.



    Everyshop, a new eCommerce platform has launched in South Africa and offers consumers online access to a range of local and international brands.

    Everyshop has officially launched

    Established by the JD Group, a South African retail company that is

    part of Pepkor Holdings Limited, EveryShop aims to be a one-stop online shop for local consumers.

    Peter Griffiths – Chief Executive Officer at the JD Group comments on the launch of the new platform and provides insight into its mechanics.

    “JD Group, a division of Pepkor Holdings, already offers extensive online shopping to South African consumers through its retail brands that include Incredible Connection, HiFi Corp, Bradlows, Rochester, and Sleepmasters. Immense know-how, e-commerce, and logistics capabilities, and infrastructure have been built up to provide world-class online shopping experiences with swift and efficient delivery options. The opportunity to also offer South African online shoppers access to a vast array of other product categories resulted in launching this new exciting online retailer – Everyshop. With the support of our existing retail businesses, we have partnered with some of South Africa’s most well-known and loved brands across a number of industries including Specialist Electronics & Appliances, Furniture, Fashion, Footwear, and DIY to deliver true value to the South African shopper. Everyshop’s customers will be spoilt for choice in a convenient and affordable manner with access to the products that they need and the brands they love.”


    With an initial testing phase in March, the platform has officially launched this month and is a result of the growing eCommerce sector in South Africa.

    The eCommerce platform offers a range of products from fashion, homeware to DIY materials, tech, and more. Everyshop’s is home to a range of international branded products and is accessible to anyone across the country as it overs nationwide delivery of its goods.

    Various secure online payment methods have been added to the eCommerce platform that is mobile-first and easy to navigate.

    In an official press statement, Everyshop points out that it aims to shake up the existing eCommerce sector in South Africa with its innovative tech and business model.

    “With everything in one place and supported by some of the latest e-Commerce innovations whilst underpinned by a nationwide logistics infrastructure, Everyshop is a guided digital-first experience providing every shopper a unique and tailored departmental shopping experience – intent on being a true disruptor in the e-Commerce landscape.”

    Currently, the eCommerce startup claims to have 15 large-scale distribution centres that are located in close proximity to customers nationwide offering fast and affordable delivery to consumers.

    The local tech startup plans to add more merchandisers and expand its list of more available retailer products listed on the platform.

    Supporting local SMEs and entrepreneurs

    While the new eCommerce platform may be home to renowned international brands such as Nike, Samsung, Apple, and more, Everyshop is committed to supporting homegrown brands such as Me&B, The T-shirt Bed company, and Move Pretty to name a few.

    With a focus on empowering entrepreneurs and supporting local, the eCommerce website has interwoven both an international and local offering of products.

    “We are proud to be part of Pepkor Holdings with its many trusted brands and combined we are a diversified retailer of clothing, footwear, furniture, household appliances, and consumer electronic goods. Now, even more, is offered with Everyshop – our brand new online platform,” concludes Griffiths

    Read more: SA tech startup aims to promote emotional intelligence among students Read more: SA digital bank secures three-million customers

    Featured image: Everyshop (Supplied)



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    Quarterly Employment statistics reveal over 500 000 jobs lost in 2020 –

    Stats SA’s Quarterly Employment report has revealed that half a million individuals lost their job in the period between December 2019 to December 2020,



    Statistics South Africa’s Quarterly Employment report has revealed that half a million individuals lost their job in the period between December 2019 to December 2020, indicating the devastating impacts of Covid-19 on the local economy and the employment landscape.

    Employment has decreased by half a million in one year

    In the official press statement, Stats SA provides insight into the number of jobs lost in the reported period.

    Key findings

    “Total employment decreased by 594 000 or (-5,8%) year-on-year between December 2019 and December 2020.”

    According to the report, full-time employment decreased by 11 000 from September 2020 to December 2020 and can be attributed to decreases in the construction, manufacturing, business services, transport, and mining sectors.

    Although there was a decrease in full-time employment, part-time positions saw an overall increase of 9.2% with 87 000 additional jobs reported between September 2020 to December 2020 with the following industries experiencing an uptake of employment; manufacturing, trade, business services, and community service.

    In comparison to the dismal findings of the number of jobs lost between December 2019 to December 2020, the report however indicated that from September 2020 to December 2020, total employment has increased by 76 000 due to trade, community services, and business services.


    Stats SA has reported total earnings have decreased by R36,1-billion between December 2019 to December 2020 but there has been an uptake within the last four months of 2020.

    “Year-on-year, total gross earnings decreased by R36,1 billion or (-4,6%) between December 2019 and December 2020. Basic salary/wages paid to employees increased by R18,6 billion or (3,0%) from R631,8 billion in September 2020 to R650,4 billion in December 2020,” says Stats SA.

    The basic salary and wages reportedly decreased by R22.9-billion between December 2019 and December 2020.

    “Year-on-year, basic salary/wages decreased by R22,9 billion or (-3,4%) between December 2019 and December 2020.”

    The detailed report can be found here.

    Read more: Stats SA reports Cape Town as metro with lowest unemployment rate
    Read more: Local tech startup AURA expands globally

    Featured image: Emil Kalibradov via Unsplash



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