Today’s top entrepreneurship and business stories (19 February)

Posted on February 19th, 2016
Biz News

Today's top entrepreneurship and business stories (19 February)


Local SMEs encouraged to take advantage of e-commerce growth
E-commerce is no longer just for big companies, says Charles Pittaway, managing director of Sage Pay.  According to Pittaway, statistics from show that 40% of global consumers have bought a product online – through a variety of devices. That translates into more than a billion online shoppers; a number that is set to grow steadily, he adds.

Even the business-to-consumer market is set to reach $1.92 trillion next year, and South Africa will be no different when it comes to riding this wave, even if it catches the ride a bit later than the US, he says.

Business owners should consider, he says, that although only 11% of SA’s 15.6 million households access Internet at home on a device other than a phone, some 32.6 million South Africans older than 16 have cellphones, and half of these are smartphones. As a result, World Wide Worx notes the local e-commerce sector has been booming; growing by a mammoth 35 percent in 2014 to be worth R6 billion in value. And, while that’s just 0.8% of all retail, this is a sector that will continue to grow faster than bricks and mortar, he concludes.

Entrepreneurs invited to apply for the SEED Awards 
SEED, a global initiative supporting entrepreneurship has just launched the SAG-SEED Awards and the SAG-SEED Starter in South Africa.

The newly developed SAG-SEED Starter invites applications from teams who are keen to set up a new eco-enterprise and develop entrepreneurial solutions to three key challenges in South Africa: sustainable agriculture, manufacturing and waste management.

A number of selected teams will come together during two workshops in Pretoria (7-9 March and 3-4 May) to develop and refine their business ideas. The period between the two workshops will be used for facilitated testing of the idea with potential customers and partners.

All teams will be encouraged to join a crowdfunding campaign where the most successful teams can win additional capacity building support. The deadline for applications is 22 February. More information is available via

Nominations for EY 2016 Southern Africa World Entrepreneur Awards now open
The EY 2016 Southern Africa World Entrepreneur Award is now open for nominations. The awards have become highly sought after as winning the top prize comes with benefits, such as access to a community of peers with shared experiences and common entrepreneurial perspectives. The winners also become part of a group of the world’s high-growth entrepreneurs.

“For the past 18 years the programme has recognised and celebrated entrepreneurs for their vision, leadership and accomplishment. As a leader in guiding these entrepreneurs and their companies, it is our honour to recognise their impact, while encouraging others to follow in their footsteps,” says Azim Omar, Africa Strategic Growth Markets Leader.

The programme incorporates ten countries in the region: Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Mozambique, Malawi, Mauritius, Madagascar, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Zambia. In addition, the awards have a footprint in East and West Africa.

To be eligible for selection, a nominee to the Southern Africa World Entrepreneur Award must be an owner or manager of the company and primarily responsible for its recent performance and an active member of the company’s leadership team, and be founders of public companies and still be active in the top management of the companies.

New tax laws come in effect 1 March
The Ministry of Finance says the 2015 Tax Laws Amendment Act provisions relating to retirement will come into force on 1 March 2016.

“It should be noted that the 2015 Tax Laws Amendment Act (and the 2013 and 2014 Acts) provisions relating to retirement will come into force on 1 March 2016, except for the annuitisation implementation date and related provisions.

“The tax harmonisation reforms will therefore continue to be implemented as scheduled on 1 March 2016,” said the Ministry on yesterday.

This comes after Cabinet announced earlier today that it had debated and considered the full implications of the commencement of the Taxation Laws Amendment Act, 2014.  In terms of that Act, the annuitisation of provident fund benefits were meant to commence on 1 March 2016. (SANews)