Category Archives: Business

Threads Stitched By Standard Bank: The Business Of Fashion Accelerator Programme

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The global Fashion industry today is worth 3 trillion USD however, Sub-Sahara Africa accounts for only 1% of that.

Of all the potential obstacles to growing this market in South Africa, it seems creative talent and exposure are the least of what hinders upcoming fashion brands from thriving on the international scene, access to finance even less. There is a definite need for teaching the business of fashion – fashion entrepreneurs need to be supported in professionalizing their enterprises and running a truly profitable business.

There is real opportunity to take South Africa’s up-and-coming fashion designers and turn them into powerful fashion CEO’s. Given the appropriate support, these fashion entrepreneurs could be running profitable businesses capable of competing on the international apparel scene, creating jobs, and having an impact on the South African economy.That’s why purpose-driven marketing agency NONZēRO partnered with Standard Bank to create: the Business of Fashion accelerator programme “Threads – stitched by Standard Bank”:

What Standard Bank is looking to do is support the entrepreneurs’ creativity with the crucial business know-how, mentorship and support that’ll propel the business to the point where they’re experiencing real growth, and running like professional outfits. The partnership with Standard Bank is a key to delivering on this goal. In order to supplement the programme with an academic backbone, the team partnered with the e4 Impact Foundation, an initiative of the Universita Cattolico of Milan focussing on impact entrepreneurship. Together they created a 12-week curriculum that focuses on the business operations of a fashion enterprise: From financing and retaining employees, to lean manufacturing and eCommerce, as well as specialized procurement methods and marketing.

The programme is open to all fashion entrepreneurs with existing business operating in South Africa, and is taught simultaneously from four regional classroom hubs: Cape Town, Johannesburg, Durban and Port Elizabeth. The programme takes place two evenings per week for a 12-week duration. The participants will also be taken on action learning field trips across South Africa designed to showcase best practices’ across the country in various fields.

Working together with the Standard Bank Incubator and a strong eco-system of partners in business (including Mercedes-Benz), government and civil society, the programme calls upon the expertise of some of South Africa’s top business minds and thought leaders as programme teachers. The programme uses real-life case studies and experiential learning exercises to reinforce the academic learnership of the programme with practical industry insights.

At the end of the programme, the participants will be invited to present their new business model in a business case presentation to a panel of judges, and the winning participant will be taken on an international trade trip to Europe. The key focus of this trade trip is a meeting with a high-impact private distribution network enabling the participant to liaise with and present their business/products to wholesale buyers and retailers, as well as attending trade fairs.

The winning participant will receive an SME start-up pack courtesy of Standard Bank, will become a Mercedes Benz brand ambassador and drive the brand new vehicle for a 12 month period, as well as benefit from continued mentorship by the Threads team.

To participate in the Threads programme, interested entrepreneurs can apply online, via Threads website, http://www.threadsonline.co.za. (Open to entrepreneurs with an existing business in operation in South Africa for at least one year). The application process opens on 11th September, 2017 for a one-month period, ending on 11 October, 2017.

 

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African Women Awards Nominees Announced

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African Women Awards founded by Carol Nyazika and Lisa Chiriseri will be hosting the second Award ceremony on 3 December in Harare at a venue that will be announced soon.
The awards were launched on the 7th of November 2015 at Meikles Hotel in Harare with the aim of recognizing, celebrating and honoring powerful and inspirational women; and using their achievements to inspire the younger generations of Africans across the globe. The awards serve not only for the upliftment and inspiration of Africans but as an effective tool in educating the world on what African really is; the Africa that has a story different from the overplayed misconceptions, negativity and ill portrayed images associated with the African continent and its people.
The selection process for the awards comprised of the public nomination stage which was open from April 15 to the end of June 2016. Numerous African women were nominated via the AWA website and social media pages. After the nominations closed the names submitted were then given to a select esteemed panel comprising of academics, professionals and industry leaders who made decisions based on the profiles submitted for each woman nominated. The official nominees list is now public and the winner of each category shall be announced at the much anticipated 2nd African Women Awards ceremony this December. AWA deliberately avoids a voting system to ensure that nominees and honorees are selected based on their work portfolios and impact rather than on their popularity and public pull access through a voting system.

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The nominees list for the African Women Awards is available on the African Women Awards website. This year South Africa has the most nominations with 13 nominees across the categories. Zimbabwe follows with 9 nominees and then Nigeria with 6 nominees. Other countries represented on this highly esteemed list are Namibia, Zambia, Kenya, Morocco, Uganda, Ghana, Senegal, Egypt, Cameroon, Rwanda, Gambia and Mauritius.
In the past week the South African media has been abuzz celebrating and congratulating the women nominated for the prestigious African Women Awards. The awards are being reported widely across social media with nominees from the various countries expressing their excitement and anticipation.

The nominees are as follows:

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Business & Enterprise Category
Dynamic Start Up Award
• Kasope Ladipo-Ajai (Nigeria)
• Lucinda Ockhuizen (Namibia)
• Cheurombo Pswarayi (Zimbabwe)

Business Achievement Award
• Dambisa Moyo (Zambia)
• Njeri Rionge (Kenya)
• Isis Nyongo (Kenya)
Living Legacy Award
• Pearl Kupe (South Africa)
• Salwa Idrissi Akhannouch (Morocco)
• Divine Ndhlukula (Zimbabwe)
Industry Excellence Award
• Farah Fortune (South Africa)
• Lynette Magasa (South Africa)
• Koo Govender (South Africa)
Young Entrepreneurial Award
• Brenda Katswesigye (Uganda)
• Dananai Chapunza (Zimbabwe)
• Bayanda Gumede & Buhle Mabanga (South Africa)

Entertainment & Art Category
Creative Visionary Award
• Danai Gurira (Zim/USA)
• Pamela Samasuwo-Nyawiri (Zim/UK)
• Chimamanda Ngozi-Achiche (Nigeria)
Media Excellence Award
• Susan Makore (Zimbabwe)
• Joselyn Dumas (Ghana)
• Pearl Thusi (South Africa)
Star Power Award
• Terry Pheto (South Africa)
• Tiwa Savage (Nigeria)
• Yvonne Nelson (Ghana)
Promising Personality Award
• Nomzamo Mbatha (South Africa)
• Adama Ndiaye (Senegal)
• Menna Shalaby (Egypt)
Living Legend Award
• Connie Ferguson (South Africa)
• Omotola Jalade Ekeinde (Nigeria)
• Basetsana Kumalo (South Africa)

Community & Politics Category
Young Change Maker Award
• Ruth Nabembezi (Uganda)
• Kamdem Magne Roseline (Cameroon)
• Nancy Sibo (Rwanda)
Grass Roots Impact Award
• Nyasha Mugwagwa (Zimbabwe)
• Ndey Mariama Jobe (Gambia)
• Manyathi Hlolweni (South Africa)
Young Activist Award
• Delta Milayo Ndou (Zimbabwe)
• Precious Ropafadzo Chiduku (Zimbabwe)
• Ini Usanga (Nigeria/Ireland)
Social Humanitarian Award
• Stella Dongo (Zimbabwe)
• Nothemba Kula (South Africa)
• Cynthis Adaeze Onwuchuruba (Nigeria)
Living Legend Award
• Saara Kuungongelwa-Amadhila (Namibia)
• Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka (South Africa)
• Ameenah Gurib (Mauritius)

Tickets to the awards ceremony will be sold exclusively starting from Friday the 3rd of September. Designated early bird tickets will receive a discount of 20% for a limited period. Standard Ticket will cost $60 ($550 for a table) and VIP Ticket $80 ($750 for a table). Tickets can be purchased via GetCash.

The Fashion Torch Incubation Hub Launch

 

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After three months of product testing, evaluation and thorough research, on 25th June 2016  my friends at Fashion Torch Africa officially launched East and Central Africa’s first Business incubation and mentor ship hub for fashion and and creative arts brands and ideas. FTA HUB works with a vision of Growing Africa Fashion and creative arts brands and ideas into successful sustainable businesses. FTA HUB equips these brands with training, access to funding, investors, office space, mentor ship, PR and marketing, media coverage and a space where Africa fashion entrepreneurs co-work from, collaborate, meet up, network together in a bid to grow Africa fashion and creative arts industry..

The launch had a total number of 109 people creatives in attendance who not only came to witness the occasion but also took part in themed concussions among them the impact the hub will have in the growth of Africa fashion industry. the main speakers of the day were Evelyne Odongo CEO Mefa Creations ( Kenya),  Mr Obileye from Nigeria, Beata Otieno Award winning Stylist and Head Stylist at Couture Africa Magazine, Wendy from Couture Africa magazine,

This year has been the most inspiring year in my life as an entrepreneur, this is the year my heart started  beating heavily for Africa fashion and creative industry… This is the year i felt a huge burden in my heart to see creative entrepreneurs doing well. This is the year i felt i needed to create something tangible that will spearhead the growth Africa fashion brands into successful sustainable businesses.-Wilkings Odinga Fadhili, Founder and CEO of Fashion Torch Africa

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 I remember when the incubation hub was still an idea and I always take pride in the African Youth who  make moves and make things happening. There is no doubt that this hub will surely change and improve the lives of the entrepreneurs around Africa and especially Kenya.

Connect with Fashion Torch Africa

Tropics Voices Ambassadors

I am so happy to announce that a couple of awesome human beings and I have been selected as Tropics Voices Ambassadors by South African based media group called Tropics Media.We will be sharing our stories on http://www.tropics-magazine.com stay tuned and follow our articles on different topics.

ADRIENNE ANGE ANGELA CHANTAL CHARLOTTE CHRISTIAN DJI FATOU GUY JOACHIM MARIANNE MELANIE OLUFUNKE PATRICE PETER RONKE SOIZIC SRIMAL URS VENICIA VUYISO WANDA YETUNDE

Ideas Expo 2015

“It all starts with an idea, right?” I believe that this is exactly the statement that sparked the creation of the Ideas Expo 5 years ago founded by young Africans from Botswana Calvin and Tumiso. When opening the expo Tumiso highlighted that they wanted to use creativity to provide solutions. The world has become so connected, but are the ideas? Gabriel Mothibedi one of the speaker’s presentation focused more on design and he highlighted that Design is a driver of innovation and that nowadays it is difficult to make money off people’s ignorance because the world is so connected.

Kelvin Twissa Photo credit: Elvis Dambe

Kelvin Twissa
Photo credit: Elvis Dambe

Kelvin Twissa the HOD of Branding and Communications at Vodacom Tanzania also attested to that wherever there is a problem there is always an opportunity. He took us on a journey of how Mobile Money is succeeding where the banks are failing in Tanzania. To solve the cumbersome distribution of music for Tanzanian musicians an app called www.mkito.com was created and it has been a booming success as users joined plus 99% of the downloads are free.

In order for an idea to be effective communication must be kept simple.- Kelvin Twissa

Dr Carla Enslin Photo Cred: Elvis Dambe

Dr Carla Enslin
Photo Cred: Elvis Dambe

Dr Carla Enslin National Academic Head at Vega School of Brand Leadership highlighted the importance of branding and leadership. As business people in Africa we need to build businesses that will always matter to the people so much so that should your business disappear then care should be aroused in your consumers. It should be clear what a brand stands for, the sense of being, the value it brings and decisions taken.

Understand why you matter- employ people who matter.- Dr Carla

As creatives it is very important to invest. Bakang Sereste from Afena Capital touched on the importance of collaborations and investments. His advice was for creatives to setup an innovation fund and develop an Index to measure brands and businesses.

Get professional advice and buy a lot of shares- Bakang

A Young Khaya Dlanga

A Young Khaya Dlanga

Khaya Dlanga’s presentation was on the importance of borderless ideas that not only transcends borders but cultures, individuals, differences and time. Borderless ideas have an impact globally even thought they are intended for a local market and they work on single, strong, powerful and emotive insight. It is important for us as creatives to be what we say we are and to the things that we say we do.

Africa needs to create, control, own and export borderless ideas.- Khaya Dlanga

Didier Co-founder of Magents

Didier
Co-founder of Magents

Didier the Co-founder and Creative Director of Magents Lifestyle Apparel told the story of Magents, where it started, where it went and why it had to regroup. He emphasized the importance of staying true to yourself and your brand.

Learn from the East and the West but make sure that your DNA is Afrikan.-Didier

Pretty much all the speakers agreed on a number of issues including that we can use ideas to solve problems and that greatness is born from very bad situations. Most of us are starting businesses because we couldn’t find jobs or because we were not happy at our jobs. We can start business but we also need to know the importance of investing and finding the right investors.

Nothing drives anything like purpose- Pepe Marais

Musa Kalenga’s presentation was based on change, we need to accept that things change and be able to adapt to it. America and Asia have plans for Africa, but what is Africa’s plan for Africa?. Young Africans need to start taking charge of Africa and devise clear plans for Africa.

Learn. Unlearn and relearn- Musa Kalenga

Words that were left ringing in my head till this day are: What is YOUR plan for Africa? Even now as I type this I can hear Musa Kalenga’s voice. So I ask myself: What is MY plan for Africa? Hyping each other at these type of gatherings is great but we need to start doing instead of just talking about changing things.

More from the Exhibition shot by Elvis Dambe- @LordElvo on Twitter

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Africa Reign: Ruramai Musekiwa

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Ruramai  Musekiwa is  a creative activist who’s passionate about art life and effecting positive social change through creative mediums and campaigns. She is a graphic designer by trade, writer, visual artist and aspirant muso. “Rudo” as she is affectionately known strives to find the balance between an extremely philanthropic business model and a focused profitable value proposition. “Sibahle”which means we are beautiful: is a campaign that was started by Rudo that is aimed at celebrating Africanism through the use of creative mediums and activations, an electric lifestyle brand with the African woman at the helm of its vision. 

African Reign to me is us owing our space and purpose individually and collectively and building on a foundation of passion and awareness of our beauty as a people.

According to Rudo building the “African Dream” starts with recognizing our power, potential and beauty. Once we have a new frame of reference, one that speaks to power and positivity, that energy will flow into progressive endeavors. through the Sibahle initiative, book clubs have been started in major cities like Johannesburg, Cape Town and even spiraling into London. Rudo is doing  a remarkable job by getting more African youth involved and showcasing their work on Sibahle Magazine. For us as the youth to help develop Africa, there should be campaigns that encourage active citizenry. Ruramai believes that there is hope for the youth and there is a generation of youth that are running with innovative concepts.

I think the media needs to stop perpetuating negative stereotypes and start highlighting the positive things that are happening on out continent. The subliminal impact of seeing negativity frequently is crippling.

Check out more on Sibahle and Ruramai’s work on www.sibahle.com

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Africa Reign: Kagiso Koyabe

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Kagiso Koyabe, is an Economist with a degree from the University of Johannesburg, entrepreneur and designer from Botswana. A South African graffiti artist who told Kagiso about the history of the Hip Hop Culture in Southern Africa and taught him about design, materials and art  inspired Kagiso to start an urban lifestyle company called Lucky Charm Creations.

Lucky Charm Creations started out focusing on initial designs for t- shirts as well as customized graffiti apparel. During his timein UJ Lucky Charm partnered in sponsoring with the Hip Hop Association of UJ the annual Break Dance Competition which ran for 2 years, as well as partnering with Film students at UJ together with some from AFDA in organizing the FYTA Independent Film Festival in collaboration with Coal Stove a South African film house.

During his time as a student of Economics, Kagiso worked at building his company and was selling his merchandise at  3 stores in the Melville – Newtown area. Being back in Botswana Lucky Charm has been registered and  has started off by working with community and charity projects to generate funds through entertainment and art activities and exhibitions.

Currently Kagiso is working on ways to make an innovative impact through fashion and Art, this has put him on a path to try and research, test and improve the garments and products being released under the Lucky Charm brand, in order to establish his second full line of clothes, beyond t-shirts and plain hoodies, incorporating fabrics (African prints and others) into my garments to make them more comfortable, unique and of a high enough quality to make it comparable to international brands. In the future once the company structure is stable, He aims to convert Lucky Charm into a NGO that will run as an Urban Lifestyle company with regional and international reach, that distributes its Profit to various charities on an annual basis, ensuring that its purpose outlives him. The purpose being to encourage people to Dream, and be Creative in actualizing these dreams, and lastly to Give back to the communities that raised them in order to improve the options marginalized youth have in current times of high youth unemployment and frustrations

Africa Reign means a celebration of African entrepreneurship, talent and drive. I believe that this project can help sing praise of some of the bright stars of Africa and motivate many other hopefuls to continue pursuing their dreams and goals, moreover, this can help us see how alike we are as Youth in Africa, how we share challenges and frustrations, and demonstrate the necessity for African Unity

According to Kagiso the only way for there to be an “African Dream” is for the youth in Africa to unite over its hardships and challenges, and bond together in generating sustainable solutions and options for the development of Africa. This can be done by African to African internships, skills exchanges, regional youth business forums and programmes. In this way not only will we learn tolerance to our fellow Africans, we will also understand their history, their challenges and also opportunities.

The Youth is definitely motivated to provide solutions in developing Africa, but need a high level forum that can engage them on their ideas, and assist them in building them up towards assisting with improving lives of other youth and their own countries.

What is fashion’s role in developing a better Africa?

Fashion has as pivotal role to play as it is an expression of culture and personality. Culture in itself is dynamic and ever adaptive to innovation and shifts in trends in traditional structures, which are often fused with modern ideas and expressions. this makes the current fashion scene very vibrant and competitive, with more and more Africans going into the industry and more regional fashion shows and exhibitions, Fashion and the creative sector as a whole will have a strong role to play in unifying Africa and giving us an identity we are proud of, to lead us into the future.

Stay in touch with Lucky Charm Creations on https://www.facebook.com/OrganicUrbanCulture

AFRICA REIGN BRANDING BY https://www.facebook.com/BranditPro

 

 

Africa Reign: Belinda Phofu

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Belinda Phofu is a  21 year old creative entrepreneur and alternative jewelry designer. Belinda’s brand SIIC,which stands for Style Is InCalculable, is an alternative jewelry brand that was created in 2012.

She began making jewelry in 2012, which was the year she had to take a gap year because her mom couldn’t afford to send me to varsity.Belinda wanted to study wardrobe and costume design at AFDA.

Having too much time on your hands and nothing to do can drive anyone crazy so for Belinda making jewelry at the time was something she was doing just to keep me busy.It was only when she noticed that there was a demand for her products that she decided to establish a brand. SIIC was born mainly because that is what people would say when they saw her jewelry. 

 I really loved the ring that the word had to it and so I decided to use it as my brands name. I just wanted it to have meaning,which is where Style Is InCalculable came from. 

Belinda’s approach when making my jewelry is basically taking mundane every day objects and tuning them into creative jewelry pieces. SIIC is different is that it’s an alternative jewelry brand that believes that Art is  a culture and SIIC is about preserving and growing that culture, as well as using that culture to tell stories. Art Is Currency was Belinda first big project, she collaborated with 10 visual artists and they created illustrations that interpreted Belinda’s jewelry pieces. The aim was to show SIIC from a different eye, the eye of the visual artist.

It was  a huge success, I’m reallly happy with how everything turned out and I’m really greatful to the visual artists, blacknation family and Mpho Makua from StylaGang for all the help.I couldn’t have done it without them.

To Belinda African Reign  means inspiring creatives to keep following their dreams and helping them achieve their dream. In comparison to Art Is Currency, Africa Reign is also about preserving culture as well. Creatives can help push Africa forward by collaborating on projects. 

 

Check out Belinda’s Work on http://styleisincalculable.tumblr.com

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Africa Reign: Ndutiye Colombe

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Ndutiye Colombe is the founder and creative director of INCO ices a Rwanda based fashion brand.  Her aspiration is to expand INCO’s work and to showcase what uniqueness that Africa and Rwanda have to offer. Ndituye is currently working on opening a store project that she expects will enable other young and upcoming designers to showcase and make their creations available through retail. She has realized that at earlier stages most local and young brands are not able to fully finance themselves and have stores, therefore they cannot reach their market. That is why the solution was to have a store were these brands can be made available. INCO produces quality products and they want to penetrate both the national and international market and stimulating the economy.

Within Africa Reign, I see The African ability to compete in its originality

Ndutiye believes that we can have the African Dream if the youth starts believing that they can, by learning from different opportunities offered to them and most of all from learning from their elders’ experiences and their own mistakes.  The youth needs to believe that they are the ones who own their countries and the African continent. they need to take education seriously and work well in their chosen fields and not forgetting that the future depends on them.

I think the youth has heard enough speeches and now they need to take action. If they are willing to learn then they will always find ways.

In developing Africa fashion has a huge role to play. Ndutiye highlights the number of jobs that can be created, designers, the tailors, models, photographers, writers, journalist and event planners just to mention a few are able to get jobs and content through fashion. Africa has a large number of imports on clothes. If the African fashion industry is strengthened then the millions that flow out of our countries can be spent in Africa thereby developing the fashion industry and stimulating economic growth.

Fashion is in someways a cultural identity from where it is made and what it represents including the story of its origin and the makers.

Find more on Ndutiye’s brand on www.incofashion.com and https://www.facebook.com/INCO-Icyusa

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AFRICA REIGN BRANDING BY https://www.facebook.com/BranditPro

 

Africa Reign: Gilmore Tee

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Gilmore Tee is a 25 year old Global citizen who has a strong passion about human development and promoting social sustainability. Known to many as a Social Entrepreneur, the young Zimbabwean is the Founder of Hunnar Management Agency, a Coordination, PR and Branding company which has worked with Edgars Stores Limited, Coca Cola, The Bulawayo City Council, British Council and Intwasa Arts Festival, amongst many. He is a Development Student at the National University of Science and Technology in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. He is also an Award winning Style Icon, Radio Personality and model.

Africa reign means taking the lead as Africans, molding the future to what we want it to look like for us. It is about creating a sustainable environment that we can pride ourselves in.

On building the ‘African Dream’, Gilmore says that we need to realize that Africa needs us as its descendants to be interdependent individuals. We need to take control of our current situation and build the future with full knowledge of where we are coming from. It is important to get a clear understanding of who you are as a person, and then find your own definition of what has been put out already for you to know. Collaborations are the best approach in achieving a more developed and independent Africa. Thanks to technology young Africans have started meeting up and travelling in order to work together.

I think there are a lot of individuals that have set good examples for the youths, but because most of them are selfish, they do not share their experiences with young Africans.

Gilmore believes that Africans need to start reading their own version of events and relate to them and we need to start writing our own history and books so as to allow the contemporary young person to draw inspiration from a source we can relate to. Gilmore Tee is set to host The Gilmore Tee Vibe every Friday from 2pm – 6pm & On Monday with Gilmore Tee every Monday from 8pm – 9pm on Zimbabwe’s Commercial Radio Station, Skyz Metro 100.3 FM starting this September.

Check out more on him on www.gilmoretee.com