Growth Downcast, Elites Read Us The Riot Act: Link RoundUp 5

Growth! What Growth

The IMF and the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) indicated that South Africa will continue to grow slowly, or in the case of the SARB not at all. The SARB projects a growth rate of 0% for 2016. Bloomberg has a good summary of the IMF reasoning. The SARB says:

The domestic economic growth outlook remains extremely challenging, following the contraction in G DP in the first quarter of this year. Although this is anticipated to have been the low point of the cycle, the recovery is expected to be weak. The Bank’s latest forecast is for zero per cent growth in 2016, compared with 0,6 per cent previously. Growth r ates of 1,1 per cent and 1,5 per cent are forecast for the next wo years, down from 1,3 per cent and 1,7 per cent previously. The Bank’s estimate of potential output has been revised down marginally to 1,4 per cent in 2016, rising to 1,7 per cent in 2018. This growth outlook is corroborated by the persistent negative trend in the Bank’s leading indicator of economic activity. Business confidence remains low with the RMB/BER business confidence indicator falling to its lowest level since 2009 in the second quarter of this year.

For the full version, and some interesting assumptions, click this link.

IMF on Bridging South Africa’s Economic Divide

David Lipton (First Deputy Managing Director, IMF) delievred a speech at WITS Business School. It is an important speech, with Business Day provided a good review of the major points in the speech.  Peter Bruce provides an endorsement of the ideas presented by Dr. Lipton.  I was in attendance, and was not impressed with the argument being made, because it does not tackle distributional issues, and instead argues that market efficiency will solve youth unemployment and our growth problems. More on this in coming issues.

What books do the policy elites read?

The Government Technical and Advisory Centre held an interesting Winter School. I did not attend, but the presentations look interesting and challenging. Particapants provided a list of books they would recommend [PDF]. It provides an interesting insight into what policymakers are reading, thinking and in the fancy term what the ‘ epistemic community” values. We would recommend to each of them to read the $100 Start Up and The White Tiger.

Provincial Economies

Our policy elites should also take note of provincial economics.  Entrepreneurs should take note as well. The Trade and Industrial Policy Strategies (TIPS) has released the annual REB Provincial Review analyses developments in the real economy and in development policies and projects at the provincial level. The 2016 bulletin is now available. See The Real Economy Bulletin Provincial Review 2016.
Cover Image: From the GTAC Newsletter

Youth Unemployment in South Africa: Infographic

This infographic is provided couteosy of the Development Policy Research Unit at UCT.
Youth unemployment is a big problem worldwide, and South Africa is no exception. While in South Africa unemployment is a major concern for people of all ages, youth aged 15 to 34 are more likely to be unemployed than individuals of any other age. Since 2011, unemployment has risen by 1.1 million South Africans, and 47% of these are youth. Even worse, this is not due simply to young, new labour force entrants – youth made up only 35% of labour force growth in the same period. Those aged 15 to 25 are particularly badly off, with employment amongst this group actually falling since 2011.
Youth Unemployment
Link to DPRU Blog: Click here

Seoul Global Startup Center – Call for applications

About the program –
Seoul Global Startup Center is a new center opening in August 2016, funded by the Seoul Metropolitan Government to assist foreigners and teams with global products in developing startups and small enterprises.
In 2016, the successful applicants will be admitted into the Seoul Global Startup Center for a 5 month incubation program. Each team that enters the center will receive a voucher for up to 10 Million Won for expenses, free 24/7 office space, visa advice, business services, legal services, mentoring, consulting, workshops, and the opportunity to travel to an overseas market. The Seoul Global Startup Center will work with you and your project over the course of the 5 month program to prepare you for a Demo Day and other events to attract additional investment.
Best of all, we provide all these services and more at zero cost to companies entering our program, no strings attached. In return, we expect a 100% commitment from you towards the development of your company.
More than a Program
We will provide the funding and services that Startups and small businesses need to grow without the strings attached.
It’s no secret that Startups and small businesses need funding and help to grow. Money is just the start of what you need. But, more than that, they need an environment that is conducive to the growth of their company. The Seoul Global Startup Center will work with you in all aspects of your development and create a customized plan to help you.
We provide basic items for operating a business, like visa assistance and living advice, as well as complicated items, like patent creation and marketing advice. You will learn from experienced professionals and network with entrepreneurial people from around the world. We are also building an online platform to handle any request and provide answers to your business needs 24/7.
The Seoul Global Startup Center program in 2016 operates from August 23 – December 31.
Apply – Beginning in June 2016, startups and small business teams with at least 1 foreigner in Korea or a global product can apply online at through our YouNoodle startup competition platform that is the global standard for startup applications. This will allow you the opportunity to tell us about yourself and your business details and share basic details. The application deadline is July 29, 2016.
Selection – In August 2016, we will screen applicants for the business proposal ideas. If you or your team is selected, we will invite you to our Yongsan center to present your ideas in person. If we like you and your ideas at this time, we will invite you to participate in the program.
For more information, please click here
(Hat Tip: VentureBurn)

Call for Nominations – Minara Chamber of Commerce Recognition Awards 2016

There is an opportunity to recognise excellence in our community by submitting nominations in the following categories for the Minara Chamber of Commerce Recognition Awards 2016:

  • Business of the year
  • Business Person of the year
  • Business Women of the year
  • Young Entrepreneur of the year
  • Professional Achiever of the year
  • Community Builder of the year
  • All nominations must be submitted by COB 15 August 2016.

For the Professional Achiever of the year nomination, kindly submit the nomination to
Download the nomination form which contains further information here
About Minara Chamber of Commerce
The Minara Chamber of Commerce is a formally constituted organization formed in May 2000 , through an initiative by the Muslim community to create unity between Muslim businesses after consultation with a broad spectrum of the business community,  and has since grown tremendously and now serves as a platform to represent and assist South African businesses, entrepreneurs and professionals.

Young South African entrepreneurs recognised for community-driven business ideas

A select group of 18 young entrepreneurs from across the country showcased their community-driven business ideas at the annual JA South Africa Company of the Year Competition, held at Citi Bank Plaza, Sandton on 14 July 2016.
The Competition, which acknowledges the growing importance of entrepreneurship among young South Africans who have the potential to contribute towards the country’s economic prosperity, is hosted in partnership with Citi. It highlights business ideas conceptualised by grade 10 – 11 learners participating in JA South Africa’s Mini Enterprise- and Entrepreneurship Academy Programmes.
The winning team was Core Vortex from McAuley House that presented decorative jars made from recycled material. They were awarded with a cash prize for their school, flights for the team and a chaperone to Harare, Zimbabwe to compete in the JA Africa Regional Company of the Year Competition taking place in December 2016.
Second and third place were awarded to Glamorous Creations from Stanger Manor Secondary School, KwaZulu Natal for its Medical Alert Bracelet that allows a person to carry vital medical information on them in style and Flip To Fold from Malibu High School, Western Cape that presented a clothes- folding device made from recyclable material respectively.
“Our experiential programmes run throughout the year and ignite a spark in young people to experience and realise the opportunities, realities and challenges of the working environment,” says Nelly Mofokeng, acting managing director of JA South Africa. “The creative business ideas put forward at this year’s Company of the Year Competition is testament to the success of our programmes.”
The learners, from nine different schools across South Africa, were selected to pitch their team business plans to a panel of external judges. All qualifying teams first attended a series of mentorship workshops leading up to the competition to help improve their business ideas, problem-solving, leadership and presentation skills.
Judges’ assessments were based on a number of criteria, including business idea clarity, the team’s ability to think critically, understanding basic business principles and the sustainability and relevance of the product or service to embodying social responsibility.
“Citi has funded JA experiential in-school and out-of- school programmes through a global partnership spanning over 30 years. We are proud to partner with Citi SA on this momentous occasion for the second consecutive year,” says Mofokeng.
“The Citi Foundation is focused on providing youth with the career readiness tools and opportunities needed to thrive in the 21st century economy. Together with JA South Africa, we are helping youth build an entrepreneurial mindset, acquire leadership, financial and workplace skills and begin to engage in the formal economy.  The Company of the Year Competition has been nothing short of phenomenal. The teams showed real business acumen and presentation skills, which is rarely seen in entrepreneurs this young,” said Citi SSA Head of Trade and Treasury solutions, Peter Crawley.
Schools who were selected to participate in the Company of the Year Competition are:

School Business name Product / service description
Vulamazibuko High School in Mdantsane, Eastern Cape Royalty Seasonal school uniform with scarves, hats and rain jackets that can be branded for the school
Stanger Manor Secondary School in Stanger, KwaZulu Natal Glamorous Creations Emergency charm bracelet to allow the person wearing the bracelet to carry vital medical information on them in style
Phl Moraka, Sikhululekile and Makgetse High Schools in Hammanskraal, Gauteng Omnipotence Brooms and stationery containers made from recycled materials
McAuley House in Parktown, Gauteng Core Vortex Decorative jars made from recycled materials
Malibu High School in Blue Downs, Western Cape Flip To Fold Clothes-folding device made from recyclable materials
St Anne’s High School in Bapong Village, North West Mvelo Holdings Mobile movie screening and refreshments station
Motse Maria High School in Ga-Mashashane, Limpopo Lucrative Corporation Range of themed, beaded bracelets for various major events and special occasions.
Suikerland Secondary in Malelane, Mpumalanga Victors Incorporated Custom-designed pens with a rubber grip for comfortable writing, topped with erasers shaped like each of the ‘Big Five’ animals
Vuyolwethu High School in Ipeleng, Northern Cape Young Explorers Delectable range of themed toffee-apples

About JA South Africa
Junior Achievement South Africa (JA South Africa) is a non- profit organisation affiliated to JA Worldwide (, one of the largest business education organisations in the world, operating in over 120 countries. For the past 37 years, JA South Africa has been providing essential entrepreneurial and financial literacy programmes to young people of all ages, across the country, in both rural and urban environments. JA’s unique, experiential programmes ignite the spark in young people to experience and realize the opportunities and realities of work and life in the 21st century.
Article courteosy of tribeca public relations

Zuma Funnels Procurement to Small Business : Link RoundUp 4

Predicting the rand is a fools game, unless you are the best predictor in the business. Matthias Krieger, an analyst at Landesbank Baden-Wuerttemberg, is the best at predicting the rand. Says Mr. Krieger

The deteriorating competitiveness of South Africa and the populist government of Jacob Zuma is the reason why I’m convinced we’ll see a weaker rand over the year. I am pretty pessimistic about the political cost of South Africa.”

Read more on the prediction, by clicking here.

Rural Land Tenure

Sometimes, I however need a reminder that in some context the value of the rand matters less, because more fundamental reforms are needed. provides a critical perspective on recent announcements that title deeds will be issued.

WHEN King Goodwill Zwelithini announced recently that title deeds would be issued to households in rural KwaZulu-Natal, he omitted to say how this would fit in with the long-term lease agreements being issued by the Ingonyama Trust Board, of which he is the sole trustee. Read more

Small Business Set Asides

I think reform of rural tenure is a must and may have major impacts on asset holdings and the establishment of small businesses. Another big issue has been set asides for small business in government procurement. After many years, Treasury has finally put in place proposals.

The revision of the Preferential Procurement Regulations of 2011 was influenced , to a large extent , by the need to provide for a mechanism that will assist in targeting certain categories of persons, including looking at how government can procure at least 30 per cent from SMMEs, co – operatives, township and rural enterprises, and other targeted groups.

Lots to get through, and comments and an opportunity to comment. Policy geeks and small busienss owners click here.

Think with Google tells us how other’s shop

Slightly addictive indicator of how the world buys using Google data. No South African  data. but fun to play around with. Go forth, website owners.
Which raises, the question, can President Zuma create a funnel that increases certainty, supports small business and creates jobs.

The Pan African Awards for Entrepreneurship in Education – Closing Soon

About the Awards

The Pan African Awards reward the very best projects which are using enterprise and entrepreneurship to innovate in the field of education. The awards are generously supported by The Saville Foundation, a charitable foundation based in South Africa. Teach A Man To Fish manage the awards using their expertise in enterprise education and highlight inspirational models and projects through their large network of educational organisations and schools.

What is Entrepreneurship in Education?

Entrepreneurial approaches to education can mean:
1. Teaching entrepreneurial and workplace skills to young people AND/OR,
2. Using alternative and innovative methods to fund education.

Do you have what it takes?

  • Is your education or training project based in Africa?
  • Does your organisation actively demonstrate the success of their entrepreneurial approach to education? See above for our meaning of ‘entrepreneurship in education’.
  • Is your education project innovative and inspiring?
  • Does your organisation have a large network of young people? 
  • Can you show that your project has had a positive impact on young people and your community?

If you answered yes to these questions your organisation could be in with a chance of winning a Pan African Award for Entrepreneurship in Education.

Benefits for winners

  • First prize of $15,000, 2nd and 3rd prizes of $5,000.
  • A sponsored trip to our international conference.
  • Enhanced visibility and publicity.
  • Enhanced sponsorship and donation opportunities. 
  • A chance to win our ‘partner prize’ to work with Teach A Man To Fish and the School Enterprise Challenge.

For More information, click here.


#FillUpTheIncubator – Awethu Project Looking for Gauteng Entrepreneurs

Awethu Project is created by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs. We’re using entrepreneurship to build the country we all want to live in…a fair country, in which every South African has the opportunity to realise their potential. We’re the most innovative SMME investment company in South Africa. We flexibly combine ideas, people, and capital, to build the fast-growing SMMMEs South Africa needs.
The Incubation Programme
Awethu Project provides a 6 month business incubation programme for new and existing businesses. We assist entrepreneurs to formalise their businesses and ensure their sustainability post incubation.
We achieve this by providing the following services:

  • Mentorship/business coaching
  • Mini business course
  • Access to funding
  • Access to markets
  • Networking opportunities
  • Access to our boundry partners

There are a few opportunities left. Please click this link for more details, and act quickly.

Better and Faster? Link RoundUp 3

Good News – Better and faster? . A couple of interesting developments during the past week:
WITS to launch a high tech journalism incubator – This is a very cool idea, because more and diverse media is so important in our society. And the SABC has worrying censorship position. ZApreneur takes a moment to say we disagree with any censorship at the SABC.
SA jumps 10 places on global ICT index. South Africa has performed well in the latest edition of the Global Information Technology Report’s Networked Readiness Index published by the World Economic Forum, jumping 10 places to 65th position overall worldwide. Sometimes, we need good news, and a reminder that starting up in South Africa has many advantages.
5 global accelerators supporting African startups: Disrupt Africa has an insightful review of global accelerators supporting African startups.  The cover photo for this post shows founders of Sweep South who were accepted into a global accelerator.
I am hoping that readers think more is less. Just a few links every week.