Today’s Top Entrepreneurship and Business Stories (2 June)

Today's Top Entrepreneurship and Business Stories (2 June)
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Today's Top Entrepreneurship and Business Stories (2 June)Entrepreneurs Encouraged To Enter The Startup Tel Aviv South Africa Contest

The Startup Tel Aviv South Africa innovation contest, now in its fourth year, is now open for entries. The contest gives new South African startups the opportunity to visit Israel to experience “Startup Nation” to help grow their idea.

The ambassador of Israel, Arthur Lenk, says: “We have been impressed by past South African winners of our contest and are excited to help impact local innovation by sharing Israel’s success.”

The competition is hosted by the Embassy of Israel in cooperation with Microsoft South Africa and EL AL Airlines, Israel’s national airline, established in 1948.

The theme for this year is “making the world a better place”. The competition is looking for passionate entrepreneurs between the ages of 25 and 37.

Startup Tel Aviv South Africa is searching for entries from novel companies that fall into the theme of “making the world a better place”. The company’s products or services should aid in the improvement of quality of life, social entrepreneurship, organic and urban renewal, ITC technologies or tech startups.

Startups entering should still be in an early seed stage and the winner must be CEO or senior manager of the company.

The grand prize will include an all-expenses-paid trip to Israel for one week to take part in the DLD Tel Aviv Innovation Festival in September 2017. The South African winner, along with winners from 20 other countries will take part in this festival, meet potential angel investors, startup leaders and be exposed to the Israeli startup environment.

For more information and to enter the contest go to www.startuptelavivsouthafrica.com or alternatively email pr@pretoria.mfa.gov.il. (Bizcommunity)

Fitch Keeps South Africa’s Bond Issue At Low Investment Grade At BB+

Fitch Ratings on Thursday kept South Africa’s long-term foreign and local currency bond issue at BB+ with a stable outlook, prompting the rand to rally and briefly dip below 13 to the dollar.

Fitch also affirmed South Africa’s country ceiling at BBB-.

It said South Africa’s ratings were weighed down by low trend Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth, sizeable contingent liabilities and deteriorating governance. On the other hand, they are supported by deep local capital markets, a favourable government debt structure and a track record of fairly prudent fiscal and monetary policy.

Fitch noted Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba’s assurances that the National Treasury remains committed to fiscal consolidation, and said it was therefore unlikely that government’s expenditure ceilings would raise despite rhetoric of radical economic transformation from the ruling party.

But the ratings agency expressed concern about the running of state-owned enterprises in the wake of President Jacob Zuma’s far-reaching Cabinet shake-up that saw Pravin Gordhan make way for Gigaba.

“A Cabinet reshuffle at the end of March, which triggered an earlier downgrade of South Africa’s ratings, is likely to undermine governance of state-owned enterprises (SOEs), weaken fiscal consolidation and reduce private sector investment as a result of weaker business confidence.

“While efforts to improve the SOE governance framework will continue, implementation decisions, for example on appointments of senior SOE management, will hamper these efforts and could lead to weaker financial positions of SOEs and higher contingent liabilities for the government.” (via African News Network)

Boards Still Not Grasping Cyber Threats, Say IT Decision Makers

Key decision makers do not have confidence in their Boards’ ability to manage cyber security threats, according to the latest cyber security analysis from Control Risks.

The global ‘Cyber Security Landscape’ survey of IT and Business decision makers found that almost half of respondents reported they believe their organisation’s board-level executives do not take cyber security as seriously as they should. This is despite 77% of respondents citing the C-suite, rather than the historic owner, the IT department, as being most accountable for cyber security management and decision making in their organisation.

The survey equally found that just over 31% also reported they are very or extremely concerned their organisation will suffer a cyber-attack in the next year and a third (34%) say their organisation doesn’t have a cyber crisis management plan in place in the event of a breach. This lack of preparedness is especially striking in the light of the 12th May WannaCry ransom attack, which affected 150 countries in under 12 hours.

Companies are struggling to adopt a risk-based approach: Although companies are now less concerned with merely complying with standards and are focussed on actually reducing the risk of a cyber attack, almost half (45%) agreed that assessing and managing these risks is their biggest challenge. Third-party breaches are a growing concern: Just over a third (35%) of respondents said a third party cyber breach had affected their organisation and despite nine in ten respondents (93%) taking steps to evaluate their third parties’ cyber security measures, 53% said this was confined to  contractual measures.

Cyber attacks have major long-term effects: 4 in 10 respondents said a cyber attack has resulted in the misuse of sensitive or confidential information (43%) and a loss of customer information (41%).

George Nicholls, Senior Partner based in Johannesburg at Control Risks commented: “The misalignment between treating cyber security as a technological issue or a business risk is not new. Yet, the survey shows that this misalignment remains a considerable and on-going concern for many organisations.”

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