SA’s leading entrepreneurial competition now open for entries

Updated on 9 March 2016

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Today's top entrepreneurship and business stories (9 March)

Now in its 28th year, the renowned Entrepreneur of the Year® competition pays homage to courageous South African entrepreneurs who dedicate themselves to their enterprises / businesses driving growth, creating much-needed jobs and contributing towards economic development in the country.

The latest GEM 2015 / 2016 Global Report states that as many as one-third of potential entrepreneurs are constrained from starting a business due to the fear of failure.

Speaking at the event, Ben Bierman, chief financial officer at Business Partners Limited, says that South Africa needs to pro-actively address this fear of failure by creating an entrepreneurial ecosystem that provides support and business finance and celebrates entrepreneurs’ hard work and achievements.

“When SMEs are established and grow, new employment opportunities are created, staff is trained and skills are developed, company profits increase and ultimately the economy flourishes as a result.”

The Entrepreneur of the Year® competition, sponsored by Sanlam and Business Partners Ltd, is a platform to reward and acknowledge these entrepreneurs’ hard work. Prizes valued at R2 million can be won, which includes cash prizes of R425 000. Competition winners will also receive valuable mentorship support, networking opportunities and national media exposure.

Airbnb announces partnership with two women empowerment organisations

As part of its ongoing commitment to women’s economic empowerment, Airbnb announces two new partnerships.

Airbnb will partner with the Global Fund for Women, where it’ll be supporting mission-critical travel for women leaders and activists to attend trainings, convenings and speaking engagements across the globe. In March, Airbnb will host its first Global Fund guests who are traveling from around the world for the United Nations’ 60th Commission on the Status of Women, including the forum of women’s NGOs of Kyrgyzstan.

Airbnb is also partnering with Vital Voices, a remarkable organization that empowers women leaders to generate prosperity in communities across the globe. Airbnb will be supporting the travel needs of VV’s extraordinary women entrepreneurs around the world who are driving change and accelerating peace.

Airbnb hears inspiring stories every day from its growing community of female hosts and celebrates the increasingly important role of women in its growing community, as well as seeks to share their inspiring stories.

With over 55% of the Airbnb global host community being female, women around the world are using their hosting income from everything from helping send their kids to school, to allowing them to pursue their passions, to giving them a chance to live an independent lifestyle. Airbnb is thrilled to see how many of its female Airbnb hosts around the world use their income from sharing their homes to both help make ends meet and enable other opportunities.

100% female leadership at the flagship of Africa’s biggest e-commerce website

In the headlines after securing a second round investment of 225 million euros from Goldman Sachs and historical investors MTN and Rocket InternetJumia, Africa’s biggest e-commerce website celebrated International Women’s Day by joining the #PledgeforParity campaign in support of women empowerment.

The campaign, which aims to help achieve gender equality more quickly, falls in line with Jumia’s own drive to empower women within its walls as well as throughout Nigerian communities.

Jumia boasts a 100% female top leadership, headed by Juliet Anammah and Fatoumata Ba, in Nigeria, the company’s flagship both in terms of market size and business performance. The company also falls under the umbrella company, Africa Internet Group, the first African unicorn with a valuation of more than a 1 billion euros.

Initiatives Jumia has undertaken to empower women include the JForce Program which offers financial support and independence to disadvantaged women. The program comprises 16,000 women, the majority of which are housewives and stay at home mothers.

Jumia also promotes small women entrepreneurs through its seller centre which offers a distribution platform and training to help them grow their businesses.

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