SA Startup Act representatives meet with President Cyril Ramaphosa

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Representatives from the South African Startup Act Steering Committee last week held a meeting that included President Cyril Ramaphosa to discuss what is needed to eliminate the red tape obstructing the growth of small and medium enterprises in the country. 

The first specific startup law globally was passed in Italy in 2012, and Tunisia and Senegal were the first two African countries to enact them. A host of countries, including Mali, Ghana, Ivory Coast, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Rwanda and Kenya, are at varying stages of enactment. 

In South Africa, a steering committee comprised of representatives from AfricArena, Digital Collective Africa, Endeavor South Africa, i4Policy, Loudhailer, the Southern African Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (SAVCA), Silicon Cape, SiMODiSA and Wesgro, has been set up to help establish a local Startup Act, and some of them were invited to attend a meeting last week to discuss policies and proposals needed to enact change in entrepreneurial growth.

Matsi Modise, founder of Furaha Afrika Holdings, vice-chairperson of SiMODiSA, and chairperson of the SA Startup Act Steering Committee, indicated to the President that there was no better time than now for South Africa to reposition itself as a gateway for high impact, high growth technology entrepreneurship on the continent.

“In order for South Africa to be an attractive destination for investors, talent and entrepreneurs, we must implement a Startup Act which will be an all-encompassing pathway for South Africa to be an African startup nation,” she said.

Ramaphosa himself seemed to agree on the importance of enacting some form of legislation.

“With regards to the South African Startup Act, I would like us to consider that. If we are serious about promoting entrepreneurship, we need to think about how we boost startup activity,” he said.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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