Today’s Top Entrepreneurship and Business Stories (5 October)

Today's Top Entrepreneurship and Business Stories (5 October)

Today's Top Entrepreneurship and Business Stories (5 October)August Retail Sales Show An Improvement In Consumer Spending – Mastercard SpendingPulse Report

Nominal retail sales for August 2017 grew a substantial 8.1 percent versus the same month last year, marking the quickest pace of growth the retail industry has seen in the past three months. This is according to the Mastercard SpendingPulse August 2017 report, which provides a macroeconomic analysis of retail spending trends in South Africa.

Adjusting for inflation, volume retail sales for August increased 3.7 percent year-over-year, representing the strongest monthly growth in over four years. Compared to July 2017, August nominal retail sales grew two percent while inflation-adjusted sales grew at a similar rate of 1.9 percent.

“August retail sales show an improvement in consumer spending, with South Africans benefiting from a moderation in inflation, and some recovery in industries such as agriculture and mining,” says Sarah Quinlan, Senior Vice President and Group Head of Market Insights for Mastercard.

Over the last 12 months, inflation-adjusted retail sales rose 0.6 percent in line with GDP growth, which is forecast to increase to 0.7 percent in 2017.

“With unemployment reported at 27.7 percent in the second quarter, South African consumers are still under pressure. Despite this, they are showing increased resilience as SpendingPulse August 2017 data points to the third month of improving retail sales. A resurgence of consumer spending in South Africa could help spark wider economic growth and encourage businesses and government to also start investing,” she says.

Looking at specific retail sectors, General Dealer nominal sales grew 10.5 percent for the month versus August 2016, with inflation adjusted sales rising by 2.7 percent for the same period.

“August sales in the General Dealer segment have shown the highest growth since November 2015, indicating that consumers are slowly starting to increase their spending on essentials such as food and household items,” says Quinlan.

While Pharmaceutical, Medical Goods, Cosmetic and Toiletry sales in August declined compared to July 2017, August year-over-year nominal sales did show positive growth of 7.6 percent, with inflation adjusted figures growing by a slight 0.4 percent.

Mastercard SpendingPulse South Africa reports on national retail sales and uses aggregated and anonymous Mastercard transaction data, coupled with survey-based estimates for other payment forms including cash and cheque.

Emira Boosts Its Energy Savings With New Solar Farm At Randridge Mall

Emira Property Fund has installed a R16 million solar farm on the roof of its Randridge Mall in Randpark Ridge, Johannesburg. This innovative project continues Emira’s drive to add more renewable energy solutions to its quality portfolio of properties across South Africa as part of its sustainability strategy.

The photovoltaic (PV) solar farm, comprising 10,900 panels, produces approximately 1.2MWh of electricity. This is Emira’s second solar installation and follows its successful solar power pilot project launched in 2015 at its Epson Downs Shopping Centre in Bryanston, which produces around 271kWp and saves over 515,000kWh each year.

The new solar installation at the 22,500sqm Randridge Mall is set to save a massive 2GWh of electricity every year. It is estimated that over 15 years, the use of this solar power will save Emira over R40 million on its electricity costs at the mall. Its solar farm is a good investment that is also good for the environment.

Justin Bowen, Development Manager at Emira, comments: “Our pilot solar power project has proven a success and delivered real, tangible benefits that we are excited to extend to Randridge Mall. At the same time as driving down electricity consumption and costs, our increased use of renewable energy further reduces Emira’s carbon footprint.”

Emira once again partnered with Bright Black Solar to supply and install the solar power system at Randridge Mall. Its panels were specially imported and manufactured by Canadian Solar/Jinko, and it uses SMA inverters.

Meet The 8 Most Promising Startups Selected To Pitch At Seedstars Kigali 2017

On October 6th, eight of Rwanda’s most promising seed stage startups will compete to represent the country at the Regional and Global Seedstars Summits, and to win up to USD 1 million in equity investments and other prizes.

Seedstars World, the global seed-stage startup competition for emerging markets and fast-growing startup scenes has brought its pre-selection rounds to an end and selected 8 promising tech startups to pitch at the Seedstars Kigali pitching event on October 6th at 4pm at KLab.

The top startups selected to advance to the pitching event are:

  • BAG Innovation Limited : a startup which offers a high quality network of advanced students to solve your challenges faster, better and in an innovative manner.
  • Fiatope Digital Solutions : a secure and easy log-in solution. Simply by matching the user to their mobile phone, XConnect allows them to log-in to web apps.
  • Made In Rwanda Online : a solution which connects Rwandan vendors and manufacturers with products made in Rwandan products to buyers around the globe via the internet.
  • ONGERA LTD. : the first SaaS-based, deep analysis algorithms & AI powered service that allows Banks to cope with risks linked to currency fluctuations.
  • PikiWash Ltd.: an eco-friendly, time-saving solution for motorcycles.
  • Imagine We Rwanda: a platform for the new generation of African story tellers with authentic voices and diverse stories.
  • Manywa Link :a web app that links technical job seekers/handyman and job givers to offer and get services.
  • Vitcard: an online debit card used to buy and sell online, for every Rwandan who holds a mobile money account.

SARB Releases New Coin In Honour Of OR Tambo

In commemorating the birth centenary of Oliver Reginald Tambo, the South African Reserve Bank has launched a R5 coin honouring the anti-apartheid hero.

The bank also launched other collectable Tambo centenary coins at an event in Ekurhuleni.

“The late OR Tambo, played a pivotal role in the country’s struggle against apartheid. His stewardship of the liberation movement galvanised world opinion against the apartheid,” the SARB said on Wednesday.

“The new R5 coin, worth its face value, entered circulation from 1 of October 2017, the other collectable coins will be available from the South African Mint and authorised dealers from 27 October 2017, OR Tambo’s 100th anniversary.”

The back of the coin features a neck badge and walking stick. The obverse depicts the national coat of arms, year of issue and South Africa written in English and Xitsonga.

The soon to be released collectable coin range depict Tambo during his youth and presidency of the African National Congress. The coins will not be in circulation, are not redeemable at banks or for use to purchase products or services.

“This is the first time that the South African Mint is releasing a non-circulating, collectible legal tender coin made from the same base metal used in other South African circulation coins,” the SARB said.

“The design has gone through the same approval process as other legal tender commemorative coins and has been approved by the Cabinet and the minister of finance, which makes it legal tender.” (via African News Agency)

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