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Today's top entrepreneurship and business stories (17 February)

Two South African startups make it on the global 2016 Fintech 100 list, Growthpoint and OPEN to launch 8 new co-working locations, and more


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Two South African startups make it on the global 2016 Fintech 100 list
Fintech Innovators, a collaboration between fintech investment firm, H2 Ventures and KPMG Fintech, today announced its list of the world’s leading fintech innovators, the 2016 Fintech 100. The annual list includes the leading 50 established fintech companies across the globe, as well as the most intriguing 50 ‘Emerging Stars’ – exciting new fintechs with bold, disruptive and potentially game-changing ideas.

Zoona and Wealth Migrate, both from South Africa, are the only two African startups to have made the 2016 list. The company was nominated in the Emerging Stars category, a category that showcases 50 of the emerging Fintech stars of tomorrow.

In total, the Fintech 100 includes 35 companies from the Americas, 28 companies from EMEA, plus 13 from the UK, and 24 companies from the Asia-Pacific region, including 10 from Australia and New Zealand.

Other key highlights include:

  • China fintech continues to dominate, with four of the top five companies on the list.
  • Global competition is expanding, with 17 countries represented in the top 50 established companies, up from 13 last year, and 22 countries in the full Fintech 100.
  • New fintech subsectors have emerged, including regtech (regulatory technology), with nine companies on the list.
  • Insurtech continues its ascent, with 12 companies, almost double last year’s total.
  • From a geographic standpoint, the continued rise of Chinese fintech is indisputable, with Hangzhou-based Ant Financial taking the top spot in the 50 Established Innovators list, and Qudian, Lufax and Zhong An also in the top five. Oscar, at number three, is both the highest ranked insurtech and the highest ranked US-based company.

The level of funding has continued to rise for the Fintech 100, with the 50 established companies attracting an additional US$14.6 billion of capital since last year’s report, just 12 months ago, an increase of more than 40 percent from 2015.

Toby Heap, H2 Ventures, commented: "The 2016 Fintech 100 demonstrates the acceleration of the disruption taking place in the global financial services industry, with more capital than ever being invested around the world in startups and established ventures that are creating new financial products and solutions."

Growthpoint and OPEN to launch 8 new co-working locations 
REIT Growthpoint Properties has partnered with local co-working space trailblazers OPEN in a 50/50 joint venture. Together they will grow an exciting network of co-working spaces across South Africa. 

Co-working spaces allow entrepreneurs, consultants, service-providers, and corporate teams convenience and flexibility. Co-working spaces solve the need for space for meetings, working at a desk, audio-visual needs, and coffee and food for a more mobile business generation, while away from a head office. The OPEN spaces also provide an environment of ideas, energy and opportunity through being part of a dynamic community.

The joint venture’s first new co-working space will open in Sandton Central this July at Growthpoint’s 138 West Street office building, across the road from Sandton Gautrain Station. 

Commenting on the joint venture, Norbert Sasse, CEO of Growthpoint Properties, says: "This partnership combines and amplifies Growthpoint’s and OPEN’s shared passion for nurturing and growing business in South Africa with innovative and sustainable property solutions. It creates incubator spaces for thriving businesses and tomorrow’s office users."

GEN Announces Pioneering Entrepreneurial Mindset Study
​The Global Entrepreneurship Network announced a new collaboration with the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation, in partnership with MindCette, to release a pioneering study on the underlying elements of an entrepreneurial mindset, starting with a pilot study of South African entrepreneurs.

The study will work to answer questions such as, "What is it that leads people to become entrepreneurs? What is the mindset that results in successful entrepreneurial action?"

To answer these questions, the Global Entrepreneurial Mindset Project was launched under the leadership of the Global Entrepreneurship Research Network (GERN) and the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation. The goal is to create a robust, evidence-based methodology for measuring entrepreneurial mindset in a region or a country.

"To develop a conclusive plan to best build a thriving, growing global entrepreneurial ecosystem, we first need to understand what drives people to start their own firm and the mindset of communities and cultures that foster successful entrepreneurship,” said Jonathan Ortmans, president of the Global Entrepreneurship Network. "This mindset study will not only provide invaluable insight into the South African entrepreneurial ecosystem but will also be a leading study for replication in other regions around the world."

Fredell Jacobs, head of impact assurance at the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation, is overseeing the project, which is being developed by academic lead Professor Kelly Shaver, the founder of MindCette – a management consulting services organization that uses data-based dimensions to provide individualized entrepreneurial profiles – and Immanuel Commarmond, a special adviser to the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation.

The mindset project is intended to serve the entrepreneurship community by achieving the following outcomes:

  • Building a shared understanding of entrepreneurial mindset
  • Introducing a data-based system for assessing entrepreneurial mindset development
  • Revealing new insight about entrepreneurial mindset
  • Creating an objective, quantifiable methodology for measuring progress over time
  • Providing an evidence-based framework for developing recommendations for developing new policies and programs
  • Increasing entrepreneurial action around the world.

"Entrepreneurial mindset development is one of the cornerstones of how we teach entrepreneurship at the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation,” said Anthony Farr, chief executive officer of the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation. "This is one of the reasons why the Foundation supports this research which will eventually allow us to measure a national profile of entrepreneurship mindset."

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