Innovation

Think out of the box, put the farm into one

In this age of Eat Local campaigns, one might be a little alarmed to encounter vegetables called rucola, petite-this and mange-that, on a plate in the Nigerian capital, but fear not, Oluwayimika Angel Adelaja told a briefing at the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Africa 2017 meetings in Durban, these micro greens are not just grown …

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Yoco, poster child of SA as global fintech hub

Local startup Yoco’s successfully concluded foreign funding round, announced on Wednesday, has been described as a vote of confidence in South Africa’s growing fintech ecosystem. The South African startup told a media briefing in Cape Town that it had secured funding commitments for an undisclosed sum from U.S.-based Quona Capital and Velocity Capital of the …

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Young Africa Works: Making farming sexy

A beautiful, noisy thunder shower greeted delegates arriving in Kigali, Rwanda, for the Mastercard Foundation’s second annual Young Africa Works Summit in late February 2017, shattering expectations of cracked skin and dry taps after a terrible year of drought in many parts of Africa . The trip from the airport to the Marriott Hotel, where …

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Things heat up for polar expedition from Cape

Things were heating up at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town this weekend as 50 scientists from around the globe prepared for the groundbreaking three-month polar expedition – the Antarctic Circumnavigation Expedition (ACE) – due to set off from the Mother City on Tuesday. Young and old gathered to listen to 49 singing scientists and …

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Spier shares cash from carbon credits with workers

Workers at the Spier estate in Stellenbosch in South Africa’s winelands will have a little extra to spend this Christmas after the farm decided to divide a portion of cash earned via carbon credits. Spier announced on Tuesday that it would give 27 workers a share of half of the R204,000 earned for practising regenerative …

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Local is lekker: Hyperli steps into space left by Groupon

Bargain hunters will be pleased to hear that Hyperli, a hyperlocal hypermarket of a deal website, on Wednesday promised to fill the space left when the international discounting business Groupon exited South Africa last month. Groupon groupees were left feeling short-changed by what seemed to be a sudden exit in early November. At the time, …

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Crowd-funding: almost as old as the hills in Africa

The idea behind crowd-funding, raising many small amounts of money from a large number of people via the internet to finance a project, might not be quite as old as the hills, but in Africa it certainly has very old and deep roots. As Patrick Schofield, pictured left, the founder of Thundafund, Africa’s most successful …

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Building a house Africa-style: one step at a time

  Innovation is required in the financial services sector in Africa to provide funding products for households who build their own homes bit by bit. Either way, it will continue to happen, says the head of the Centre for Affordable Housing Finance in Africa. Kecia Rust told a panel at the African Real Estate and Infrastructure …

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FNB combines new tech and old-fashioned values

As First National Bank launched its new super hi-tech mobile banking app on Wednesday the bank’s chief executive, Jacques Celliers, made the point that the bank’s pursuit of ever-sexier hi-tech solutions was driven by old-fashioned values such as helpfulness and customer service. The latest version of the FNB mobile banking app, 5.0, includes a range …

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