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Today's Top Entrepreneurship And Business Stories (15 November)

uGoMyWay Carpooling App Wins Inaugural AfricaCom 20/20 Innovation Award, Ithala To Boost Township, Rural Economies In KZN, Halt Dangerous Tyres, and more


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uGoMyWay Carpooling App Wins Inaugural AfricaCom 20/20 Innovation Award

uGoMyWay has received the inaugural AfricaCom 20/20 Innovation Award 2017 at the 20th AfricaCom conference and exhibition held recently at the CTICC. Chris Megan, CEO and Sipho Ndimande, operations manager at the Cape Town-based carpool platform provider accepted the award - based on votes made by delegates who attended the continent's largest technology, media and telecommunications event.

On accepting the award, Chris Megan said: “We are honoured by the recognition of uGoMyWay and our ride-sharing platform that is tackling the real-world issue of chronic traffic congestion, and to be a shining example of commerce in the peer-to-peer economy of the 4th Industrial Revolution. We are equally proud to have been referred to as the ‘Tinder of Mobility’”.

Formally launched in 2017 and gathering the support of top-tier corporates throughout Cape Town, the uGoMyWay app now delivers the highest quality of match between drivers and passengers for their regular day-to-day journeys. More than 80% of new users in Cape Town get a carpool match who is less than five minutes out of their way on a 21km journey. The app is now being rolled out nationally with a growing presence in Johannesburg, Pretoria and other cities throughout the country. (via Bizcommunity)

Ithala To Boost Township, Rural Economies In KZN, Halt Dangerous Tyres

Ithala Development Corporation in KwaZulu Natal announced a three-year partnership with Sumitomo Rubber SA and Dunlop in an effort to boost township and rural economies, while also countering the sale of illegal and dangerous second-hand tyres.

Ithala development finance corporation’s small business growth enterprise division will see a minimum of 25 containerised tyre fitment centres being established across KwaZulu-Natal and 100 jobs created. Ithala that it has allocated funding of R4.1 million for the supply, branding, and fitment of containers.

Informal tyre trading containers in townships and rural areas are transformed into Dunlop-branded containers which provide opportunities for unemployed youth, women and aspiring business owners to be trained and mentored in tyre sales and repair. Technical tyre training and business mentorship are provided jointly by Sumitomo and Ithala.

The initiative aims to nurture, grow and sustain small business enterprises in KZN and create employment in and around the province. To date, the partnership has resulted in five container businesses being awarded in Estcourt, Ladysmith, Madadeni, Esikhaleni, and Eshowe.

The Dunlop Container Tyre Fitment Centre programme forms part of the KZN Revitalisation of Township and Rural Economies policy framework spearheaded by the Department of Economic Development, Tourism, and Environmental Affairs and is closely aligned with Ithala’s mandate to develop township and rural economies.

“For far too long, micro-entrepreneurs trading in marginalised communities have been yearning to participate in the mainstream economy,” said Themba Mathe, Acting Group Chief Executive at Ithala. “As a development finance institution, we remain steadfast in our commitment to championing development in poor and marginalised communities and investing in people to enable an improved quality of life and improved prosperity.

“We fully support the call by the government to put youth, women, people with disabilities and historically marginalised communities at the forefront of the socio-economic transformation agenda.”

He said the partnership was all-encompassing in that it promoted proper skills transfer and training, access to finance and importantly, ensured the profitability and sustainability of enterprises. (via African News Agency)

FNB Initiates A Dialogue With SA’s Township Entrepreneurs

In line with Global Entrepreneurship Week, FNB Business is conducting a series of engagements with township entrepreneurs across South Africa’s biggest townships.

The engagements have started in Tembisa and Soweto townships in Gauteng and will be followed by uMlazi Township (KwaZulu Natalon) on 17 November before concluding at Khayelitsha (Western Cape) on 24 November 2017.

Mike Vacy-Lyle, CEO of FNB Business says this is an important dialogue for South Africa as banks and township entrepreneurs need to work together to unlock opportunities for growth.

“We are taking a proactive step to listen to the unique needs of township entrepreneurs and this will enable us to create solutions geared towards these business needs. While we have extensive banking infrastructure in townships, we equally want to play an instrumental role in helping to formalise township enterprises. This is very important in the context of job creation as SMEs currently employ the majority of South Africans. ”

Vacy-Lyle says over the years, South African townships have proven that they can produce world class entrepreneurs yet a large number of SMEs in townships remain largely informal entities which limits access to funding. He says if township businesses are to grow and receive financial assistance, the formalisation of business entities is a bridge that must be crossed. By formal, it is meant that the SME is a registered entity, with a bank account and financials that are up to date at the very least.

The engagements with township entrepreneurs will touch on a broad set of issues that impact the entrepreneurs in their operating environment; including: transactional banking needs, access to various sources of funding as well as guidance from experts and entrepreneurs who have long been on the entrepreneurial journey.

“We are looking to gather information that will assist us in bringing the right financial products and services to township entrepreneurs. Most importantly, we want to better understand the difficulties and needs that keep these entrepreneurs awake at night,” concludes Vacy-Lyle.

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