This June, Seedstars World returns to South Africa in its quest to find the most innovative start-up in the country. The annual Switzerland-based competition is dedicated to the promotion and support of entrepreneurship in emerging markets as a way to reduce unemployment, and so stimulate economic growth.
It is a well-documented fact that higher levels of entrepreneurial activity stimulate economic activity through job creation, wealth generation and the subsequent encouragement of connected sectors and industries.
What is especially important in emerging economies – and particularly sought-after by the Seedstars judging panel – is social entrepreneurship; the exploitation of opportunities that not only benefit the entrepreneur with capital profits, but that also benefit and ultimately uplift greater society.
Giraffe, the winner of the 2015 global Seedstars Summit, embodies this socially conscious spirit. After competing against South Africa’s best start-ups, Shafin Anwarsha and Anish Shivdasani (two former management consultants) were invited to Switzerland to represent their start-up at the final. The judges saw the obvious value in their mobile app that enables businesses to hire medium-skilled staff quickly and cheaply, and connects job seekers to potential work opportunities, thus helping to fight unemployment. Giraffe was awarded US$500 000 in prize money and made valuable contacts in the business world.
According to Mr Anwarsha, winning the Seedstars Summit gave Giraffe massive exposure, resulting in much interest from potential investors, partners and collaborators.
Marcello Schermer, Regional Manager for Africa at Seedstars World, says Giraffe’s win proves that South Africa has world-class entrepreneurial talent, and that this year’s competition is about casting the net even wider to give the opportunity to the whole country to participate and become part of a global journey.
Seedstars World operates in 60 countries - including South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, Botswana and Ethiopia - bringing together entrepreneurs, investors, mentors and corporates to positively impact lives and whole communities.
Standard Bank is a proud sponsor of the Seedstars initiative. We understand that our sustainability and success is linked to the long-term sustainability and success of Africa’s economies – the economies in which we operate – and this is why it is critical to mobilise support and exposure for start-ups such as Giraffe and others.
Visit Seedstars for more information about the start-up competition.