News Letter

SiMODiSA December 2017

December 17, 2017

Letter from the MD

Festive greetings friends of SiMODiSA

It is safe to say that the end is finally here. 2017 you have been a good year, a busy year, a challenging year, a rewarding year, but most importantly we are blessed to still be here and reflect back on the year that has been. As a nation, we experienced some great turbulence in our economy with low investor confidence, weak economic growth and the notorious sovereign downgrades. Our political landscape was also shaken by two cabinet reshuffles in March and October, and now we wait with bated breath to see the outcomes of the ANC elective conference due to take place mid- December. Whether you had good or bad experiences this year, each and every one of those experiences have given you an opportunity to learn, build and grow from them. Let us see what 2018 has in store for us.

This year it has been great to observe the growth and evolution of the South African entrepreneurship ecosystem. This growth was mapped by the ANDE ecosystem map, which was released in March. The SiMODiSA operational team generally had a great run this year. 8 successful Startup Thursdays; two exciting venture trains, our LeaderEX conference in September; the launch of the Venture Capital Office Hours in October. This kept the team very busy but also created great platforms that connected South African entrepreneurs to capital, markets, mentorship and other business capacity builders. Being part of the World Economic Forum regional Africa conference in Durban; the G20 Young Entrepreneurs Alliance in Berlin, Germany; the inaugural World Bank Innovation Summit in Singapore, ensured that we externalize the work that we do and fly our South African entrepreneurship flag globally.

On the entrepreneurship policy side, we enjoyed great progress on the IP exchange control and loop structure regulation with the leadership and support of Aalia Manie from Webber Wintzel, Shelly Roberts from SAVCA, Sam Pokroy from Sanari Capital and our partners at Silicon Cape.

My personal highlight for the year was launching Venture Central (, the much-awaited South African digital home for entrepreneurs. Created by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs, venture central is an aggregator of South Africa’s best business portals that help entrepreneurs and connect them to resources, digital business tools, templates and facilitates access to finance, markets and mentorship. This is a beta portal, the first attempt and we aim to co-build it with the support and involvement of the South African ecosystem at large, as this is your portal.

All that we have achieved, would not have been possible without my team. I thank Batsi, Thandeka and Michellene for being the star team. I thank the SiMODiSA Exco and Board of Advisors for guiding the organization’s vision and helping us achieve our key and strategic milestones. I also thank our partners FNB, SAVCA, Alpha Code, Clickatell, E-Squared and the Department of Science and Technology for your continued financial and non-financial support.

2018 is going to be a game changing year for us, a year where we put the entrepreneur at the center of our deeds!  Your success, is our success and we look forward to travelling that journey with you.

Wishing you all a restful and wonderful festive season

Matsi Modise – MD SiMODiSA

Innovation and entrepreneurship are recognized as key building blocks of competitive and dynamic economies. Country’s and regions with vibrant innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystems tend to witness higher productivity rates, leading to increased economic growth and more robust job creation, the main pathways through which the poor can escape poverty. As a key driver for firm growth, innovation fosters shared prosperity by stimulating formal employment and increasing wages. The World Bank Group, recognizes that innovation and entrepreneurship are important to address major developmental challenges, such as inclusion, sustainability, and shared prosperity. Innovative entrepreneurship spurs productivity and economic dynamism. The World Bank recently released the 10th South African Update Report which gives an overview of the countries economic and social developments & reviews South Africa’s innovation strengths, academic excellence, entrepreneurial networks, supporters for research and development and weaknesses that effect innovation for Start-Ups. Download here

Andries van Heerden of Afrimat Limited, was named winner of the EY Southern Africa World Entrepreneur Award™ for 2017 in the Master category. Andries will go on to represent Southern Africa at the EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year™ Awards in Monte Carlo in June 2018, where he will compete with over 50 leading entrepreneurs from across the globe. Andries’ entrepreneurial journey began quite suddenly when he was fired from his job, and it was this moment that paved the way to the establishment of Afrimat Limited. Guided by his vision to consolidate a fragmented aggregates industry before the construction boom of the mid 2000s, Andries has developed Afrimat into one of the most successful companies in the construction industry.



AfricArena was a tech conference in Century City Convention Centre, Cape Town, where entrepreneurs, investors and VC’s where given the platform to increase the funding of African Tech entrepreneurs. Over the 2 day conference a number of keynotes and panel discussions took place as well as pitch challenges.





The difference between Invoice Discounting and Invoice Factoring

Raising cash against an invoice is a one of the quickest ways for small businesses to access bridging finance. These lenders prefer to fund invoices made out to large, reputable businesses with a good credit history.  Since the risk of lending the money rests with the client’s ability to pay, lenders can be picky in terms of which invoices they will fund. Most will consider funding invoices made out to national/provincial government departments, large corporates or multinational companies. There are two ways an invoice can be financed; the invoice can be discounted or it can be factored. In the case of invoice discounting, the lender lends you a percentage of the value of the invoice and then, when your client pays you, you pay the lender the costs associated with the loan. Factoring, on the other hand, means that the client has to agree to pay the lender rather than pay your company.  The lender lends you a percentage of the value of the invoice and the lender communicates with your client regarding payment.  The client pays the lender, the lender deducts the cost of the finance and returns the balance of the money to you. Factoring is a great option for small businesses that do not have good credit control systems or resources.  To read more about invoice discounting and factoring visit

What The People Who Run 3 Of Africa’s Biggest Startup Networks Want You To Know
Selebogo Molefe, Sandras Phiri and Caitlin Craig, have between the three of them, access to hundreds of thousands of African entrepreneurs. Read more 

Everything you need to know about the South African cryptocurrency ecosystem
A day doesn’t pass without news on the price of Bitcoin, the latest initial coin offering (ICO) or the launch of a new cryptocurrency. With the increasing interest in cryptocurrencies Ventureburn brings you a listing on where to go to get help if you want to invest in, build or simply know more about cryptocurrency in South Africa. Read more 

Supporting Women Entrepreneurship in Moldova
In Moldova, female-owned businesses currently represent only about 25% of all enterprises. Further investment in women entrepreneurship should therefore be highly encouraged, as evidence shows that female-owned firms produce higher average annual sales than male-owned firms in several industries. In addition, they employ more people, on average, and show a much stronger propensity to provide employment and advancement for other women. Read more

Aerobotics one of three African startups selected for Launchpad Accelerator
Cape Town-based aerial data analytics platform Aerobotics has been selected along with two Nigerian startups, Helium Health and Paylater, to join the fifth class of Google’s Launchpad Accelerator next year. The latest cohort was announced yesterday by Google Developers Launchpad global lead Roy Glasberg and will kick off next year on 29 January 2018 at the Google Developers Launchpad Space in San Francisco. Read more

What the future of work will mean for jobs, skills, and wages
The technology-driven world in which we live is a world filled with promise but also challenges. Cars that drive themselves, machines that read X-rays, and algorithms that respond to customer-service inquiries are all manifestations of powerful new forms of automation. Yet even as these technologies increase productivity and improve our lives, their use will substitute for some work activities humans currently perform—a development that has sparked much public concern. Read more  


South Africa has announced the launch of the FNB Business Innovation Awards entries for 2018. Entrepreneurs have until 30 December to submit their entries and they can do so here.

Applications are now OPEN for the Spark South Africa February 2018 Accelerator in Johannesburg. Application deadline 15 January 2018. Apply here 

Women Entrepreneurship Day 
Venue: Liberty Regional Office, Cape Town
Date:   5 December  2017
Register here




Super Return Africa
Venue: The Westin, Cape Town
Date:  4 – 6 December  2017
Register here




Women Entrepreneurship Day 
Venue: Liberty Regional Office, Cape Town
Date:   5 December  2017
Register here




Startup Grind Global Conference 
Venue: Silicon Valley 
Date:    12-14 February 2018
Register here





Infographic: the 2017 Ventureburn Tech Startup Survey

Download here 

SiMODiSA Partners

SiMODiSA is proud to announce its partners that help in creating a sophisticated entrepreneurship ecosystem in our country.




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