Addressing Exchange Control Limitations: Why reforms are urgently needed to reduce SMEs setting up shop offshore to secure venture capital.
The SA Startup Act Movement in partnership with the UK South Africa Tech Hub and Allan & Gill Gray Philanthropies SA has published a thought leadership article on the importance of addressing exchange control limitations in South Africa to drive socio-economic development.
South Africa's exchange control legislation has deterred foreign direct investment (FDI) from international venture capital (VC) funders over the past 15 years. This legislation is seen as a barrier to the growth of local startups, leading to job stagnation and reduced contributions to the economy. The need for international investment is stressed, as the domestic venture capital market is relatively small. Advocacy efforts, such as the SA Startup Act Movement, aim to reform these regulations. The passage cites examples of other African countries enacting startup acts to attract foreign investment. It also highlights successful initiatives and expresses hope for future changes in exchange control legislation, emphasizing that inaction would hinder SMEs' economic contribution and inclusive growth.
Early-stage VC in South Africa: The time to unlock socio-economic development is now
The SA Startup Act Movement in partnership with the UK South Africa Tech Hub and Allan & Gill Gray Philanthropies SA has published a thought leadership article on the importance of early-stage venture capital (VC) funding in South Africa to drive socio-economic development. It highlights South Africa's potential, its startup ecosystem, and the role of early-stage funding in nurturing innovation.
The article also addresses challenges and fluctuations in VC funding, as well as recent developments aimed at supporting startups in the country, such as the potential Startup Act and the Innovation Fund. It concludes with a call to action for various stakeholders to collaborate in boosting early-stage funding and innovation in South Africa. Startup Acts to support the growth of their tech-enabled startups.
South Africa Startup Act Progress Report 2022/23
The SA Startup Act Movement in partnership with the UK South Africa Tech Hub and Allan & Gill Gray Philanthropies SA have the pleasure of publishing the South Africa Startup Act Progress Report 2022/23. This report, written by industry leaders contains startup trends in the investment, innovation, policy and entrepreneur support sectors.
This year's report primarily focuses on the progress and benefits to the startup ecosystems of different countries in Africa and Brazil that have successfully enacted Startup Acts to support the growth of their tech-enabled startups.
The UK-SA Tech Hub Support SA Startup Act Movement Growth with Second Round of Funding
The UK-SA Tech Hub has provided a second round of funding, supporting the movement's efforts to engage the government and push for policy reforms. Michael Avery hosts Matsi Modise as he discusses the need for reforms to create a conducive business environment for startups. They highlight the positive impact of addressing these challenges and encouraging private sector participation in innovation and entrepreneurship.
SA Startup Act Movement Chairperson, Matsi Modise as she unpacks our partnership with the UK-South Africa Tech Hub
SA Startup Act Chairperson Matsi Modise talks to eNCA host Rofhiwa Madzena about the challenges facing small businesses and startups in South Africa as well as the need for progressive policies to support high-growth, high-impact startups. Among others, they discuss engagement with government officials and partnerships such as the UK-SA tech hub's impact on funding the SA Startup Act Movement.
Thought Leadership Article:
"Open SA for Business with Startup and Remote Worker Visas: A much-needed step for economic growth."
The SA Startup Act Movement in partnership with the UK-SA Tech Hub and the Allan and Gill Gray Philanthropies SA has published a Thought Leadership Article on the need for Startup and Remote Worker Visas to boost economic growth, close the wide skills gap and stimulate knowledge and skills transfer in South Africa.
Case Studies on the Regulatory impact on the growth of South African Startups
The SA Startup Act Movement, with support from FSD Africa, commissioned a case study report to share the real-life experiences and challenges of high-growth startups in South Africa navigating the policy landscape. This research will be used to make the business case for startup policy reforms, as stipulated in the SA Startup Act Position Paper 2021.
The research is intended to:
- Showcase real life case studies of the experiences of startups with domestic investments and the challenges experienced when raising foreign investments.
- Make the case for special tax dispensation for qualifying startups to increase availability of financial capital.
- Make the case for employment flexibility and special skills visas to help startups attract and retain high-skilled talent and enable them to be globally competitive.
- Make the case to address Exchange Control Limitations, which will help alleviate limitations on offshore movement of South African Intellectual Property, and limitations placed on the amounts of money moved offshore.
- Outline the value proposition of the recommended startup policy reforms to various stakeholders.
Open SA for Business with a Startup and Remote Worker Visa - Webinar
The SA Startup Act Movement in partnership with the UK-South Africa Tech Hub and Allan and Gill Gray Philanthropy SA bring you this webinar which uses Estonia’s successful Startup Visa as a case study on the benefits of a Startup Visa to attract new skills and investments. We interrogate the benefits of Startup and Remote Worker Visas for international entrepreneurs, understand their practicality and feasibility in the South African context and how to improve our processes for a contemporary policy framework.
The Start up Act South Africa - Presentation
Tunisia and Senegal have paved the way with their Startup Act regulations and we believe, as a collective of entrepreneurs, investors, incubators, accelerators that there is a phenomenal opportunity to set up similar regulations in South Africa to accelerate the digital economy.
Smile FM interview with Matsi Modise
The SA Startup Act Steerco Chairperson, Matsi Modise chats to @Smile90.4FM host Bernito Vergotine to discuss the proposed policy amendments, some of which are the startup and remote working Visa, and the reduction of red tape that are currently preventing startups from scaling their businesses and, ultimately, creating jobs.
Incentives to Encourage Investment in Early-stage Startups
Our 4th webinar in the SA Startup Act Movement webinar series unpacks the recommendation made in the SA Startup Act Position Paper 2021: "Provide tax breaks and incentives to encourage investment in Qualifying Startups". The session was excellently moderated by Tumi Makhubele from SiMODiSA, who was joined by Shelley Lotz of SAVCA, Tafadzwa Madavo of Riversands i-Hub and Keet van Zyl of Knife Capital. The panelists share their insights on possible incentives for Venture Capital Companies and ideas to effectively manage the incentives, with learnings from the failures of S12j. The discussion also highlights some of the challenges experienced by early stage startups trying to raise capital in South Africa and shares some ideas to encourage more risk investments and capital into early stage startups.
Amendments to the B-BBEE codes to Enable Fair Access to Markets
The ‘SA Startup Act Position Paper 2021’ proposes the automatic relaxation in the extent of BBBEE scrutiny for the purposes of procurement and supply chain grading, enabling quicker access to the supply chains of Corporate South Africa and the public sector.
Watch the third webinar on ‘Amendments to the BBBEE codes to Enable Fair Access to Markets’ moderated by Andile Khumalo CA(SA) of KhumaloCo, where entrepreneurs, Dr. Aisha Pandor of SweepSouth and Ingrid Osborne of Saryx Engineering, raised some of their limitations with B-BBEE compliance and B-BBEE consultant, Ajay Lalu shared potential areas of amendments to the current B-BBEE Codes.
Pan-African Startup Acts Webinar
Watch the second SA Startup Act webinar on Pan-African Startup Acts in partnership with UK-South Africa Tech Hub. We discuss best practices and recommendations for drafting a Startup Act that enables high-growth, high-impact innovative startups with four key startup leaders, Noomane Fehri (Tunisia), Victor Otieno (Kenya), Kasim Sodangi (Nigeria) and Alison Collier (South Africa) who were instrumental in the drafting of their country’s Startup Acts.
Power FM interview with Alison Collier
Listen to the Power FM interview as SA Startup Act Steering Committee member and MD at Endeavor South Africa, Alison Collier chats to Power FM host, Noluthando Mthonti. The interview discusses the need for ease of doing business in SA, reduction of red-tape and how we can enable high-growth startups to attract international capital investments.
SA Startup Act Business Visa Webinar
In partnership with the UK-South Africa Tech Hub, the SA Startup Act Movement hosted a webinar on possible amendments to existing policies surrounding the current SA Business Visa. Steering Committee Chairperson of the SA Startup Act Movement, Matsi Modise moderated the webinar with an expert panel of high-growth startup entrepreneurs, Finn Plotz and Brandon Paschal, and a special contribution from Graham Peachy, Senior Policy Advisor for the UK Home Office.