Zapreneur – Cool South African Products

Zapreneur wants to provide a showcase of South African products.
The reason for doing this are:

  1. Smaller companies need a way to get messages out to customers about their products; and
  2. Consumers looking to buy high quality South African products do not have an easy place to find it.

Zapreneur provides the platform to find South African products.
We will provide to small businesses:

  1. Daily deals – Traditional daily deals websites receive a slice of each sale. On Zapreneur, businesses only pay a fixed fee to run deals. We will publish and promote the deal, but businesses remain responsible for processing payments.
  2. A space to showcase their products – This is not just a business listing, but you will have a space to showcase your products, and link to your website.
  3. Affordable marketing platform that supports small businesses.

If you are a South African business selling products or services and are  interested in taking up this offer, please fill out the form below and we will be contact in the next few days.
[contact-form][contact-field label=’Name’ type=’name’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Email’ type=’email’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Website’ type=’url’/][contact-field label=’Comment’ type=’textarea’ required=’1’/][/contact-form]

Opportunity Round-Up (7 Nov 2018)

ZApreneur is back! Starting slowly with a roundup of events.
A quick roundup of opportunities for entrepreneurs in South Africa:

AFD Digital Challenge

The third edition of the AFD Challenge are seeking African tech startups that help boost women — be it in the economic, social, cultural or political sphere — to apply to the third edition of the AFD Digital ChallengeApplications close on 12 November.

Africa4Future – Aerospace

Global aerospace accelerator Airbus Bizlab has launched the #Africa4Future Challenge, with 10 aerospace startups to be selected for support from Airbus to scale their products across Africa. More details here.

NTT Data Open Innovation Challenge

NTT Data Open Innovation Challenge is “seeking proposals for innovative big businesses that lead to a new global platform to solve SDGs (17 global challenges) by synthesizing service solutions provided by NTT DATA and solutions proposed by startups. Closes soon.” Learn More Here

GEW – 22 on Sloan

Focused daily programmes:

Register to attend any or all the days.

Opportunity Round Up No. 22


As I noted in a previous email, ZApreneur needs to be relevant. The current model of providing opportunities has been successful for some entrepreneurs. ZApreneur was however setup with a broader mission – to create an alternative. That is a huge mission and one that is not yet fulfilled. I also have a ton of ideas, which matters little if there is no execution. So this is what I have done – added a daily 30 minute slot to just focusing on ZApreneur. I doubt I will ever have the week to concentrate on building the application, but 30 minutes a day is possible. Little tiny wins daily.
I am not sure where this will lead, but if I could get to a point where we are closer to creating an alternative that would make this year really special.



Common Cents 

Hope Factory is hosting #Common_Cents event, aimed at highlighting the fundamental need for entrepreneurs to fully understand their business financials in order to drive their businesses to sustainable success.There will be a panel discussion to educate entrepreneurs on defining and understanding their business financial position, expose them to available opportunities, preparing them for investment readiness and typical issues around application processes and many more funding related activities. 
RSVP Essential: by Thursday 16 November 2017.

Township Business Innovation Seminar

The 3rdAnnual Township Business Innovation Seminar will be conducted under the theme “Innovation in Business”, where entrepreneurs will learn how to do business differently, network with private & public sector, showcase their business & take part in a pitching competition. The event is aimed at entrepreneurs, start-ups, SMME’s, private & public sector stake holders. The event will be at Rabasotho Community Hall, Tembisa. Registration will be 18 November 2017 at 8:30am and the event will begin at 9:30am. There is no entry fee, just come ready to learn and be inspired. To book an exhibition table or for more info please email or contact 011 056 6762

Discussion Circle – How to use mediation 

Using mediation and alternative dispute resolution techniques might be just what your labour relations need. Mediate Works is hosting a workshop. The fee is only R 50-00 and could provide a very useful introduction to mediation. Book on Quicket

Weekly South African Entrepreneur Opportunity Update No.21


Pitch at LendIt
Submit your application to PitchIt, a competition for fintech startups, taking place at LendIt Europe–one of the largest international lending and fintech conferences in Europe. This exclusive programme will nurture emerging talent throughout the competition, provide selected finalists with unparalleled access to industry expertise as well as invaluable exposure, branding and more at the event.
Mobile for Development Utilities Innovation Fund
The M4D Utilities Innovation Fund, supported by the UK Government and the Scaling Off-Grid Energy Grand Challenge for Development, aims to test and scale the use of mobile to improve or increase access to energy, water and sanitation services.
Mercedes Benz Innovation Challenge
Mercedes-Benz South Africa (MBSA), Stellenbosch University incubator the LaunchLab and Startup Autobahn have partnered launch the Mercedes-Benz South Africa Innovation Challenge. The challenge is asking interested students and professionals, and existing startups, to pitch their innovative ideas around a set of challenges identified by Mercedes-Benz South Africa. The challenge spans various topics – ranging from big data and machine learning for manufacturing, the digitisation of logistics and production, app-based solutions for the evaluation of the condition of pre-owned vehicles, and chatbot solutions for manufacturing learning.
The Innovation Fund allows UNICEF to quickly assess, fund and grow open-source solutions that can improve children’s lives. Financial and technological support is available for companies that can show a strong founding team and a clear path to improving the lives of children.
Under 30 Impact Challenge
The Rise Fund is partnering with Forbes and Echoing Green to host the first-ever Under 30 Impact Challenge. The competition is open to creative entrepreneurs around the world, under the age of 30, who are driving positive social and environmental impact through successful for-profit enterprises. The winning business will receive up to $500,000 in value and will be awarded at the fourth annual Forbes Under 30 Summit on October 2, 2017, in Boston.
Inviting entrepreneurs and innovators to help advance the healthiest generation in human history – “GenH”. Join us to support those on the front lines of care through novel approaches and new applications of everyday ideas.
4 October 2017 – This is a deadline for registering, with a process following on.

Learning at the Tshimologong Bootcamp

Last weekend I attended the the Tshimologong Bootcamp. The bootcamp aimed to get us entrepreneurs to take the next steps in our business, starting with a solid foundation on linking value proposition to customers. There is so much to process, but here are some lessons:

South African’s have some seriously good ideas

I have long argued that the problem with entrepreneurship in South Africa is a “supply issue”, in the sense that we do not have enough people starting up. Over the weekend I met lots of really impressive entrepreneurs with impressive ideas, and many already had customers. But, many were in that awkward stage were they (and me) are a little tentative.


I found a couple of developments in the broader startup ecosystem really interesting. These include:

  • GroundFlr –  Ground Flr is a game changer in the startup space. We improve the chance of startup funding by broadening the search for capital. Its now free to search for funding anywhere in the world. Our freemium service also gives startups the option of requesting a warm intro to an investor of their choice.
  • Venture Network – They hosts pitch nights and themed startup talks. Membership to our community is FREE. 
  • Lots of venture capitalist. Over the two days, there were many venture capitalists in attendance as mentors and advisers. I found this incredibly interesting.

In short, an ecosystem is developing that might make it easier for entrepreneurs to startup and eventually scaleup.


I decided to sit while the rest of the group collectively read out an entrepreneurial manifesto. I was not being difficult, but I honestly could not bring myself to participate. The nice bit was that no one was really phased by it. Live continued. Imagine doing that in a political party or a trade union – I can tell you the consequences are harsher.

Doing Stuff

I sate myself a goal for the end of the weekend to test if companies were interested in running promotions on ZApreneur. Over the weekend I emailed 15 people, got two coupon codes (exclusive to ZApreneur) and a commitment from three more companies. If you interested, just send me an email using this form.

Complex Business Models Need Visuals

Some of the business models were incredibly complex. The facilitator used the Business Model Canvas and things got a lot clearer, a lot more quickly. I had tried this process before, and I found the exercises extremely interesting.

Rules (are meant to be broken)

One of the mentors (Anthony Nathan from Tmara) gave us a talk on rules and how important it is to break them. I am not certain if I followed all of it, but what I learned was this:

  • Innovation removes a limitation
  • Market must adopt a new rules

Which I summarised as: Create value if it solves something, but only matters if people use it. If people value it, it might be disruptive. But, to make people adopt the new rules, you need to provide a minimal value guarantee. That is a however a very inadequate summary of the ideas.  You can check out the full idea here on YouTube.


Tiny Little Ideas

At the end of the two days, we had a presentation by Ken Beck.Let me admit this I had no clue who this guy was, and why he was given celebrity treatment. But, the talk was incredibly useful and inspiring. It validated what I have been learning- test ideas and see what happens.  The central message was that you needed to test (he said) kill your ideas in the shortage time possible. After the input I had a greater appreciation for this dude, called Ken Beck. Here is a link to his previous presentation at Tshimologong. It is long but very worthwhile presentation.


Next Steps…

The most important learning for me was to reinforce the idea is that as long as you learning you are making progress. The trick is to do that learning systematically and quickly (and without going broke!). If you can do that you and your business might actually have a value proposition that solve a real problem. That is a fancy way to say, it is time to test the next aspect of the business. For me that means making some decisions on ZApreneur, based not on theory but on learning from what my customers tell me.
(Huge thanks to the Tshimologing team).

Weekly South African Entrepreneur Opportunity Update No.20

THINK Accelerate

THINK Accelerate helps promising, early-stage technology startups grow through business coaching and mentoring. We have an international advisor network, a great co-working space and give you the opportunity to build valuable connections with potential investors.

MTN Business App of the Year Awards

The App of the Year Awards is the champion of app development in the country; celebrating local home-grown talent, the out-of-the-box thinkers that drive disruption and change. Now in its 6th year the MTN Business App of the Year Awards has entrenched itself as the premier app development competition in South Africa.
Closes: 14-Sep-17

702 and Cape Talk Small Business Awards

Nominations have opened for the 2017 702 and Cape Talk Small Business Awards with Sage, an annual search for small South African businesses that have great accomplishments as well as enormous potential for the future. The winners and runners-up in Gauteng and the Western Cape will receive prizes worth more than R1 million that will help them to develop their businesses even further.
This competition runs from 21 August to 15 September 2017

Dark and Lovely x SLA Beauty Accelerator

Dark and Lovely x SLA Beauty Accelerator is a 10-week entrepreneurship development program to support early stage entrepreneurs who are building businesses in the beauty industry.
Closes: 1-Sep-17

Injini – EdTech

Learn more about Injini in this article by founder Jamie Martin. Injini is a EdTech Accelerator and Incubator


IITPSA IT Personality of the Year & IITPSA Visionary CIO of the Year Awards Nominations 2017

Western Cape Premier’s Entrepreneurship Recognition Awards 2017

The Western Cape Premier’s Entrepreneurship Recognition Awards 2017 is the fifth edition of an annual competition that recognizes the achievements and potential of some of the Province’s most exciting entrepreneurs.
Closes: 1-Sep-17
2017 Bootstrapping Guide
Busy preparing our first edition of curated free and affordable services for entrepreneurs in South Africa.

Weekly Entrepreneur Opportunity Update No.19

We are back and hopefully updating ZApreneur at least once a week.

Tshimologong Entrepreneur Weekend Bootcamp

Apply for the start-up weekend happening on the 19th and the 20th of August. Please note that the weekend is FREE to Tshimologong Members & Wits students. The weekend will get everyone “incubator-ready” and give you a chance to reflect on where you’ve been and where you’re going. It will give you the technical foundations needed to make the next giant leap.  Free for Tshimolong members (like ZApreneur 🙂 and R 500-00 for non-Tshimologong members. To apply, fill out this form.

Future Female Platform

Future Females, a platform where women entrepreneurs can network and get support, aims to grow its user base to 20 000 female entrepreneurs in its first year. The platform is a Facebook group, which is such an awesome simple way to do this. (Via Memeburn)

Demo Africa

The application window to launch at DEMO Africa has been extended to end of August 2017, giving startups more time to refine their applications and those who were time barred can now look forward to finalizing their applications. This is awesome opportunity. Go get your demo going. Click here.

More than Flatpack Furniture – Opportunity with Ikea.

Ikea, in collaboration with Rainmaking, is inviting startups from across the world to apply for the bootcamp, which is focused on affordability, accessibility and sustainability and will see 10 selected startups spend three months in Sweden at the heart of the Ikea Range and Supply Democratic Design centre.  The winners get to Work from Ikea new co-working space in Älmhult together with the IKEA Range & Supply global innovation team and get free housing and a 20,000 EUR grant to help you develop your product and startup. Unpack your vision.

Smart Cities Innovation Challenge

Stellenbosch-based incubator Launchlab and JSE-listed investment company Attacq have teamed up again to launch the Smart Cities Innovation Challenge, with the pitching platform opening on 31 August. LaunchLab will host a workshop on 17 August in Stellenbosch to detail current focus areas for the challenge in location technologies, transportation, security, black screen technology and technology. Click here

National Pavilion 2017/18

The National Pavilion run by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) provides businesses with an opportunity to exhibit at some of the largest trade shows in the world. If you are exporting and looking to grow your business, this might be an excellent opportunity. The DTI explains the National Pavillion as follows:

The Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) will be participating in various exhibitions, trade shows and National Pavilions to promote locally manufactured products in international markets. The department invites manufacturers and registered exporters to participate in the international trade shows listed in the links below. If your company is competitive in the South African market, has been in business for at least two years and is export ready, it stands to benefit from the dti‘s Export Marketing and Investment Assistance scheme.

The list for 2017/18 is shown below:
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To download the brochure,  and receive further details, click the button below.
[download id=”7893″]
Should the download not work for whatever reason, click here to download directly from the DTI.

Street Business School

Street Business School looks incredibly interesting take on venture capital in South Africa. They are looking for 10 individuals to particapate in a three-year programme that provides practical opportunities. Here is what they have to say on their website:

Street Business School is a three-year programme that provides practical opportunities for aspiring, high-potential entrepreneurs to build start-ups and gain real-world commercial business experience.

What are we looking for?

We are looking for 10 people who have a desire to create their own personal wealth through hard work and persistence.
We are not looking for established entrepreneurs, but rather for individuals who have the potential to develop and grow commercial businesses.
We live in the land of opportunity and we are looking for individuals who see commercial value where others don’t. Most importantly, we are looking for job creators and not job seekers.

The conditions for a possible investment are also made clear. These are summarised in the graphic below.

street venture criteria

To apply, visit the Street Business School Website. Click Here 

Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme (TEEP) opens Jan 1

On January 1, 2017, The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) will begin accepting applications for the third round of the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme. The Programme is the Foundation’s 10-year, US$100 million commitment to training, mentoring and funding 10,000 African entrepreneurs.
The application portal will be open until midnight (WAT), March 1, 2017. Entrepreneurs must complete the online application and selection is on a rolling basis, so early application is encouraged.
Check back on the 1 January 2017 when the portal will open, and read the website to get a headstart. Click here.