Today’s Top Entrepreneurship and Business Stories (22 September)
Only A Week Left For Entrepreneurs To Pitch For Waterfall City’s ‘Smart City’ Concept
Only a week left for aspiring and emerging entrepreneurs to pitch their smart city business ideas for potential implementation in the Attacq Smart Cities Innovation Pitching Platform.
The platform showcases future-focused technologies that contribute to the “smart city’ concept at Waterfall City.
The applicants stand a chance to win their share of R100,000 for direct business needs or incubation support to the value of R150,000. The contest is open to all aspiring innovators, from student and non-student communities, and applications will close on 29 September 2017. To enter, applicants will need to develop their solution from concept stage and then prove its feasibility to become a viable business.
Whilst the 2016 challenge called for retail-focused innovations, Attacq, this year, is inviting applicants to design their technologies for its flagship development Waterfall City with solutions that focus on opportunities in:
- Location technologies
- “Black screen” technology
- Technology to improve experiences in spaces where people live, work and play.
Participants can submit their business ideas in the format of a three-minute video pitch with no digital presentations, recorded at participating university campuses across the country and entered through a bespoke pitching platform. The participating universities are Stellenbosch University (SU), the University of Western Cape (UWC), the University of Cape Town (UCT), the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT), the University of Johannesburg (UJ), WITS University, Central University of Technology (CUT) and the University of Pretoria (UP).
Alternatively, applications can also be submitted online at www.launchlab.co.za/attacq. Entrants may pitch more than one idea, but only one idea can win.
For more information on the Attacq Smart Cities Innovation Challenge, go to www.launchlab.co.za/attacq or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Repo Rate Unchanged At 6.75 Percent Per Annum
The repo rate will remain unchanged at 6.75 percent per annum, South African Reserve Bank (Sarb) governor Lesetja Kganyago said on Thursday.
“The [Monetary Policy Committee] MPC has decided to keep the repurchase rate unchanged at 6.75 percent per annum. Three members preferred an unchanged stance and three members preferred a 25 basis point reduction,” he said in a briefing in Pretoria.
“Ultimately the committee decided to keep the rates unchanged. Given the heightened uncertainties in the economy, the MPC felt it would be appropriate to maintain the current monetary policy stance at this stage and reassess the data and the balance of risks at the next meeting.”
The prime lending rate, the figure charged by banks to customers, will remain at 10.25 percent. The repurchase rate is the interest rate at which Sarb lends money to commercial banks.
He said that Sarb expected household consumption growth to be in the region of one percent for this year. Kganyago said the underlying drivers of household consumption expenditure remain unchanged.
“Lower inflation, lower interest rates and higher real income growth are expected to provide some support for consumption. Offsetting effects include depressed consumer confidence, weak employment growth, the absence of significant wealth effects, and the prospect of further tax increases in the wake of fiscal revenue shortfalls,” he said.
Kganyago said growth in credit extension to the private sector has declined steadily over the past few months, as corporate demand for mortgage finance and general loans in particular moderated.
“Growth in credit extension to households remains weak and negative in real terms. These trends are also reflected in continued household deleveraging, with household debt to disposable income declining further to 72.6 percent in the second quarter, its lowest level since the beginning of 2006.”
Airbnb Now Offers Restaurant Reservations In The US
Travelers can now make restaurant reservations on Airbnb.
The home-rental platform partnered with Resy, a restaurant reservation app they invested in this year, for the new offering.
“Through a dedicated restaurants tab on our website and in the Airbnb app, guests can search by cuisine, time of day (breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner), or use a map view to find a restaurant in the neighbourhood where they’re staying. We’re working on translations within the Airbnb app so cross-language travelers won’t have to worry about navigating a foreign booking site,” Airbnb said in their announcement.
“People can then book a table directly through Airbnb. Restaurants on Airbnb, powered by Resy, are curated and selected by Resy for their consistently high quality. They include local favorites, award winners and international destinations.”