News, Upcoming Events

Letter from the MD

Warm Greeting friends of SiMODiSA
Wathint’ abafaz’, wathint’ imbokodo.  ‘When you strike the women, you strike a rock’. A very strong phrase that is reminiscent of the strength and courage of South African women in 1956 who marched to the Union Building in Pretoria to protest the carry of the Pass Books.

Globally the growth and prominence of women in high leadership positions has increased significantly. Angela Merkel, the first female Chancellor of Germany; Hillary Clinton, the 2016 USA Democratic Presidential candidate; Teresa May the newly appointed Prime Minister of the United Kingdom; and Christine Lagarde the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund; are a clear indication that women are taking their rightful places in the upper echelons of the business world.

Locally we can be inspired by a new breed and new generation of female entrepreneurs. The Founder of, Aisha Pandor; the founder of Rekindle Learning, Rapelang Rabana and the founder of SMEeasy, Darlene Menzies. These are modern age entrepreneurs that are using technology as an enabler and delivery platform for their products and services. With the fourth industrial revolution wave taking over, they are at the forefront of modern African solutions for Global problems.
In this month’s newsletter, we celebrate the women who are leaders and pioneers of industries. These women have defied the odds, chartered their own paths and they are luminaries in their respective fields. We hope to inspire you with their stories and achievements.
We are counting down the days to LeaderEX, our country’s biggest Start-Up conference on the 24th August 2016. Get your FREE ticket by going to

We encourage you to continue to participate in our 2016 catalyzing and amplification programmes and activities. Visit us regularly on to find out about our regular activities, follow us on twitter @SiMODiSA_SA, Facebook Simodisa Association and Instagram @simodisa_sa or call the office for more information +27 11 037 4536.
Have a great month ahead.

- Matsi Modise
Ecosystem Feature

WDB Investment Holdings (WDBIH) is one of the leading women empowerment companies in South Africa.  Its vision is the economic empowerment and financial inclusion of South African women. Since its establishment in 1996, WDBIH has invested in businesses where there are opportunities to contribute to the strategy and growth of its investments.  WDBIH also assists its investee companies in the development and support of small and medium-size businesses within their value chain.
In advancing entrepreneurship, WDBIH has provided capital to small- and medium-sized businesses (SME) through its enterprise development fund, which provides loans ranging from R50,000 to R300,000, business support and access to markets.  WDBIH recently took a 30% equity stake in Seed Engine, which in turn is raising an impact fund (WDB Seed Fund) of R100million which will fund early and growth stage entrepreneurs.  Through this fund WDB will significantly grow its impact in the SME sector.

For more information, please visit their webiste
Women Pioneers
Chantal du Chenne is an entrepreneur who aims to revolutionize access to quality primary healthcare and disease management for the medically uninsured population and to touch lives across Africa and the globe through our technology. She founded mHealthCo after identifying a gap in the market for a blue collar worker healthcare solution that offers 100% value and no monthly insurance premiums. The mHealthCo solution enables an employee health benefit with predictable capped pre-paid spend on once off Primary Health Care events.The complete platform and e-health vouchering solution bridges the gap between the provisioning of and access to quality healthcare services. With a positive impact on business bottom line.
More information available here
Fumani Mthembi is a founding member of the Pele Energy Group. She is the Managing Director of its research and development subsidiary, Knowledge Pele.
Knowledge Pele (KP) is the leading source of knowledge on the needs and assets of energy communities based on interviews with over 6000 community members from across South Africa. Knowledge Pele has worked with academic teams from universities such as Yale, Cambridge and Cape Town, further enhancing its research prowess. As a consequence, KP has advised some of the world’s largest power companies on their socio-economic development strategies.
Lesley Scott, as co-founder and director of The Fruit Cube, has seen her business grow rapidly since launching in 2014. Passionate about healthy eating and active living, she and co-founder, Andrew, wanted to make healthier snacking at offices an effortless, key element of employee wellbeing. By combining online orders with convenient weekly office deliveries, The Fruit Cube provides a smart, simple way for companies to invest in their human capital by providing the ongoing and very tangible benefit of having seasonal, top quality fruit at the workplace.
        The Finance Corner    
Need equipment or business services?

Since the launch of finfind’s Access to Finance portal ( at the end of 2015, more than 1600 small businesses have taken the finance readiness quiz to be linked with lenders.  The data shows that the most common reason why small businesses are wanting to access finance is to start a business, closely followed by requiring finance to purchase equipment.
The good news is that there are 55 funds to assist small businesses with startup finance and more than 70 funds available to fund equipment! Whilst most of these provide loans, there are a couple of cost–sharing grants from government to help small businesses that need equipment or need to pay for selected business services. To read more about the funding options available to buy equipment visit and to see a list of lenders that fund equipment go to the ‘Find Lender’ section at To access the information you will need to register with a username and password and answer questions about the business needing finance. The answers you provide are used to filter finfind’s comprehensive lender database and display only the funds that match your specific needs.

July Event Highlights
To celebrate 'Mandela Month', SiMODiSA and partners hosted a Social Entrepreneurship masterclass themed 'Profit with a Purpose' on the 28th July 2016. Speakers for this event included Janice Johnston (Edge Growth), Gary Kayle (The Money School), Bandile Dlabantu (Khepri Innovations) and Wayne Duvenage (OUTA).
The video for the discussion will be uploaded on our YouTube channel


SiMODiSA in partnership with The Department of Science and Technology and AlphaCode hosted an Industry Thought Leadership Dinner themed 'The Path to Enabling South African Technology'. The main discussion revolved around 'What roles can the Private Sector plat in Commercialising South African Technology?'
The dinner was attended by key public and private sector stakeholders in the Technology sector.

Ecosystem News

LeaderEX is Africa's largest gathering of executives, professionals and entrepreneurs that will showcase numerous exhibitors that can help you to achieve your leadership, career and business goals. SiMODiSA will curate the Biggest Start-Up Programme which will give you an opportunity tap into the minds of entrepreneurs who have successfully started and scaled their businesses. Find out how to access funding, capture the right market and navigate red tape.There's also an opportunity to walk through the exhibitions , where you'll have access to information about funding, incubation, acceleration and business support services.
Get your FREE early bird ticket here

SiMODiSA Entrepreneurship Survey    
South African startups have been invited to complete a survey launched by startup support association SiMODiSA in order to start a debate on relevant challenges in the local entrepreneurial ecosystemThe aim of the survey is to bring together the thoughts of South African entrepreneurs in order to shed some light on what is positive and negative about the country’s startup ecosystem. There was an opportunity to win a ticket to the #VentureTrain Forum, a unique networking and brainstorming event on the Shosholoza Meyl Premier Classe Train. The winner was announced by SiMODiSA on the 1st August 2016.

9 key lessons derived from 150 startups
What’s most important for the success of your project? Is it the team? funding? timing? idea? business model? Bill Gross, one of the most brilliant entrepreneurs of this century, had a compelling answer – one that changes one's views on the formula for success... read more

What is a business incubator?   
This five-month practical business programme offers R45 000 worth of entrepreneurial training focused on growing and formalising your business while building it into an asset.
Interested? Register on the National Mentorship Movement Website. If you qualify, you will be sent an invite via email  to attend one of our weekly LaunchPad events in Johannesburg.

Upcoming Events
SiMODiSA@LeaderEX - An event for Leaders
Date:  24 August 2016
Time: 10:00 - 17:30
Place: Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg 
your FREE ticket here
Path to Scale - A Masterclass  on Leading Scale Ups
Date:   15-17 August 2016
Time:   10:00 - 18:00
Venue: The Focus Rooms, Sunninghill
More info here

Bootcamp- Scaling Peak Performance
Date:    23 August 2016
Time:   10:00 - 18:00

For more info, click here
DEMO Africa 
Date:    25 - 26 August 2016
Time:   09:00am
Venue: Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg
More information and tickets available here
Smart Community Hackathon
Date:  19 - 20 August 2016
Time: 17:00
Place: The Barn Khayelitsha, Lookout Hill, Corner Mew Way

          Cape Town
For more info, click 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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