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Applications open for 2024 Africa’s Business Heroes competition

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Applications are now open for the 2024 cohort of the Africa’s Business Heroes (ABH) Prize Competition in continuation of its sixth annual continental search for 10 entrepreneurs who strive to make a positive impact in their local communities.

Zahra Baitie, Head of Partnerships & Programs, Africa’s Business Heroes, who made the announcement, said since its inception in 2019, ABH had spotlighted and supported some of Africa’s brightest entrepreneurial minds, noting that this year’s edition would be no different.

In a statement on Monday, Baitie noted that the ABH top 10 finalists also known as “Heroes” have, over the last five years, created 123,000 direct and indirect jobs in Africa, while serving over 37.5 million customers in Africa and beyond and have raised over $153 million.

“As ABH enters its sixth year, it is calling on entrepreneurs across Africa to pitch on the biggest entrepreneurial stage in the continent,” he said.

Applications are open to entrepreneurs from all 54 countries, from all business sectors, of all ages and genders.

“Along with invaluable benefits such as training, exposure and networking opportunities, the top 10 finalists will also compete for their share of $1.5 million in grant money.

“Over the past five years, we’ve had the privilege of witnessing the incredible growth of our Heroes. Many of our Heroes have leveraged the grant funds to expand their geographic footprint, hire talent, grow their operations and invest in new products and services.

”It’s been heart-warming to see our Heroes collaborate with each other and to tap into the ABH network of judges and experts.

“We are motivated to continue to play our part in supporting the African entrepreneurial ecosystem. We are calling on all eligible African entrepreneurs who are creating positive impact to join us in this journey!”

Baitie added that applications for the ABH 2024 are open from until May 19, with the top 50 finalists to be announced in July.

The final winners will be unveiled at the Grand Finale in November, Baitie concluded.

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MTN, Vodacom remain South Africa’s most valuable brands— Report

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A report released on Tuesday by global brand valuation consultancy, Brand Finance, has rated telecom giants, MTN and Vodacom, as the most valuable brands in South Africa.

According to the report, MTN is still the standout company, maintaining its position as the most valuable South African brand, despite experiencing an 8% decrease in brand value to ZAR68.2 billion.

Part of the report noted that the telecommunications company has significantly “expanded outside of its home market and has a stronghold in Nigeria, which is now MTN’s largest market in terms of both user base and revenue.”

“On the other hand, Vodacom’s brand value increased 10% to ZAR43.9 billion in 2024,” it said.

“This secures its second place in the ranking, while also narrowing the gap with leading competitor MTN.”

The Brand Finance research indicates that the influence of majority shareholder Vodafone has bolstered Vodacom’s brand and market standing.

Although Vodacom operates autonomously and is listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, Brand Finance data reveals that Vodacom’s association with Vodafone enhances brand equity, cultivating recognition and trust.

“Amid the myriad of challenges that South African businesses are facing, our research highlights that now, more than ever, brand consistency is crucial in driving growth,” the report endorsed by Jeremy Sampson, Chairman, Brand Finance Africa, stated.

“For the past fifteen years, MTN and Vodacom have consistently maintained their positions as the top two most valuable brands and six of the top ten brands have stayed in the top ten.

“Leading brands like MTN, Vodacom, Standard Bank, and Absa have also nearly doubled their brand values since 2016.

“Time and time again, our findings underscore the critical need to prioritise brand investment as a strategic imperative, safeguarding companies’ brand as a valuable asset for the future,” it added.

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Nigerian healthtech startup Remedial Health launches app with digital POS, barcode scanner

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Nigerian healthcare startup, Remedial Health, has announced the launching of a new app with digital point of sales (POS) and barcode for neighbourhood pharmacies and Proprietary Patent Medicine Vendors (PPMVs) across Africa.

Co-founder and CEO of Remedial Health, Samuel Okwuada, who disclosed this in a statement, said the new “app comes with a digital POS terminal to support payment collection, virtual business accounts to receive payments.”

“It also has an in-built barcode scanner feature for recording product sales and store-switch functionality to enable the seamless management of multiple stores, as well as inventory management solutions for restocking and easily identifying short-dated products.”

Okwuada added that the app also offers comprehensive financial reporting to manage profit and loss, and data analytics to inform decision making.

“Neighbourhood pharmacies and PPMVs represent the frontline of healthcare delivery in Africa but they have historically been left to their own devices to figure out how to be efficient and profitable,” he said.

“Our mission is to empower these essential service providers with the tools they need to manage day-to-day operations and seamlessly run their practices effectively.

“We spent a lot of time interacting with our customers in the process of delivering this product and the feedback has been great.

“We are excited by the opportunity to get the app into the hands of pharmacies and PPMVs across the country to support their ongoing success, as well as the health and wellbeing of the nation.

“Our customers can also access same-day delivery and leverage inventory financing to minimise cash-flow friction for routine orders and maximise sales opportunities.”

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