Richard Branson To Open Global Entrepreneurship Week At The Launch Of New Gen Startup Campus In Johannesburg

Posted on November 8th, 2017
Biz News

Today's Top Entrepreneurship And Business Stories (8 November)


Sir Richard Branson, Virgin Group founder, will officially open the 10th anniversary celebration of Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) by participating in the launch of a new startup campus in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The campus, 22 on Sloane, is the first one opened by the Global Entrepreneurship Network – offering direct and virtual support services to entrepreneurs throughout Africa as well as access to an international network of mentors, investors and entrepreneurial support organisations.

“Entrepreneurs are the life blood of any economy. They are disruptors and innovators who shape our world for the better. This campus launch is going to help to create a new generation of entrepreneurs who will improve peoples’ lives across the continent.” said Branson.

Joining Branson at the launch event are: Jonathan Ortmans, president of the Global Entrepreneurship Network; David Makhura, Premier of Gauteng Province; Lindiwe Zulu, South African Minister of Small Business Development; and Tokozile Xasa, South African Minister of Tourism along with several African Ministers, captains of industry from leading South African and African business networks and promising startups.

The launch event on 10 November signals the opening of Global Entrepreneurship Week – an effort to help anyone, anywhere start and scale a new business. For one week each November, roughly 10 million participants take part in 35,000 events, activities and competitions in more than 165 countries around the world.

Short-listed applicants for a 12-month residency at the startup campus, will pitch at competitions during Global Entrepreneurship Week to secure a final slot at 22 on Sloane.

Branson has been an active supporter of Global Entrepreneurship Week since the initiative began in 2008 – filming videos, speaking at events, gracing the cover of publications and even hosting a GEW startup competition winner on his privately owned Necker Island in the British Virgin Islands.

For additional information about Global Entrepreneurship Week, visit To learn more about the 22 on Sloane startup campus, visit

 Yapili Named Botswana Best Startup At Seedstars Gaborone

On November 3rd during Seedstars Gaborone, Yapili won the Botswana round of Seedstars World and will represent the country at the Seedstars Summit in Switzerland to compete for up to USD 1 million in equity investment and other prizes.

Seedstars World, the global seed-stage startup competition for emerging markets and fast-growing startup scenes brought its Botswana round to a successful close during Seedstars Gaborone. The event took place last Friday at the University of Botswana and 9 selected startups were invited to present their ideas in front of the local jury panel.

The local winner, YAPILI, a peer-to-peer web platform and Android App offering new opportunities for many Africans to connect to doctors for health advice, was selected the best startup in Botswana. As a part of the prize, Yapili will be participating at Seedstars Summit, taking place in Switzerland in April 2018, a weeklong training program with the opportunity to meet the other 75 winners, as well as investors and mentors from around the world. Traditionally, the final day of the Summit will be dedicated to pitching in front of an audience of 1000 attendees, with the possibility of winning up to the USD 1 million equity investment and other prizes.

StudentPark, a platform where students get accurate information from relevant stakeholders, came second and  Indie Studios Africa, a social e-commerce consultancy Service Provider addressing the needs of the unbanked in emerging markets grabbed the last spot in the top 3.

The other startups invited to pitch were JobcardKeakopa Explore, Leintel Codemasters Holdings, Lunchbox,  Medmall Africa,  Optimum Q.

SA Retail Group TFG Goes Shopping In London

South African diversified retail group TFG on Tuesday announced the acquisition of contemporary British womenswear brand, Hobbs.

TFG chief executive Doug Murray said he was excited about the acquisition which shows the company’s growth in the United Kingdom market.

“Hobbs is a well-established British brand with a loyal customer base and an excellent reputation for the design and retail of high quality clothing and footwear,” Murray said.

“I am excited about bringing both the brand and the management team into TFG’s portfolio of brands and delighted with our continued growth in the United Kingdom.

Since its launch in London in 1981, Hobbs has built a strong brand identity focused on affordable luxury, offering modern cuts, feminine tailoring and heritage craftsmanship across wear-to-work, smart casual and occasion womenswear.

The brand achieved sales in the year ended January 2017 of £120 million and currently has over 140 outlets across stores and concessions in the UK.

Hobbs chief executive Meg Lustman said the acquisition by TFG represented a further step on our journey to develop a truly successful international and omni-channel Hobbs brand.

“With TFG’s existing experience managing desirable brands, and their deep understanding of the sector, we are thrilled with today’s announcement and their commitment to assist us to drive our future growth,” Lustman said.

“I very much look forward to working with the TFG team in London to achieve further success for the Hobbs brand.”

Last week, TFG announced a 9.2 percent growth in turnover in its interim results, despite difficult economic and political conditions in its key South Africa and United Kingdom markets. (via African News Agency)