Silicon Cape, Huawei Cloud pact targets start-ups

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Stone He, president for the Huawei Cloud Business in Southern Africa.
Stone He, president for the Huawei Cloud Business in Southern Africa.

Silicon Cape, the non-profit and community-driven initiative that supports and catalyses the creation of a sustainable tech and entrepreneurial ecosystem in South Africa, has partnered with Huawei Cloud to empower start-up companies.

In a statement, Silicon Cape says this union comes at a time when SA is opening its gates to allow for economic growth, following two years of the COVID-19 pandemic that left a dent in the country’s economy.

Together, Silicon Cape and Huawei Cloud will provide entrepreneurs and start-ups with a platform to grow their innovative ideas, thus contributing to the growth of the country’s economy.

According to the organisations, an average of 50% of all start-up businesses in SA fail within 24 months due to the inability and inexperience of their owners.

Vusi Thembekwayo, co-chairperson of Silicon Cape, says: “This partnership is a step in the right direction, not just for start-ups and entrepreneurs who are making a positive change, but also for the advocacy of our economy.

“South Africa is a country with rich talent that needs to be nurtured, whether financially or educationally. Through this new venture, systematic barriers of financial background and race will be tackled, as we strive toward a reformed entrepreneurial ecosystem.”

Silicon Cape notes government, along with corporates and institutions, play a vital role in the development of start-ups and their sustainability.

It points out that the work of all other institutions included in the start-up ecosystem is directly conditioned by the measures and laws government adopts, and their influence is critical for start-up companies to succeed.

While funding is regarded as the biggest challenge facing start-ups, the non-profit organisation says there is still a major gap that institutions can bridge to help start-ups. Support can include mentoring, financial, business model assistance and incubation.

“Just like start-ups, we need to be innovative in how we can grow the entrepreneurial ecosystem. There is always a gap that institutions can fill to empower start-ups and play a role in the development of our country,” Thembekwayo adds.

Huawei Cloud president (Southern Africa) Stone He says: “As a technological institution, we saw an opportunity to introduce individuals and groups with invaluable resources that will help them accelerate and elevate their companies.

“Through this initiative, we want to empower and enable start-ups, as they grow their businesses through the adoption of cloud. As technology advances, all businesses need to position themselves with the ongoing developments in order to stay afloat and remain competitive in the market. We believe the power of our cloud will springboard these organisations into the era of digitalisation.”

During the initiative, Huawei Cloud will host a cohort of approximately 20 start-ups, taking them through the ins and outs of cloud adoption to accelerate their companies.

According to Silicon Cape, this platform will educate and equip start-ups with the relevant tools necessary to facilitate their innovative ideas.

Says He: “This is a great opportunity for Huawei, with the support of Silicon Cape, to contribute and give back to upcoming talent.

“In an effort to continue offering start-ups the support they need, Huawei Cloud will be hosting a series of masterclasses and roundtables that are open to the public, which will focus on the importance of embracing the era of digitalisation, cloud adoption and joint value creation.”

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