Silicon Cape and Huawei Cloud Join Forces to Empower SA Startups

Silicon Cape, the non-profit and community-driven initiative that supports and catalyses the creation of sustainable tech and entrepreneurial ecosystem in South Africa, has partnered with the leading global provider of information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure, Huawei Cloud.

This union comes at a time when South Africa is opening its gates to allow for economic growth following two years of the Covid19 pandemic that left a dent in the country’s economy. Together, Silicon Cape and Huawei Cloud will provide entrepreneurs and startups with a platform to grow their innovative ideas, thus contributing to the growth of the country’s economy. An average of 50 % of all start-up businesses in South Africa fail within 24 months due to the inability and inexperience of their owners.1

Co-Chairperson of Silicon Cape Vusi Thembekwayo says: “This partnership is a step in the right direction not just for startups 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”

The government, along with corporates and institutions play a vital role in the development of startups and their sustainability. The work of all other institutions which are included in the startup ecosystem is directly conditioned by the measures and laws that the government adopts, and their influence is critical for startup companies to succeed. While funding is regarded as the biggest challenge facing startups, there is still a major gap that institutions can bridge to help startups. The support that institutions gave to startup companies are broad types such as mentoring and connecting, and financial and functional types for example business model assistance and incubation.2

“Just like startups, we need to be innovative in how we can grow the entrepreneurial ecosystem. There is always a gap that institutions can fill to empower startups 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 startups, 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 be hosting a cohort of approximately 20 startups and taking them through the ins and outs of cloud adoption to accelerate their companies. This platform will educate and equip startups with the relevant tools necessary to facilitate their innovative ideas.
He concludes by saying: “We believe that Huawei Cloud will be offer these brilliant startups, exactly what they need to place them in the market. 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 startups the support they need, Huawei Cloud will also be hosting a series of masterclasses and roundtables that are open to the public, which will also focus on the importance of embracing the era of digitalisation, cloud adoption and joint value creation. Interested Startups are encouraged to make use of the opportunity and apply to take part in the initiative”.