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Forget Class, These Four Apps Will Teach You Kiswahili

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Being multi-lingual, is an impressive skill that can open various opportunities and enable you to survive in foreign lands. Swahili in particular is very crucial for those who live throughout East Africa. However, not everyone has time to enroll in a class and study away. So rather than paying money to attend a class, you can decide to download these apps as you embark on learning a new language. Most of these apps cater to both beginners and advanced level learners, and only take up roughly 5-15 minutes of your day;

  1. Duolingo: It’s free, well-designed, and accessible. Lessons are broken down into bite-sized chunks and it feels like you’re playing a game.

The app divides languages into different topics, such as clothing or business, but also into adverbs, pronouns, and other grammatical subjects. The app’s answering structure encompasses a wide range of activities, too, meaning you’ll often have to type answers, speak them aloud, and chose from a set of multiple choice answers.

Duolingo is a great introduction, but it can feel like you’re learning a random mix of information, often through repetition. Obviously, the more you do, the more robust your vocabulary will be.

Supported languages: English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Dutch, Irish, Danish, Swedish, Russian, Ukrainian, Esperanto, Polish, Turkish and Kiswahili

  1. Memrise: The app is set up like a game, one in which you travel to a foreign planet as a spy and you score points for correct answers. It’s a unique way to frame language lessons, and the bulk of the courses consist of memorizing specific words and phrases using mems, which are strange sentences or images.

Memrise primarily functions as a vocabulary builder, so you’ll want to combine it with conversation and grammar lessons, if possible. You can sign up for the app via email, or use your Google or Facebook account, which grants you access to the wealth of community-created content.

The app’s basic functionality is free, but a subscription ($9 a month) will grant you access to additional games and an offline mode.

Languages you can learn: French, Spanish, German, English, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Turkish, Russian, Italian, Portuguese, Swahili more than 100 other languages.

  1. Rosetta: Rosetta Stone offer a free app meant specifically to help travelers learn basic words and phrases.

There are dozens of pictures tied to common phrases that are spoken to you in the language you’re wanting to learn, and you have to repeat the words back to practice your pronunciation. You can skip forward to any lesson you like or just follow through.

There’s also a searchable phrase book with basic words and words related to restaurants, hotels, and getting around – all very useful for someone traveling.

Works With: iOS and Android

Languages you can learn: Spanish, French, German, Italian, and Kiswahili

  1. Google Translate: Most language learning apps teach you a language through exercises and progressive steps, while Google Translate simply tells you how to write and speak anything you run through it.

You can translate text, handwriting, and your voice with Google Translate. This means you can enter text manually, draw the text, or speak it to convert it into the target language. You can even save your favorite translations so you can refer to them quickly whenever you like.

Google Translate may not be like other language learning apps, but it’s certainly a great tool if you’re stuck on a specific word or phrase, or if you prefer to target your learning to particular phrases and sentences only. It can especially prove to be beneficial if you’re speaking with someone that doesn’t know your language.

Note: Not all translations can be spoken back to you, but all translations can be displayed.

Works With: iOS and Android

Languages you can learn: Japanese, Dutch, Danish, Greek, Bulgarian, Swahili, Swedish, Ukranian, Vietnamese, Welsh, Chinese, French, Hungarian, Korean, Czech, English, Persian, Latin, and over 60 others

18 Ways You Can Delight Your Customers

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Sometimes you just need to go the extra mile to ensure that your customers are satisfied. However, it doesn’t need to be a tiresome process on your part. Just like a relationship, the little things make the biggest impressions, here are a few ways you can make sure your customers are happy and would come back again;

  1. Handwritten Notes
  2. Video Chats
  3. Friendly email auto-responders
  4. Extra (free) advice
  5. Thank you packages
  6. Unrepeatable custom products
  7. Loyalty and referral programs
  8. Birthday Coupons
  9. Social media promotions
  10. Super organization
  11. Quick communications
  12. Surprise gifts
  13.  Unique personal worksheets
  14. Birthday Phone Calls
  15. Goody bags for the kids
  16. Gratitude Tweets
  17. New Years Cards
  18. Give a response to each comment

Here are Nine Business Models You Can Attempt if You’re Unsure of Where to Start

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Sometimes coming up with a business idea, or at least a way to generate money can be difficult. You may want to have a unique approach. Maybe you want to look at your options before embarking on making your business happen. Either way, here are nine business model ideas that can give you a push in the right direction.

  1. Affinity Club: Pay Royalities to some large organization for the right to sell your product exclusively to their customers. Example: MBNA
  2. Brokerage: Bring together buyers and sellers, charging a fee per transaction to one or another party. Example: Jumia
  3. Bundling: Package related goods and services together. Example: iPod/iTunes
  4. Crowdsourcing; Get a large group of people to contribute content for free in exchange for access to other people’s content. Example: YouTube
  5. Freemium: Offer basic services for free, charge for premium services. Example: Linkedln.  
  6. Leasing: Rent rather than sell high-margin, high-priced products. Example: Cars
  7. Pay as you Go: Charge for actual metered usage. Example: Electric Companies
  8. Subscription: Charge a subscription fee to gain access to service. Example: Showmax
  9. Product to Service: Rather than sell the product, sell the service that the product performs. Example: Zip Car

20 Marketing Must Do’s Every Business Should Follow

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You’ve already got your product or service, now all you need to do is inform the masses, which is basically marketing. Marketing can be difficult, but necessary. Luckily there are various platforms and ideas that make letting people know about your business that much easier. A well disciplined approach to marketing will ensure your business is well exposed. Here are marketing habits that you should form that’ll help your business:

  1. Get and Use Business Cards
  2. Write a blog and share helpful info weekly
  3. Listen to your customers
  4. Keep an ongoing list of creative ideas
  5. Create a Facebook Business Page; constantly update with engaging content that will attract potential customers. You could use this account to advertise.
  6. Create a twitter profile; you could also advertise using twitter
  7. Create an Instagram profile; you could also advertise using twitter
  8. Send an E-mail Newsletter
  9. Use your social media to provide customer service
  10. Offer a discount or special offer
  11. Host a giveaway
  12. Ask Customers for Testimonials
  13. Sponsor a cause or local event
  14. Get interviewed on a blog, podcast, or magazine
  15. Network with other business owners
  16. Add a re-targeting pixel to your website to advertise to website visitors
  17. Review competitors, see what is working and what is not
  18. Offer an affiliate program
  19. Ask customers for feedback
  20. Thank your customers

 

 

 

Nine Things Productive People do Differently

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  • They Focus on Time: There are 24 hours in a day, they ensure every minute is spent wisely.
  • Procrastination is not an option: The you today does what needs to be done as soon as possible, so the you tomorrow doesn’t blunder and fumble last minute.
  • They follow the 80/20 rule: 80% of the result comes from the 20% of work put in. Ensure you know what your 20% is.
  • They Set Their Daily Tasks: Make sure you deal with the most important tasks first, before following it up with other less concerning tasks.
  • They Keep Their Meeting Short: Meetings take up a lot of time, so its better not to encourage too many. If it needs to be done, then make it as fast as possible.
  • They Delegate: You can’t do everything alone, deal with work that requires your capabilities and outsource the rest.
  •  They Say No to Almost Everything: Or rather they say no to everything that doesn’t help them live up to their goal.
  •  They don’t do ‘to-do-lists’: Rather, they use notebooks to write down everything they’ve done.
  • They Have a Consistent Morning Ritual: They wake up early enough to work on re-charging their mental, emotional and physical state.

This Email Based Helpdesk Will Make Your Gmail More Resourceful in 4 Major Ways

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If you are in the market for an email based helpdesk tool, look no further than Hiver.

With Hiver, you will be able to manage your all customer support and sales emails right from your Gmail inbox. You will not have to adapt to another tool or a new interface. It fits in neatly with the existing Gmail design, inserting small buttons and menus only where necessary.

Let’s have a look at some of the key features of Hiver

1. Shared inbox

Hiver’s Shared Inbox feature allows teams to manage shared email accounts like [email protected] or [email protected] more effectively. Managers will be able to assign tasks to teammates and track their progression, all in a matter of seconds.

There is also an inbuilt shared inbox analytics feature. It helps users generate reports on how their team is doing when it comes to responding to and resolving your customer, sales queries.

2. Collision Alert

Hiver’s collision alert feature notifies users when they are attempting to reply to an email that a teammate is already responding to. This helps avoid duplicate and conflicting responses.

3. Email Notes

With this feature, you will be able to add small comments alongside email threads. If the email thread is part of a shared inbox, it will get automatically shared with other members of the team. If you want a user to be notified when you add a note, add ‘@username’ or ‘@all’ to the note.  

4. Other features include:

  • Shared email templates – It allows you to create, add, and share email templates quickly.
  • Shared Drafts – It lets you share Gmail drafts with your teammates.
    • Shared label – With this feature, you will be able to share your Gmail labels and sync entire email conversations with your team.
    • Send later – This feature lets you schedule an email to be sent at a future time and date.
    • Email Snooze/Reminder – This feature lets you schedule an email to come back to the top of your inbox at a later time.
  • Integrations – Hiver lets you integrate your Shared Inboxes and Gmail labels with popular tools like Slack and Zapier.

Pricing

To conclude, Hiver makes your team more effective by preventing leakages, confusion, and overlaps.

How to Reset Windows Password with UUkeys Password Recovery

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Oftentimes, in order to protect the computer, we lock it and then conveniently forget the password.  As a result, have to reinstall the operating system and deal with all the hassles associated with it. However, there’s a solution to avoid all this hassle. It is available in the form of UUkeys which allows you to reset the password, instead of reinstalling the OS. But, this utility tool is only applicable to Windows system. Let’s take a look at how it fares.

What is UUkeys Windows Password Mate

Locked out of your computer? Forgot your admin password and have no reset disc? This is a situation familiar to quite a few of us. Your computer is your life and being locked out of it can certainly make any of us panic. But not anymore!

UUkeys Windows Password Recovery is such a programme that allows you to log in to your computer as it removes the login password and the security settings specified that prevents it. It is an excellent programme to have at hand if, like me, you often change your password and conveniently forget it as well.

It works well with:

  1. All versions of Windows including Windows 7, 8, 8.1, 10, Vista, XP,  as well Windows servers 2008(R2), 2003(R2) and 2012 (R2).
  2. Various laptops and desktops like HP, Sony, IBM, ASUS and others.
  3. Different hard disk drives that include SATA, SCSI, IDE.

Why Do I Need UUkeys Windows Password Mate?

UUkeys Windows Password Mate is necessarily required if you forgot Windows login password. It is successful at removing any hurdles while logging into your computer. It alters the security settings to allow you to log in. Other than that, it is also able to remove all login restrictions that include disabled account and forgotten password.  All in all, it is an effective password recovery programme that you need to keep at hand in case of emergencies.

Moreover, it is easy to use. You don’t need to have an immense technical knowledge to use it to recover your computer. If you are worried about a virus, then don’t, because it is 100% secure.

How to Reset Windows Password with UUkeys

There are two ways by which you can create a reset disc to recover your password by UUkeys. They are:

  • Through the creation of CD/DVD
  • And USB flash drive.

The programme is incredibly easy to use with a simple structure. The whole process can be completed in just a few steps. The reset disc takes over the boot process and conveniently resets the password for you to log in to your computer/ laptop. Follow these three easy steps stated below to successfully unlock your computer:

  1. Download the programme UUkeys on a PC that is accessible.
  2. Insert the blank CD/DVD or USB flash drive into that PC, launch the programme and burn the ISO image into it.
  3. Insert the reset disc into your locked computer and voila! You are computer will be unlocked!

The programme has a built in wizard that will guide you through that entire process. All I had to do was simply select target Windows version and start the burning of the disc.

Download UUkeys password recovery Mate for Windows

So don’t worry about how to reset Windows Password with UUkeys. There are three different versions of the programme available- standard, professional and advanced.  Each of them provides a free trial. However, if you feel like purchasing the programme after experiencing the trial version, you can buy it for $29.95, for the standard version. It comes with tech support, lifetime license code and upgrade facility.

It is really simple to use and deserves a five star. The programme has no such glitches as I ran it to unlock my computer and the process was rather smooth. It is great for Windows OS and comprises of zero additional charges. So, go ahead for it if you suffer from amnesia when it comes to passwords!

 

Tips on Staying Employed as You Embark on Your Startup

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“I quit”, these are golden words that you dream of telling your employer so you can go out and start your own thing.

But according to a new study published in The Academy of Management Journal, if you jump ship too early, you could be setting yourself up for failure.

Professors Joseph Raffiee and Jie Feng at the University of Wisconsin-Madison found that “hybrid” entrepreneurs, those who maintain their regular gig and while launching their new ventures in stages, are less likely to fail than those who jump in sans safety net.

If you’re not convinced, starting your business while you’re still employed would allow to enjoy the best of both worlds. A stable, dependable source of income will give you much more confidence in testing the waters with a new business that usually has a high likelihood of failure in the first year.

As you proceed to take baby steps to achieving a booming business, ensure to take note of the following advice:

  • Save: Save cash you’re earning from your side hustle. This will sustain you when you decide to dive into your business entirely. Also it may help cover further investments you may need to grow your side hustle over time. To do this be sure to put into place clear spending and budgetary guidelines for your side business to make sure you’re not spending beyond your means.
  • Time is money:If you’re going to handle both your day job and side hustle, you’re going to need to organize your time. Decide what’s really important create a target list of all the responsibilities and activities you’ll be reducing or eliminating in order to make time for your business.
  • Get a Co-founder; Startups are tough, and they are even tougher when you try to do them alone. Having a good cofounder increases your chances of success. Cofounders add to your company’s skills, and help reduce on time.
  • Don’t take advantage of company property to capitalize on your side business; for example, using corporate computers or email systems to send any emails related to your side business.There should be no affiliation between your business and the company which you work for.
  • Choose the Right Business; Starting a business is like a marriage. Try to start a company in a sector you’re comfortable with, that you can see growth. If that’s not possible, think about a “try before you buy” arrangement where you “test things out” during your night and weekend work.
  • Don’t feel pressured to leave your day job as your business starts to gain traction; New businesses go through life cycles and some early wins do not necessarily mean you have a sustainable enterprise.
  • Once Your Business is Stable, don’t be afraid to leave your full time job; if its making profit that will enable you to live comfortably, then don’t remain stuck in your 9-5 job. Venture out, and continue to grow your business.

7 Reasons why switching to VPN is first thing to do before getting online

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A VPN or Virtual Private Network is a group of discrete networks organized together over an internet. It provides you a secure and reliable connection with another network. A misconception about VPNs is that it is only beneficial for business users but its unlimited security features makes VPNs equally advantageous for home users as well. VPN works as a bridge between two LANS. If you are in Turkey and are facing privacy issues with your network VPN is here to resolve it as data transmission is completely encrypted. Internet community cannot read your data and they are unaware of what you do online.

VPN encompasses the following features.

Stay Safe from Hackers

One of the best feature of VPN is it creates a roadblock for online hackers. When you share your sensitive data online it can be stolen by digital criminals. It includes you payment data and credit card numbers. They can also have your medical records to make fake insurance accounts and you have to pay bills for this, and that day you will consider yourself most silly person alive. It is better not to regret and keep your data safe from all the prying eyes using VPN which provides strong encryption to protect your network traffic.

 

Anonymous Browsing

Want to hide your location and identity? By using one top VPN listed on  itday.com, you will be able to do this too. Your IP address is recorded by every single website owner whose website you ever visited. They can store this information for many years. VPN provides you with intermediate VPN servers when you want to connect to internet and websites will record the IP address of VPN server. In this way your true IP address remains protected. Another interesting feature is that VPN change you IP address automatically after short time period.

Secure Wi-Fi hotspots

Wi-Fi hotspots are horrifically insecure. All the data you send or receive over your wireless network, your email, web searches can be easily captures by anyone and you will be completely unaware of this theft. Sometimes a laptop can be used as a legitimate Wi-Fi Hotspot. You connect to the hotspot but in real you are sending all your data to a hacker’s laptop. By using VPN you only let them to track encrypted gibberish and they will possibly never able to crack it.

Prevents Spying

When you are a using an open Wi-Fi at some public place anyone could eavesdrop on you as hotspot don’t use wireless encryption so he can easily capture you data and see what you are doing online. Even wired internet connections have the same security risks. Whenever you are accessing an untrusted network always use VPN for secure connection. Your data will remain encrypted and private even when you are using public Wi-Fi hotspot on your mobile devices.

Unblock websites

In some countries censorship is imposed on Skype, Facebook, WhatsApp and other internet services, if you are living in one of those countries you can’t have any access over these application. In other words you have limited access to World Wide Web. You can easily tunnel out of restrictions and can have full access to these services by just using VPN server. However your internet speed will be a bit slower than the usual internet connection.

Controlled Access

In case you are running an organization or business, private network will cost you much more than VPN as your company expands and hence will need more lines to connect them to each other.  Through VPN you can access information remotely even from home. VPN provides quality of service and this way productivity can be increased.

Prevents Search Engines to keep your Search records

Every search you ever performed is directly linked to your IP address automatically and search engines have a complete record of your searches. With your search record you can be easily identified and not a single piece of information remained private. But if you are connected to internet through VPN no one can trace your real IP address and all your personal information is kept private.

With growing internet technology and having a lot personal data online, everyone wants to be safe and sound in their real lives. Now you can enjoy protection using VPN service.

 

Here’s an Email Communication Strategy That’ll Show Your Investors That Your Serious

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Congratulations, you’ve convinced an investor to capitalize on your startup; however the next milestone is to ensure that you maintain good relations with the same in the hopes that they may fund you again. If you wait until you need to raise money again to talk to your investors, they may not take it too well.

You need to address them on progress occasionally, using various means, but one of most convenient and effective methods is by using email continuously. Once a month should be sufficient, preferably the founder should do the emailing. As a result this will send a message to them of your accountability.  This information is how they evaluate your performance and whether you’re worth pouring any more money into. Once the time comes when you may need more capital, then they’ll not only invest in you again, but they’ll connect you with other investors and serve as great references in the process.

You can do this by sending out a standard update email with the same format, while they may not always reply, rest assured they are reading and probably appreciate the update and progress of the startup. This is to say that if your startup isn’t doing too well, an email should still be sent out regularly.

To ensure that the email fulfills its purpose, you just need to follow a few basic rules:

  • Keep the format consistent. Use the same subject line so it’s easily searchable.
  • Keep it short. You want an email short enough for an investor to read just before he goes to bed.
  • Stick with the same categories and metrics. Identify the ones that matter most to your business, then compare this month’s stats with last month’s.
  • End with one or two “asks” at the bottom. Investors are always saying they want to be helpful, here’s how they can be.
  • Proofread; always ensure that your leaving a favorable last impression, so don’t be sloppy.

Here is a sample of how the email could look like;

Hello

[One-paragraph introduction sharing whatever your focus has been over the past month.]

Top priorities:

  • [Priority #1]
  • [Priority #2]
  • [Priority #3]

Product:
We’ve made [summary of latest updates].

Money in bank:

  • We have Kes[_____] in the bank. This gives us a runway of [__] months at our current burn rate.
  • [Any other relevant funding updates.]

KPIs:

  • Revenue last month: Kes[_____]
  • Revenue this month: Kes[_____]
  • [Other important metric last month]
  • [Other important metric this month]

Other updates:

  • [Big win #1]
  • [Press coverage #2]
  • [Other update #3]

[One ask for investors–in bold.]

With Kind Regards,
[Name]

 

Tremendous innovation in sophisticated South African fintech payments landscape

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By Dominique Collett, head of AlphaCode

In 2016 $5.5bn of venture capital investment went into payments startups. This represented 22% of global fintech investment activity. In South Africa, payments still dominate the fintech landscape. At AlphaCode, a club for fintech entrepreneurs, we are seeing a tremendous amount of innovation in payments as SA consumers seek new ways to transact.  Due to SA’s sophisticated banking infrastructure, we possess strong skills in this sector and many AlphaCode entrepreneurs are finding better and more efficient ways to transact. Here are some of the really innovative startups operating in the payments space that fulfil specific customer needs.

Including the informal economy

Due to migrant labour there’s a desperate need to be able to send money home in a cost effective way. The standard ways of sending money across borders are massively inefficient and expensive. Mama Money spotted this gap, and leverages technology to reduce the current costs of sending money cross-border by almost 50%, compared to existing money transfer solutions. This addresses a customer need and a social imperative to deliver services at a price that users can afford. It’s been so successful that it’s expanded from initially sending money to Zimbabwe two years ago, to services into Nigeria, Ghana, Tanzania, Malawi, India and Kenya.

Zoona operates in Zambia and Malawi offering domestic money transfer services to customers without the need for a bank account. A key element of their model is the roll out of agent kiosks which are like mini bank branches. This has been critical in a country with limited existing bank infrastructure. It has also empowered thousands of Zambians and Malawians to start their own businesses as Zoona agents. Zoona in this way increases financial inclusion by allowing citizens to transact, delivering a great customer experience at a lower cost. To date they have serviced over 1.5m consumers and have facilitated over $1bn in money transfers.

Facilitating payments for SMEs

There is a great need to facilitate payments for SMEs. For instance, small businesses have struggled to get card machines from the banks. This has resulted in many SMEs operating in cash which introduces significant risk to them personally. Even if a business qualifies, the costs associated with these card machines are often prohibitively expensive for an SME.

Yoco and iKhokha have addressed this need by offering cost-friendly mobile card machines that simply plug into or connect with a mobile phone. Yoco and iKhokha have also simplified the pricing associated with card machines by not locking SMEs into expensive monthly contracts and allowing them to buy the device as a once-off purchase. They also offer much more competitive pricing on card swipes (2.5 – 3% compared to traditional bank rates of between 5 – 6%). The ability of SMEs to now move more of their transactions from cash to card swipes is important for South Africa as it means that we can get greater visibility and data regarding small business. This enables further inclusion of SMEs in the financial sector by facilitating for example credit scoring and credit extension on the back of this data.

Increasing convenience for consumers

South Africa has incredibly strong banks but they are a bit behind on customer experience. In an on-demand economy people want to do things quickly and easily using their phones. Zapper and SnapScan have solved a problem for businesses and consumers by allowing customers to make payments via their phones as quickly as swiping a card. Restaurants and food markets have been early adopters of this technology as it improves the customer experience – no more sitting around waiting for the waiter to bring the card machine to pay the bill at the end of a meal and no need to carry cash around your favourite market on a Saturday morning. In today’s fast moving world, this is the sort of convenience customers are demanding.

Walletdoc allows you to pay bills from your cellphone, thereby reducing the hassle factor. You can upload your City of Joburg bill for instance, and pay instantly without having to log into your bank or go into a Pick ‘n Pay. In addition, the app ensures that you get loyalty points from your bank for these payments. Again, this is the type of convenience consumers demand in today’s fast paced world.

Developing new rails

Businesses like Zapper, SnapScan and WalletDoc work on credit card and debit card “rails”. These “rails” work very well, but it’s an expensive system for a business and they pay a significant portion of each transaction to banks and the card associations (VISA and Mastercard) for the convenience.

Wicode wants to take customers off card rails and onto new rails using mobile payments at retail stores – this is a game changer. They recognise that if you are introducing a new payment protocol, it needs to be easy for both the retailer and the consumer.  They have developed a seven digit code as well as QR code technology which you give to a cashier for payment. It’s simple and easy. The difficulty lies in getting people off old rails and onto new ones. However, they have made great progress rolling out their solution into Pick ‘n Pay, Shoprite and Vida Café.

Bitcoin companies are also working on new rails – the blockchain’s decentralised ledger. Luno, which allows you to buy, store or pay with Bitcoin, takes the view that banks are expensive and slow. They realised they could leverage this new technology which allows users to make payments that are cleared in less than ten minutes. People appreciate Bitcoin as a store of value, but they have realised that it’s also a quick and easy way to pay for things – you can send Bitcoin to your friend in China quickly and cheaply, for example. Finally, this is a rail which has the potential to fundamentally disrupt the traditional bank payment and card rails and gives an enhanced customer experience at a much lower cost.

Serving business needs

Electrum takes friction out of the payment system for corporates. Because there are different payment protocols – Bitcoin, mobile, cards, airtime – Electrum allows all these different options to be able to transact with a corporate in the changing payments landscape. It also allows corporates like retailers and banks to sell new products like data, airtime and movie vouchers to their customers. These value added services are a great revenue stream for retailers and banks.

Peach Payments is a payment gateway and an integration layer which allows online and offline merchants to accept payments across all channels – website, mobile sites and mobile apps. It gives them access to all payment methods including credit/debit cards, bank transfers, mobile wallets, electronic wallets and mobile operator billing. This is important for retailers as they embrace an omni-channel world and servicing customers across physical and digital channels.

The payments landscape is changing rapidly. Fintech startups are gaining momentum and are beginning to shape how, where and when payments are made with new options and solutions being presented to customers at an ever-greater speed. This will have tremendous impact on the banking system as we know it. The race is on and the battle for the customer in this space is about to get more intense.

  • Dominique Collett is a senior investment executive at Rand Merchant Investments and the head of AlphaCode, a Rand Merchant Investments club for fintech startup entrepreneurs.

Easypr.ng, Africa’s First Digital Content Distribution Platform Debuts In Lagos

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Easypr.ng, an online marketing and media content distribution platform has launched in Lagos.

Through the platform, individual and corporate organisations in need of public relations and other marketing services can customize required service to suit their budget plans.

It provides access to hundreds of newspapers and online news publishing platforms across Africa.

Companies and individuals looking to distribute press materials such as such as Press releases, news features, interviews and photo news, can create the contents and distribute through the platform by paying a fee depending on the number of media platforms required.

Users can also through the website, www.easypr.ng buy other marketing services such as digital marketing solutions including social media, advertising services, content writing and consultancy services.

Speaking about the solution, Co-founder, Easypr.ng, Afam Anyika said: “Our intention is to make sure that we deepen access to marketing services and at the same time make the process as seamless as possible.

“Through our solution, companies and individuals especially those without an idea on how to start, could get everything that they require from the platform without leaving the comfort of their homes or business places.

“For startups and individuals looking to get their word out there, there is dearth of marketing information available to make informed marketing decisions. That is the gap we have bridged with Easypr.ng. We understand the deep importance of SME’s to the nation and Africa’s economic growth. Put side by side the scarcely available marketing know-how for these businesses, our service aims to bridge the divide with a mission to significantly scale the SME sector in our part of the world, with success being the direct impact on varying economic/ market indicators.

“We not only provide these information, we give you the leverage to run a marketing campaign from the comfort of your house or office without wasting time on meetings and additional fees as seen with marketing agencies. It is more of a Do-It-Yourself for marketing.

“More so, this is the first time we are having an Afrocentric press distribution platform. We have access to hundreds of newspapers and blogs across Africa. And we provide access to these platforms at very cost effective rates. So, no one says you cannot launch a product in Ghana or Kenya while you are still here in Nigeria and at little or no cost. We simply want to sell Nigeria/Africa to the world.”

 

Strategic Partnerships and New Products Key to eTranzact’s Continued Profitability

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Premier e-payments solution provider, eTranzact International PLC held its 13th annual general meeting at the Civic Center, Victoria Island, Lagos on the 27th of July, 2016.

In attendance at the AGM were the executive and non-executive members of the board led by the Chairman, Mr Felix Ohiwerei, OFR; Mr Valentine Obi, Founder and CEO; and other members of the board.

The AGM had increased shareholder attendance and participation with general excitement about the company’s continuous profitability position and consistent dividend sharing in spite of the macroeconomic realities of the country in 2016.

Profitability and Dividends

eTranzact consolidated its dominance in key sectors of the industry in 2016, improving strategic partnerships and launching new products.

Gross revenue for the year 2016 was N10.4bn representing a 20% growth compared to 2015. Operating profit was 620m and Profit before tax(PBT) was 449.4m.

The board of directors approved the payment of a 10 kobo dividend to shareholders for the period.

Growth drivers

The key drivers of eTranzact’s growth in 2016 were strengthened collaboration with partner banks, major innovations across its mobile banking suite, new product releases and strategic alliances.

The Future

eTranzact has taken steps to increase profitability of new relationships, enhance and deepen existing ones, and explore new partnerships locally and internationally.

Speaking on the company’s performance for the period, Mr Felix Ohiwerei, OFR, Chairman of the Board, said “As a company we continue to demonstrate our understanding of the benefits of strategic alliances and the potential business opportunities these can create. We have fostered new relationships, enhanced and deepened existing ones and explored newer opportunities within our ongoing associations with existing partners. Our alliances contributed significantly to some of the improved financial performance we achieved in 2016.

I would like to take this opportunity to inform you all that this will be my last AGM as the Chairman of the Board of Directors and as a member of the Board. From the beginning, the Board in collaboration with the management team, have worked hard to build a world class organization with global operating standards. We have made a lot of progress over the years and we keep getting better

We are poised and committed to be a regional leader in the medium term and in the long term, a global leader in the electronic and mobile payment industry. To this end, we will continue to deliver secure, cost effective and innovative electronic and mobile payment services that are compliant with globally recognized standards”.

Also speaking, the Founder and CEO, eTranzact International Plc, Mr. Valentine Obi said:

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Chairman of the eTranzact board, Mr Felix Ohiwerei, OFR for his outstanding service and commitment to the vision, mission and values of our company.

Mr Ohiwerei has over the years shown us the true meaning of value based leadership demonstrating a continuous commitment to excellence, strategic planning and hard work. He leaves a strong legacy that we will work hard to keep up with and we will continue to execute our long term strategy and deliver on the mission and vision of the company.

I will also like to appreciate the board, management and staff of eTranzact for their doggedness continued innovation, drive and commitment to the vision and mission of the company.

2016 was a year that required special focus as we launched new products and extended our philosophy of making payments simple to other more complex industries as part of our innovation drive.

The rewards of our efforts have stayed consistent with an annual revenue growth rate of 70% that we hope to continue.

We promise to continue to make payments simple, and innovating and creating solutions that transform the lives of people in Africa”.

 

 

Meet Isoko Walter of Swift Delivery, Southern Nigeria’s First Food Delivery Service

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Online food delivery service in Nigeria has been in existence for quite some time now, but despite this, some parts of the country are still yet to enjoy it. One of these is Southern Nigeria. In December 2016, Isoko Walter decided to change that by launching Swift Delivery NG to cater for Southern Nigeria, and enable them enjoy the quick solution that comes with ordering their food online.

In this interview, he talks about Swift Delivery and his foray into entrepreneurship.

Tell us a little about yourself

I am Isoko Walter Jnr,  co-founder/MD of Swift delivery. I am also a business developer, a self trained digital marketer. I was born and raised in Benin city. I studied Mathematics and Statistics at Ambrose Alli University, Edo state, Nigeria. I am passionate about developing businesses, creating job opportunities and helping Nigerian start-ups achieve strong market presence online

Tell us about Swift Delivery and what you’re offering?

Swift Delivery Nigeria, is an online food ordering/delivery platform that connects you to thousands of restaurants/fast foods online, where customers can easily order food from their favorite restaurants in their city and we deliver it to them. Ordering is very easy. All you have to do is visit the website, swiftdelivery.com.ng or download the mobile app on Google play store; Choose your favorite restaurants in your city, browse through the menus and select the food you want, then place your order. You receive a call confirming your orders. You wait, we deliver and you pay. It’s that easy

What motivated you to begin an online food delivery service?

Food is the most basic way for humans to connect and in the digital age there is a craving for that kind of contact. With platforms like Swift Delivery, people can actually connect with more fast foods. We saw it working in other countries so we decided to bring it down here. We also saw it as a means of creating more job opportunities.

Why did you choose to cater for Southern Nigeria?

Ecommerce in Nigeria is still very young and I believe people really need to embrace the trend. There’s also a large market here, it’s time more people know about things like this. It’s time to create a new reality over here.

Being the first food delivery service in southern Nigeria, how has the response been from residents?

So far, the response has been quite impressive. They actually love the platform because its new to them. We are also working on educating the market about e-commerce. So the response is very great.

What was kicking-off like? How were you able to secure funds to set the business rolling?

We launched the platform in December 2016. Starting the platform wasn’t easy, considering the current economic issues. But we were able to put things in place And get things moving. The platform is currently self funded.

What parts of southern Nigeria do you currently deliver to, and what are your plans for expansion?

We are currently in Edo state, Enugu and Delta state. In the next six months we would be in other six(6) states. Talking about an online  platform that brings your local food produce at your fingertips, it would help consumers purchase/buy foodstuff, beverages and agricultural products online and we deliver it to them. The platform would allow you buy at the producer/factory price which is cheaper than market or retail price.

So we will open up our local farmers to the foreign market, as we gear towards being an online platform were you can get cheap, fresh and quality agricultural products.

Tell us a little about your entrepreneurship experience so far

It’s been great. I have failed a lot, but I don’t see it as failure. Swift is actually the Third company I am building, the first one failed. Failing was not a good experience but one very important thing about it is getting the opportunity to learn. I strongly believe there’s a lot ahead.

What do you consider the gains and challenges of being an entrepreneur?

Believe me, there is  a lot of gains and challenges. But one thing I would say is, you actually get the opportunity to create your own reality. That’s something unique about entrepreneurs, and yes there would be challenges, too numerous to mention, but at the end the reward is larger and it’s totally worth it.

One word for people who are considering going into entrepreneurship

One word? I would say “dominate” what ever you find yourself doing, dominate. One word isn’t actually enough. Entrepreneurs need to know the truth.

If you are an entrepreneur then you are a blessing to this world, because you have what it takes to transform and impact lives. Yes, hard times would come, you are going to face challenges, you are going to feel like quitting but if truly it is what you want to do, then go for it, because nobody is going to do it for you.

eTranzact continues profitability trend with 865.1 million naira PBT in 2016| Proposes 10k Dividend per share.

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eTranzact International PLC, Africa’s premier e-payments solution provider has announced a profit before tax of 865.1 million naira and revenue of 10.40 billion naira for the year ended December 2016.

In a year that was characterized by adverse sentiment triggers on the global front, falling oil prices and increased macroeconomic challenges, eTranzact was able to grow its revenue from 8.67 billion naira to 10.40 billion naira maintaining its 3 year profitability trend.

Speaking about the financial results, Niyi Toluwalope, Chief Financial Officer, eTranzact says;

“eTranzact continues to ensure it maximizes the value of its shareholders and stake holders. We will continue to invest in our core infrastructure to position the company for the expanding opportunities within the sector”.

eTranzact new logo

In 2016, eTranzact completed its strategic rebranding; making key changes to its brand identity, vision, mission, products and people helping the company take advantage of various opportunities.  The company also made efforts to align its processes and operating standards with global best practices achieving the ISO 27001 & ISO 20000 certifications recognizing service delivery and excellence. The certifications were testament to eTranzact’s commitment to a world-class, customer-oriented service culture and environment.

eTranzact certifications

eTranzact launched BankIT TM ,a payment service that allows businesses receive payment from bank accounts on Mobile, Web, USSD and POS without a debit card or hardware token.  In a short time of launch the product achieved significant traction processing millions of transactions for partners like Multichoice( DSTV and GOTV), Airtel, GLO, Etisalat, Slot, etc, providing the engine for millions of customers to pay subscription fees using 3899*SmartcardNumber#; buy airtime and data- *444# for Airtel, *805# for GLO and *695# for Airtel, as well as on the web for schools and ecommerce companies.

In partnership with the Nigerian military, the payment technology company also launched a Military pension product which allows over 100,000 retired members of the Army, Navy and Airforce access a biometric military pension card with a 4-in-1 value proposition: identification, verification, rewards, including receiving and making payments.

“Recognizing opportunities for partnerships, improved product focus, continued innovation, drive and commitment to the company’s vision of making payments simple helped our company navigate the challenging macroeconomic environment in 2016. We believe some of the strategic investments we have made across our business in 2016, have prepared us for an even better 2017”, says Valentine Obi, Founder and CEO, eTranzact.

China Europe International Business School(CEIBS) Alumni Hold Event In Lagos, Nigeria

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Alumni of the China Europe International Business school(CEIBS), the number 1 MBA in Asia according to Forbes, financial times, Bloomberg and Business week, and 11th in the world according to the financial times held their reunion and induction ceremony in Lagos, Nigeria on the 18th of March 2017.

CEIBS which according to Alumni and analysts is unparalleled in preparing internationals to do business in and with China, has 19,000 Alumni globally and was founded by the Chinese government and European union in 1994.

CEIBS Alumni Event
L-R: Head of SME banking, Stanbic IBTC Bank,Obinna Ukachukwu ; Council Member China Europe International Business School, Alumni Nigeria Chapter,Mrs Omoyemi Chukwurah; Acting President CEIBS/Group Head Private Sector, eTranzact, Mr Sunday Adebayo Agboola; Head,Business Development, Sales and Marketing, Africa, CEIBS Dr. Thelma Opara and Professor Mathew Tsamenyi, Professor of Accounting and Academic Director, Africa,CEIBS =during the reunion and Induction ceremony of CEIBS Alumni Association, Nigeria Chapter held in Lagos.

The reunion and induction ceremony was organized by the CEIBS Nigeria chapter headed by acting President, Mr Adebayo Sunday Agboola, Group Head, Private Sector, eTranzact International PLC and also had in attendance, Head of SME banking, Stanbic IBTC Bank,Obinna Ukachukwu , Head,Business Development, Sales and Marketing, Africa,CEIBS, Dr. Thelma Opara and Professor Mathew Tsamenyi. Professor of Accounting and Academic Director, Africa,CEIBS.

CEIBS Alumni Event 2

The event allowed the acting president of the Nigeria Alumni chapter to share his vision and mission with the Alumni body comprising of captains of various industries and graduates of CEIBS’s Global Executive MBA, Women Entrepreneurship & Leadership for Africa Programme (WELA) and the FCMBA.

In his address, the acting president, Sunday Adebayo Agboola thanked all the members for working hard to make the event a success.

He said; “As Alumni of CEIBS, we play a key role in extending the opportunity we enjoyed with CEIBS to other Africans. We have a lot of work to do in establishing and maintaining the CEIBS brand in Africa especially at a time where Asia- Africa relations are on the rise and more synergies for growth are emerging.

Today, we will be inducting new members into the Alumni as well as creating committees that will help us realize our goals”.

CEIBS Alumni 3

The Alumni body also came together to present a cheque of N3 million naira to Mrs Adebimpe Talabi, the wife of the late president of the Nigerian Alumni chapter.

The CEIBS Africa project was launched in 2008 with a mission to prepare highly competent innovation oriented managers and executives who are capable of leading and growing their organisations in the increasingly dynamic African economic environment. These are leaders who are capable of negotiating the forces of globalisation and international competition for the benefit of their organisations.

Practical Steps to Improving IT Governance in Africa

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Information Technology (IT) has in recent years emerged as the support for change and growth in both public and private sectors of many of the world’s economies. Organizations that have embraced IT from a strategic approach have reaped big benefits evidenced by the scaling up of the markets, ease of innovation and automation.

Africa, as the newest emerging economy has its share of opportunities signaled by IT and is continuing to roll out many of its enterprises on the platform of technology.

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY STRATEGIES & BEST PRACTICES, is a book by Stanley Mwangi Chege that discusses practical steps to improving IT governance in Africa. The author examines the conduct of African enterprises towards the digital agenda and what the future portends for the continent as a member of the global economy.

“The book shares insightful content on IT best practices and strategies that can be leveraged by boards directors, business executives or IT managers to transform their organizations. It can also be employed by business students and professors in universities to teach practical skills”, says Dr. Waudo Siganga, Chairman, Computer Society of Kenya.

Inside the book you’ll find; Top IT Management Concerns in Africa, IT Human Resources Considerations in Africa, IT Change Management Challenges in Africa, IT Process practices in Africa, and much more.

To get your copy of the e-book click here.

KejaHunt now not only helps you FIND a house, but also MOVE into that house.

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If you have lived in the streets of Nairobi, you will surely know how hard it is to find a house. You have to start by knowing where to start searching, walking around the estates, haggling with clueless agents all the while surviving the blazing sun. (Why is it this hot nowadays!!). To add to that, after you find a house, you have to start searching for a moving service all over again. aargh.

Well, in an announcement made today, Kejahunt will begin offering moving services on their platform, through a deeper integration with their sister company Kejamove. Kejamove offers professional home and office relocation services to clients across the country.

Brief background
As a background, Kejahunt, launched way back in 2014 after incubation at The Nailab. They are on record as being one of the startups to make quite a number of pivots, most of which we’ve covered here on Techmoran:

  • February 2014
    Launched as a property listing company: http://techmoran.com/ceo-weekends-kejahunt-com-wants-to-eliminate-unscrupulous-property-agents-in-kenya/
  • February 2015
    Pivoted to the Custom House Search model: http://techmoran.com/kejahunt-hits-one-year-ditches-freemium-save-time/
  • October 2015
    Introduced Office Searches

Speaking to techmoran, Kejahunt CEO Joshua Mutua had this to say:www.kejahunt.com

“Our promise has always been to make our users happy, by solving, not their second or third problem, but but their No. 1 problem. And after we helped them find a house, they clearly told us that starting the process altogether of  finding a credible yet affordable moving service to move into that house was the new number one problem. That is why we’ve now built a deeper integration with our sister company Kejamove to help you request a House Move straight from the kejahunt website.”

To do that, you can simply visit kejahunt.com and select “Get a Professional Moving service”.

All in all, Kejahunt is likely to face some competition from some of the other moving companies; let’s wait and see how they handle this.

Communication Authority of Kenya Warns Broadcasters Against Political Propaganda as Kenya Approaches General Election

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The Communication Authority of Kenya reminds broadcasters on the regulatory requirements governing the responsible use of broadcasting platforms as the General Election approaches. As such it warns broadcasting stations not to incite propaganda for war, incite violence and spread hate speech.

The Programming Code for free-to-air radio and television services in Kenya that came into effect on 1st July 2016, outlines the “Election Period” to mean the period between publication of a notice by the electoral body for a Presidential, Parliamentary or County election and the gazettement of the election results.

According to the Code, radio and television broadcasters have an obligation to serve the public interest at all times. This includes provision of equitable coverage and opportunities to registered political parties participating in an election.

Punishment to those who contravene these guidelines set by the code-by encouraging political messages that contain attacks on individuals, their families, ethnic background, race, religion or their associations-will include revocation of licenses and frequency spectrum.

Media houses are expected to adhere to professional standards and should not use their platforms to propagate misleading information to the public.

“As the country approaches the General Election in 2017, the Communications Authority of Kenya wishes to remind broadcasters on the regulatory provisions governing the responsible use of broadcasting platforms,” says CA chairman, Mr. Gituku. “The Authority expects the Broadcasters to abide by the provisions in the Code in relation to election period and political parties. This is not only a legal requirement but also the public responsibility of the media to uphold the democratic principles of our nation particularly during the election period,” he added.

Similarly the Kenya Information and Communications (Broadcasting) Regulations, 2009 provide guidelines for the “polling period” which covers the period when national general elections are held, election campaigns, the post-election and referendum periods.

Section 25 of the Regulations calls on licensees to;

“(a) provide equitable coverage and opportunities to registered political parties participating in an election and in particular to presidential candidates; (b) ensure that the name of the political party or sponsor, if any, on whose behalf a broadcast is made, is announced, immediately before the commencement and immediately after such broadcast; (c) ensure that the employees of a licensee who wish to be candidates for any elective position(s) resign from their employment with the licensee during polling period”

You can read the full press statement here.

Efritin Shuts Down Operations In Nigeria; Lays off Staff and Sells Off Assets Amidst Lawsuits.

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Saltside‘s online classifieds company, Efritin Nigeria is officially shutting down operations this week in Nigeria, with staff already vacating their head office in Ikeja and office property auctioned among staff. The company website is still online while the central team gradually informs partners and merchants on its platform.

efritin-website

In November, we reported that its former marketing manager had accused Somalian national and former MD of Efritin.com, Zakaria Hersi of stealing thousands of dollars, turning a blind eye to internal mismanagement and false fully creating invoice trails.

Information from some senior members of Management who plead anonymity say that Zakaria Hersi’s activities were the beginning of the end for Efritin Nigeria as they struggled to raise further investment to scale the business leaving current CEO Gbenro Dara with a very difficult job of managing public and internal perception. 10 court cases in Nigeria that would cost the company up to N20million in fees among other things caused the central CEO to finally make the decision to close the company.

gbenro-dada efritin
Gbenro Dada, Current MD of Efritin Nigeria

Members of staff at the central level of Efritin in Dubai were affected as well as part of job cuts in the company.

In January 2015, Saltside Technologies, the parent firm of Efritin and Ghana’s Tonaton secured a $40 million investment led by Chinese equity investor Hillhouse Capital with participation of Bangladesh’s PE firm Brummer & Partners and existing lead shareholder Investment AB Kinnevik to reinforce its market leadership positions and expand into new frontier markets. Ironically, this is the money that has caused Efritin’s death.