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How South Africa continues to produce quality wines in the face of challenges

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When I had my first major encounter with South African wines at CapeWine 2015, I was happy to report that according to the International Organization of Vine and Wine (OIV) South Africa ranked 7th among the biggest wine-producing countries in the world.  However with years of drought combined with other challenges, that rank has dropped over the years.

I found this out from my recent visit to South Africa on the invitation of WESGRO, the official Tourism, Trade & Investment promotion agency for Cape Town and the Western Cape. It was however pleasant to note that the quality of wines from South Africa, and the passion with which winemakers produce these wines have not dwindled in any way! In fact, the quality keeps improving.

In the company of wine buyers, each from Ghana and Mozambique, the weeklong trip to the Western Cape added immensely to my existing knowledge of wines, as I experienced again a bit more of the harvest season for South African wineries, and what goes on in the cellar before we finally get our wines.

South Africa is located at the tip of Africa, with most wine regions located near the coastal influences of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, combining good soil and weather conditions for growing good vines for wine. During the harvest months of February and March, the average daily temperatures in many South African wine regions is 23 °C with spikes up to 40 °C. I experienced both the cold and the warm weathers during my stay.

Winemaking could be broken into these 5 major steps!

Harvesting

Harvesting is the first step in the wine making process. Winemakers often use the sugar and acid levels of the grape as a guide in determining ripeness. The moment the grapes are picked determines the acidity, sweetness, and flavor of the wine. Harvesting can be done by hand or mechanically. However proper sorting out of healthy grapes and unripe or rotted bunches are carried out at the winemaking facility. Despite the costs, most of the wineries we visited preferred the use of human workers to handpick grapes.

Crushing and Pressing

The harvested grapes are sorted and ready to be de-stemmed and crushed. Mechanical presses stomp the grapes into freshly pressed grape juice that contains the skins, seeds, and solids. For white wine, the wine maker will quickly crush and press the grapes in order to separate the juice from the skins, seeds, and solids. However for red wine, it is left in contact with the skins to acquire flavour, colour, and additional tannins.

Fermentation

Yeast is added for fermentation, to ensure consistency and predict the end result. Fermentation continues until all of the sugar is converted into alcohol and dry wine is produced. To create a sweet wine, winemakers will sometimes stop the process before all of the sugar is converted. Fermentation can take 10 days to one month or more. Once fermentation is complete, solids such as dead yeast cells, tannins, and proteins are removed. Wine is transferred into a different vessel such as an oak barrel or a stainless steel tank. The wine can then be clarified through fining or filtration.  The clarified wine is then racked into another vessel and prepared for bottling or future aging.

Aging and Bottling

The final stage of the winemaking process is aging and bottling. Further aging can be done in the bottles, stainless steel tanks, or oak barrels. Aging the wine in oak barrels will produce a smoother, rounder, and more vanilla flavored wine. It also increases the wine’s exposure to oxygen while it ages, which decreases tannin and helps the wine reach its optimal fruitiness.

Steel tanks are commonly used for zesty white wines. After aging, wines are bottled with either a cork or a screw cap, depending on the winemaker’s preference. And contrary to popular believe a cork or a screw cap does not determine the quality of the wine. Note that sparkling wines or bubblies do undergo a further step. South African sparkling wines made in the traditional French method (methode champenoise) are referred to as Methode Cap Classique (or MCC). Wine that has been impregnated with CO2 bubbles is simply termed sparkling wine whereas MCC’s undergo a second fermentation in the bottle to create the sought after bubbles.

A day at WESGRO/InvestSA

Our first day was spent with WESGRO officials at the InvestSA office, highlighting WESGRO projects in African countries, B2B meetings and wine tasting with winemakers, mostly from regions we wouldn’t be able to visit.  These included:

With executives from WESGRO

Koni Wines – Koni Maliehe founded Koni Wines in 2015, influenced by her curiosity and passion for South African wines. She collaborates with her partner wine farm in Stellenbosch, where Koni Wines are produced. All the grapes used making Koni Wines are handpicked, sorted and vinified to produce rich wines filled with a taste of South African class. Koni Wines produces six cultivars namely Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot/Cab Blend, Shiraz, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Robinson & Sinclair – Robinson & Sinclair are exporters of fine South African Wines. Some of the wines presented to us for tasting included McGregor, Meerendal, Mooiplaas, and many more from various wine producers across the country.

Paarden Kloof – PaardenKloof offers premium matured Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc wines.  In early 2007, PaardenKloof Estate released its first Sauvignon under the Ecology label.  The Ecology range of wines spans all the varietals produced by PaardenKloof, with focus on the younger vintages, characterized by less oak and a new world approach to winemaking. Part of the Ecology series is the exciting Desert Rose Collection, which provides a fusion between the PaardenKloof heritage brand characteristics and the Ecology profile and currently includes a Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir.

Women in Wine – Women in Wine was established and founded in 2006 by a group of twenty women, all with backgrounds in the wine industry that had a common dream – giving women, especially farm workers and their families, a share in the industry. The Women in Wine label produces six wines: a Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon/Shiraz, Pinotage Rose, and Chardonnay Chenin Blanc.

Cape Diamond –  Lutzville Vineyards Co-Op was founded in 1962. Since then it prospered and grew to become the second biggest winery in South Africa. It is the home of Lutzville, The Diamond Collection, Francois le Vaillant and Cape Elephant Wines. The secret behind the rich character, approachable style, juicy fruit and elegant structure of these wines is in the unique location on the West Coast of South Africa.

Ses’Fekile – Ses’fikile was founded by a group of empowered women with a main goal of creating wines that are not just rare fine blends, but also palatable and fruit driven. These rounded wines include the red wines of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot; the white blend of Chenin Blanc, Roussanne; and the red blend of Shiraz/ Cinsault.

Mhudi Wines –  The Rangaka family has dedicated itself to making great wine, which is the heart and soul of their business. The MHUDI Family Boutique range includes Cabernet Sauvignon 2018, Say Lovey Sparkling White Wine & Rose Blush, and Foro’s Legacy.

Off to the winelands…

The rest of our stay in the Western Cape was spent visiting various wine regions, learning the characteristics of their wines and learning more about the wine making process.

STELLENBOSCH

The historical town of Stellenbosch boasts a winemaking tradition, which stretches back to the end of the 17th-century. The mountainous terrain, good rainfall, deep well-drained soils and diversity of terroirs, make this a sought-after viticultural area.

In Stellenbosch we visited:

Anura – Positioned on the foothills on the Simonsberg Mountains, Anura boasts a wide variety of soils, slopes and microclimates. Anura’s passion is red wine, and with plantings of Mourvédre, Petit Verdot, Grenache, Pinot Noir, Sangiovese and Malbec, among more classic, locally grown varietals, it aims to produce handcrafted wines for individuals who are looking for something unique and distinctive. Anura wines have won numerous awards including Old Mutual Trophy Show, Michelangelo Awards, IWSC Awards, Vitis Vinifera Awards and Veritas.

Warwick wines – Warwick is a 3rd generation family-run winery, with owner Stan Ratcliffe’s wife Norma at the winemaking helm. After a long search for the finest terroir in all the land, Warwick was where they settled and decided to plant slopes of Cabernet Sauvignon. Norma’s intensive studies and natural inclination for wine making gave birthed the La Femme Bleu (the Blue Lady) and Warwick Trilogy – a Bordeaux blend that remains a flagship red wine in the SA wine industry. Other ranges include Three Cape Ladies, The White Lady, Professor Black, and The First Lady Range

We also experienced a Land Rover safari ride over the slopes to enjoy the vistas in what Warwick terms the ‘Big 5 Safari’, a tongue in cheek comparison of their Big 5 grape varietals to their animal kingdom counterparts.

Thelema – Through the understanding of its optimal climate and soil type, Thelema Mountain Vineyards has firmly entrenched itself as one of the leaders in Cabernet Sauvignon, placing Stellenbosch Cabernet’s firmly on the global wine map. Their Current range of wines includes Thelema Gargantua Muscadel,  Thelema Sauvignon Blanc, Thelema Muscat , Thelema Riesling, Thelema Chardonnay, Thelema “Ed’s Reserve” Chardonnay , Thelema “Vin de Hel” Muscat Late Harvest, Thelema Semillon Late Harvest, Thelema Mountain Red, Thelema Shiraz , Thelema Rabelais and many more.

Spier Wine Farms –  Spier is one of South Africa’s oldest wine farms with a recorded history dating back to 1692.  Spier wines are among the most awarded in the country.  In 2019, Spier Wine Farm received nine Double Gold medals and seven Gold medals at the Veritas Wine Awards. Seven of Spier’s nine Double Gold winners were white wines: Spier Brut Methodé Cap Classique 2009, two Chenin Blancs (Spier 21 Gables Chenin Blanc 2018 and Spier Ideology Chenin Blanc 2019), two Sauvignon Blancs (Spier 21 Gables Sauvignon Blanc 2019 and Spier Ideology Sauvignon Blanc 2019), and both the 2013 and 2019 vintages of Spier Creative Block 2 (a blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon). The two red wine winners were the Spier 21 Gables Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 and Spier Creative Block 3 2016 (a blend of Shiraz, Mourvèdre and Viognier).

De Trafford – This is a small family winery at the end of the Upper Blaauwklippen Road in the mountains above Stellenbosch. Architect David Trafford and wife Rita established it in 1992 with the focus on high-end red wines of great intensity and longevity, using minimal intervention production methods. De Trafford has amazing Red Wine, White Wine and Straw Wine, all with amazing stories behind them.

FRANSCHHOEK

The district of Franschheok has retained its distinct French Huguenot character. The fertile Franschhoek Wine Valley is home to some of South Africa’s noble cultivars and classic styles. These range from superb whites such as Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Semillon and Chenin Blanc, to the full-bodied reds of Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Pinot Noir and Merlot. The area also produces some of the country’s extraordinary Méthode Cap Classiques.

In Franschheok, we visited:

Grande Provence – Sitting in the magnificent Franschhoek Valley, Grande Provence’s lush vines spread across 47-acres with gentle vistas over the valley floor.  Grande Provence Heritage Wine Estate is the home of the award-winning Grande Provence wines and the Angels Tears lifestyle collection. The distinctive Grande Provence vintages reflect the passion and enthusiasm of our winemaking team. It has a mix of delicious white and red wines across three-product range namely House Wines, Premium Wines and Flagship Wines.

Black Elephant Vintners –  Sometimes called the misfits of the wine industry and the rebels of the vine, Black Elephant Vintners push the boundaries of conformity. Their wines are young and vibrant;  a real toast to celebrating life. They even have wines in cans.  The range includes Amazing Grace CabSav, First Miracle Magnums, Mandie Olive, MCC Blanc de Blanc, MCC Brut NV, MCC Chardonnay NV, MCC Zero Dosage NV, Nicholas Red, Rose Rebel, The Back Roads – Petite Sirah, The Back Roads, The Back Roads VIOGNIER, The Daniel Collection Amazing Grace Cabernet Sauvignon, The Dark Side Of The Vine, The Honey Thief – Natural Sweet, Timothy White, Two Dogs, a Peacock and A Horse SB.

Haute Cabriere – Haute Cabrière has found a special place in the heart of South African wine lovers since its inception. Situated on the Franschhoek Pass, Haute Cabrière has been creating wines from Burgundian cultivars for over two decades. Founder and proprietor Achim von Arnim’s passion for these varietals has always been the inspiration behind both the Pierre Jourdan and Haute Cabrière wine ranges. Today, second generation Cellar Master, Takuan von Arnim has continued this philosophy, while adding his personal stamp to the much-loved wines.  Haute Cabrière wines are made using two noble cultivars, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The structure of Pinot Noir and the elegance of Chardonnay bring balance to the wines and freshness to its Méthode Cap Classique. The Méthode Cap Classique and related wines are produced under Pierre Jourdan, the name of the French Huguenot to whom the farm was granted in 1694. And the still wines are produced under the name of Haute Cabrière, paying tribute to Pierre Jourdan’s hometown in France.

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Lunch was great @hautecabriere

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We did not just taste and enjoy these amazing wines; we also had a French-inspired lunch at the restaurant. Simply yummy!

Mont Rochelle – Mont Rochelle Wine and vineyards cultivates and nurtures various grape varieties including Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon amongst a few others that are used for blending purposes to add complexity.  Mont Rochelle’s white wine ranges include Mont Rochelle Little Rock Blanc, Mont Rochelle Sauvignon Blanc, Mont Rochelle Chardonnay , Miko White Chardonnay. The reds include Mont Rochelle Little Rock Rouge, Mont Rochelle Cabernet Sauvignon, Mont Rochelle Syrah and Mont Rochelle Miko Syrah.

Holden Manz – An exclusive grower of red grapes, Holden Manz Wine Estate only cultivates its top 16 hectares under vineyards, notably Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Syrah and Merlot.  Some of the wines that were a hit with us here were Rothko Rosé – a generously crisp and elegantly smooth wine with tons of finesse and a long finish; Vernissage – a beautifully blended showcase of cabernet sauvignon, merlot and syrah; Big G – with its alluring aromas of black cherries, dark and red plums; Visionaire – a blend of Cabernet sauvignon and merlot spiced up with cabernet franc, Malbec, petit verdot and syrah; and of course Good Sport Cape Vintage – a smooth, soft entry with sweet fruits, a whiff of Sauterne, and pleasant acidity on the palate.

We ended our experience of Franschheok with dinner at Holden Manz’ Franschhoek Kitchen, which is rated as one of South Africa’s culinary hot spots for international cuisine

ELGIN

The high-lying cool-climate Elgin district was traditionally an apple-growing region but the region now produces award-winning wine, showing exceptional fruit and elegance, with Chardonnay, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir and Shiraz doing particularly well in this later-ripening, cooler terroir.

In Elgin, we visited:

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Yes I am a #rhinowarrior @lintonparkwines

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Spoienkop Wines – In the heart of the Elgin Valley, is Spioenkop Wines established in 2008 with winemaker, Koen Roose. Spioenkop produces wines that have finesse, balance, and purity, with the idiosyncratic character of the winemaker flowing through every bottle. The winemaking philosophy here is low intervention and allowing the wine to have a voice without putting technology and an interfering winemaker in the way. The wines include the Spioenkop Range, “1900” Range and

The Tugela River Range.

Elgin Vintners –  The Elgin Vintners is found on the Elgin Orchards farm, which dates back to 1890. Guided by its philosophy to produce honest wines that express the unique cool climate terroir of the valley, they are able to bring out the flavours in their grapes to their wines. Minimal intervention and maximum care in the winery turns the grapes into characterful and balanced wines that express a true sense of place. Elgin Vintners has three ranges namely Elgin Vintners Rangewines with complexity, finesse and elegance; Ridgelands – carefully selected, hand crafted, site specific wines; and Cloud Haven, a true cultivar expression highlighting crisp fruitiness with just enough on the palate to make you want more.

Oak Valley – This exquisite estate located in the Elgin Valley is well worth a visit as they offer a lot more than just premium wines. The Oak Valley estate is situated over 1,786 hectares of land and has its claim to fame in cut flowers, fruit and cattle.

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Cheers! Wine tasting at @oakvalleywines

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They offer wines such as: Sauvignon Blanc 2011, The OV Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2008, Chardonnay 2011, Pinot Noir 2011 and Merlot Cabernet Blend 2007 under three main ranges.  The Discovery Range offers uncompromising quality and accessibility for all wine lovers. The Sounds Of Silence Pinot Noir was my favourite in this range.  The Groenlandberg range embodies the vision to create Chardonnay and Pinot Noir that speaks to this unique positioning of the vineyard. The Tabula Rasa range is single-minded and focused exclusively on Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

WELLINGTON

Wellington, which supplies over 85% of the South African wine industry with cuttings, also boasts some 26 wine producers ranging from historical estates to boutique wineries.  The rolling hills and valleys of the area provide a wide range of suitable sites for wine growers where fine, elegant examples of Pinotage and Chenin Blanc are made.

In Wellington, we visited:

Linton Park – Linton Park has several diverse microclimates offered by the valley folds and mountain slopes; and the vineyards are sited and prepared to optimize these. We visited the wine estate to taste The Bridge of Hope Wines, a brand created for Rosemary Mosia, after a research project about the wine industry she conducted towards her Master’s Degree in Business Leadership.  It comes in three ranges namely The Classic Collection, The Premium Collection, and The Reserve Collection

Wellington Wines –  Wellington Wines is a customer driven producing cellar, delivering in bulk and bottle format. Wellington Wines is the result of the joining of forces of three different entities: Wamakersvallei, Wellington Cellar, and Bovlei Winery. In 2011 each one of these producers realized they were trying to do the same thing and instead of competing against one another, they could benefit from working together. Together they have vast plantings of old vine Chenin Blanc and other wines, and many of the labels have remained much the same. The Bovlei Cellar now serves as the taste room of Wellington Wines, and home to the W True to Terroir range, the La Cave Range, the Imprint Range and Duke of Wellington Range.

Thokozani – Thokozani means ‘celebration’ and we experienced it when we visited the estate and got welcomed with music by a choir comprising workers. Thokozani has its own wine brand and guesthouse which are 80% owned by the staff. Thokozani is based and cultivated on the prestigious Diemerfontein Wine & Country estate in the heart of the Cape Winelands.  The wines include Ovation Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot, Ovation Merlot, Ovation Pinotage, Ovation Sauvignon Blanc, Ovation Spumanté, and Thokozani SMV.

A return to Stellenbosch

We ended our experience with a return to Stellenbosch, which is undoubtedly the most popular wine region in the Western Cape.  We capped the great experience with a visit to Muratie Wine Estate, nestled within the Knorhoek Valley north of Stellenbosch. The estate is a time capsule of fables, fairytales and rich South African wine history, which has been well preserved by the current custodians of the estate, under the guidance of Rijk Melck.

Muratie Wine Estate is one of the oldest wine estates in South Africa with the farm dating back to 1685.  The grapes are lovingly handpicked, ensuring only the best bunches are used. The winemakers use a traditional method of pressing the grapes avoiding mechanical crushing of the grapes, skins and seeds, resulting in the phenomenal flavour of the wines.

The splendid range of wines include Johanna Dry Rosé, Muratie Melck’s Sauvignon Blanc, Muratie Melck’s Blended Red, Isabella Chardonnay 2017, Martin Melck Cabernet Sauvignon, Cape Ruby NV,  Lady Alice Methode Cap Classique, Ben Prins Cape Vintage, and George Paul Canitz Pinot Noir.

Amber Forever was a big favourite for many. It is made from Hanepoot grapes (Muscat d’Alexandrie) grown on Muratie.  Other favourites also included Alberta Annemarie Merlot, Laurens Campher, Ronnie Melck Shiraz, Ansela van de Caab and Martin Melck Cabernet Sauvignon Family Reserve.

We ended our visit with a scrumptious lunch from Muratie’s Farm Kitchen. The old fermentation tanks in the cellar with their tartaric encrusted walls, old carpets, wooden furniture and original art made enjoying the honest home food and good wine a completely fascinating experience.

So there you have it, a bit of the story behind the passion and people making great South African wines that can be enjoyed across Africa and the rest of the world.  Cheers!!!

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A Serial Entrepreneurs Guide to Finding and Developing a Business Idea

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Most business ideas have been done repeatedly and, on some occasions, with a great deal of success. Finding and developing a great business idea can feel like an uphill struggle, but it doesn’t need to feel like this, and it does not need to be like this. If you conduct adequate research and if you commit to seeing through one idea, you will find it much easier to develop an idea, harness it, and make it your own. So, when it comes to finding and developing an idea, where do you need to start, and what should you be focusing on first.

Sticking and Committing to One Idea

You may have lots of ideas spinning around in your head, but it is important that you stick and commit to one at a time. Trying to do too much or spreading yourself too thin is not beneficial for anyone. So, before you try and take on more than you can handle, why not put together your list of business ideas and establish which one you will pursue and why. When you commit yourself to one idea, you ensure that you dedicate your time and energy to achieving the results and success you desire. To establish which idea, you need to stick with and commit to, you need to weigh up the pros and cons of each idea you have put forward. It can be so easy and so tempting to just run with the first idea that you write down or take a liking to, but realistically if you dive in too quick, you could end up on the road to failure, and this is, of course, not what you want.

A Beneficial Business Idea

You can still make money in business, even by helping others. Developing a business idea around something that gives back will leave you feeling good, and it will also leave the recipients of the business idea feeling good as well. As a serial entrepreneur, finding or launching an idea that gives back will be both appealing and rewarding. You will be fostering goodwill, and you will be launching and harnessing a positive image for yourself and your brand at the same time. So, what kind of business idea can you introduce that would or could benefit others? For example, you could put together treatment packages for professionals to ensure that they are practicing self-care, such as Self care for nurses or self-care for doctors. Or you could focus on putting together packages that support fellow small business owners. Supporting, helping, and assisting others is commendable and is something that can be worked into a watertight business idea.

Spotting a Gap within the Market

Having an idea that has potential is what every entrepreneur wants and needs, but how do you find an idea with real and true potential? Well, you spot and then exploit a gap in the market, of course. When there is a gap in the market, no matter how small, you can exploit it and turn it from a business idea into a profitable business. When it comes to spotting a gap in the market, you need to begin looking at areas or industries that you are interested in first and foremost. You will not be able to target all marketplaces and industries when looking for an idea that has potential. So, start by targeting areas that are of interest to you because when you are interested and passionate about a market or industry, you are more driven to succeed.

Conducting Market Research

When you have spotted a gap in the market, you then need to start conducting market research. When it comes to carrying out market research, you need to utilize both primary and secondary research to establish if your idea has the potential to make money or not. Investing in the market research may seem unnecessary, but it is crucial, especially in the early stages of business idea development. If you do not invest in market research, how can you confidently be sure that you are investing your time and money into a sound idea?

Seek Support and Assistance

When it comes to getting the right idea, you need to seek support and assistance as and where you can. For example, family members may be able to help you see something you may have overlooked or missed when researching ideas. In addition, you may find that trade bodies or other professionals may be able to provide you with additional figures, research, or statistics that you might not have considered before or had to access to. Do not be afraid to reach out to others for support and assistance because this guidance can help you determine which idea to go with and why. To get the guidance and support you need, you can take advantage of networking as well. Meeting new people and gaining new insights may even help you once again to see, or spot things that you might have missed previously.

Set a Deadline or Timescale

Researching a new idea can take up a lot of your free time. It is important that you establish a deadline and a timescale for researching and creating business ideas and bringing them to fruition, or else you will find that you will be investing a lot of time, effort, and funding and not really getting a lot in return. When you are researching and finding new ideas, you need to give yourself weeks and months, and not years. It is important to remember that you can over-research an idea, and in the process, you can end up wasting time, so establish a deadline as soon as you can to ensure that you can bring the idea to the market before somebody else does. When you have a deadline in place, you ensure that you make your research time count. Wasted time equals wasted money, and missed opportunities, so stay on the ball with your research, and do not go over the top.

 

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Ghanaian-born entrepreneur Samuel Baddoo’s Fleri Inc Joins Techstars

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Samuel Baddoo
Young Ghanaian-born entrepreneur Samuel Baddoo fintech startup, Fleri Inc joins the prestigious Techstars.
Fleri Inc, startup that puts the immigrant financial wellness at the forefront joins the Techstars
Fleri Inc., a personal finance company for immigrants known widely for the FleriHealth product which enables immigrants to buy affordable healthcare plans for their loved ones back home, will join the Techstars Toronto Accelerator Program starting this October.
Techstars is a seed accelerator that runs an intensive mentorship-driven program for founders and early-stage startups and entrepreneurs. Fleri will join 10 other startups in the Techstars Toronto 2021 cohort as it sets its sights on global expansion. The Techstars Toronto Accelerator Program is designed to provide mentorship, funding, and access to its network, beginning with a Demo Day at the end of the guided program. When selected, startups will be able to pitch to a carefully curated group of investors.
Since it launched in 2020, Fleri, which was founded by Ghanaian-born entrepreneur Samuel Baddoo, has kept the immigrant experience at the forefront of its mission. The company focuses on providing solutions and products that uniquely empower immigrants to take control of their financial lives. Knowing that 83% of the time, immigrants will send money to cover a health emergency faced by a dependent relative back home, Fleri released its first product: FleriHealth.
FleriHealth enables immigrants, beginning with those from Africa, to directly sponsor healthcare plans for their loved ones and families back home rather than sending traditional money transfers.
In their pilot year, FleriHealth has enabled more than 220 family members to access quality healthcare in Ghana and Nigeria.
Fleri partnered with five health insurance companies and other healthcare providers in its pilot markets giving the beneficiaries of immigrants access to healthcare benefits such as traditional health insurance coverage and more personalized care options.
The company also provides a concierge care service powered by 400 nurses for families of immigrants from Nigeria.
According to Baddoo, Fleri enhances peace of mind for immigrants, given the knowledge that their loved ones have healthcare coverage around the clock and by eliminating most of the fees and transaction costs paid through traditional money transfer services.
Fleri’s digital platform enables immigrant users to protect their loved ones back home without sacrificing their own financial wellness. Fleri customers and beneficiaries also receive health alerts and wellness reports to track the care given underscoring the platform’s ability to enhance access to life saving information.
Fleri, which means “to Flourish” in Haitian Creole was born out of Baddoo’s own experiences as an immigrant in the United States. After losing his Grandmother last year due to the challenges within the healthcare system in his country of birth, Ghana, he set out to create a solution that will help fellow migrants avoid the same pain – one that immigrants in Canada know so well.
“Toronto is regarded as the most immigrant-concentrated city in the world, with 52 percent of our population being foreign-born,” says Sunil Sharma, Managing Director of Techstars Toronto.
“When we met the team at Fleri it became clear to us that they are solving such a fundamental problem in the minds of immigrants, how to ensure the health of their loved ones back home, no matter where they live.
Although Fleri’s first focus is in providing healthcare coverage for families of migrants living in the diaspora, Sharma acknowledges that Fleri’s potential goes beyond healthcare.
“Fleri has a massive opportunity to grow its products beyond funding healthcare via remittances into full empowerment of immigrants to take control of their financial lives,” says Sharma.
“Immigrants in Toronto constantly think about their loved ones back home and always want to do more to support them. Fleri finally allows them to take action and make an immediate difference in their lives.”
As for expanding its operations, Baddoo says, “Fleri’s focus on empowering immigrants to flourish financially will be matched in turn by Toronto’s vibrant diversity and Canada’s reputation for being immigrant-friendly. This combination will create the perfect catalyst for Fleri’s growth, enabling us to develop relevant financial products with which immigrants will support their loved ones back home and enhance their own financial wellness.
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AskNano officials pay courtesy call on LEKMA assembly

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Officials from AskNano, a new business listing app have paid a courtesy call on the LEKMA Municipal Assembly in the Greater Accra Region.

 

The visit to the Assembly was important as LEKMA was being used as the initial catchment area for its pilot.

 

Led by Nour Nader, Director of AskNano, the team on Thursday, October 21 met with executives of the Assembly to formally introduce the App and its impact on the municipality to the team.

 

Speaking at the meeting, Nour Nader said the App is a one–stop solutions platform which allows users all over Ghana to promote their businesses and services.

 

AskNano provides you with a platform through which users can find all the above and many more within seconds. Asknano embraces all types of businesses from Small scale enterprises to bigger companies within their app, one would no longer have to go around asking throughout their neighbourhood for inaccurate and biased advice. You can market your business and can handle your multiple Businesses under one account.”

 

She added that “The goal of AskNano is to provide Ghanaians with a worry-free life by handing them all the knowledge they need to be able to live the best comfortable life. AskNano is here to help you interact with your friends and your customers via chat to give the best service. All users need to do is search the

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Absa Group Board appoints Sello Moloko as Chairman-designate

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Sello Moloko

The Absa Group Limited Board today announced the appointment of Sello Moloko as independent non-executive director and Chairman-designate with effect from 1 December 2021.

 

Sello will take over from Wendy Lucas-Bull who will step down on 31 March 2022, which marks the end of the nine-year period during which Wendy would have served as an independent director and as Chairman of the Absa Group Board. Absa advised of the Chairman’s impending retirement in October 2020.

 

“We are delighted to welcome Sello to the Absa Board. He brings extensive experience as a leader in the financial services industry, with a proven track record as an executive, entrepreneur and a board member at companies across several industries,” said Wendy.

 

Sello has a career spanning close to 30 years in the financial services industry. He is a former CEO of Old Mutual Asset Managers. Thereafter, he founded Thesele Group, an investment holding company where he is the Executive Chairman.

 

He has served as Chairman on the boards of Alexander Forbes Group Holdings Limited, Sibanye-Stillwater Limited and General Reinsurance Africa Limited (a Berkshire Hathaway company), among others. He is also a trustee of the Nelson Mandela Foundation.

 

He currently serves as Chairman on the board of Telkom SA SOC Limited and Momentum Metropolitan Holdings Limited. He will relinquish his role on the Momentum Metropolitan Board prior to joining the Absa Group Board.

 

“I am honoured by the opportunity to join Absa. As one of the largest banks on the continent, Absa can support the economic growth of our continent in a significant way,” said Sello. “I have been inspired by the way in which Absa has evolved into a strong, standalone African bank that is recognisable across the continent. I commend the Board and executive team for this accomplishment and I look forward to being part of the company’s future journey,” he added.

 

Soweto-born Sello obtained a BSc with Honours in mathematics and a Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) from the University of Leicester in the UK. He has completed various business courses, including the Advanced Management Program from the Wharton Business School. Sello is also committed to community development initiatives in Soweto and Cape Town.

 

 

For more information please contact:

 

Phumza Macanda

Absa Group Media Relations

082 899 3293

phumza.macanda@absa.africa

 

About Absa Group Limited

 

Absa Group Limited (‘Absa Group’) is listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and is one of Africa’s largest diversified financial services groups.

 

Absa Group offers an integrated set of products and services across personal and business banking, corporate and investment banking, wealth and investment management and insurance.

 

Absa operates in 14 countries. The Group owns majority stakes in banks in Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, Mozambique, Seychelles, South Africa, Tanzania (Absa Bank Tanzania and National Bank of Commerce), Uganda and Zambia and has insurance operations in Botswana, Kenya, Mozambique, South Africa and Zambia. Absa also has representative offices in Namibia and Nigeria, and securities entities in the United Kingdom and the United States.

 

For further information about Absa Group Limited, please visit www.absa.africa

 

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People & Lifestyle

Top Tips to Look like a Celebrity with Botox

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If you are constantly reading the celebrity gossip columns and want to look as good as the celebrities that you admire, you might be considering getting Botox to achieve this. Many celebrities get Botox to help them to retain their youthful looks, and you can too. So, read on to find out how you can look like a celebrity and get the right amount of Botox for you and your skin.

·      Get the Right Amount

There have been many celebrities who have opted for too much Botox and who have been known to have a frozen face or arched eyebrows after consecutive Botox sessions. Although you might want to look like a celebrity, getting too much Botox is not the way to do this, and it is much more important that your Botox can look natural. Therefore, you should speak to a professional about how much Botox you will need. You might also decide to avoid getting Botox at a young age and ensure that you do not have injections too often to prevent negative side effects.

·      Get Botox for the Right Reasons

Rather than just getting Botox for the sake of it, you should consider getting Botox to erase frown lines, laugh lines, and crow’s feet around your face. Many people develop wrinkles on their forehead and around their eyes and this can make them look older or can damage their self-esteem. However, the right Botox procedure can help to minimize the appearance of these for a long time to come, especially if you remember to get frequent Botox treatments, which is what celebrities do.

·      Find a Professional

Although you might be looking for the cheapest option when it comes to Botox, you need to make sure that you are being seen by a professional who has a lot of experience in the field. For instance, at Dermani Med Spa, they can help you to get the Botox treatments that you need in a welcoming environment. They also offer a range of other treatments, such as laser hair removal and even facials that can allow you to indulge your skin and enjoy a little added luxury in your life, while keeping you looking your best for a long time to come. You should always make sure that you check the credentials of the professional that you are being seen by and discuss what you want out of the procedure with them before you go ahead with it.

·      Keep These Treatments Up

However, the reason that celebrities look so good is that they can keep these treatments up. The effects of Botox might fade over time, especially if you do not look after your skin, and so it is important to visit the clinic regularly to keep the effect that you are going for and make it long-lasting.

·      Prepare for the Cost

You should know that more celebrities have Botox than other people because it can be costly, especially if you have it for a long time. You should always research the cost, avoid skimping on the cost if it will result in lower quality treatment, and try to save up for the treatment or opt for a loan that can help you to get the Botox you need when you need it.

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People & Lifestyle

New World Best Way to Level Engineering Skill

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If you want to live longer in Amazon’s New World gameplay, you must grasp three major skills and abilities to progress your character, including trade skills, core stats and weapon mastery. The trade skills are divided into three parts, such as Gathering Skills, Refining Skills and Crafting Skills. The Engineering is a Crafting Trade Skill, when you level up this skill and you will get more recipes and more powerful versions of them. So, what are the best and fastest ways to level up your Engineering Skill in New World?

 

What can we do with New World Engineering Skill?

When a player has learned an Engineering Skill, he or she is allowed to use this skill to create ranged weapons, including bows and muskets. And what’s more, to make full use of ranged weapons, you are allowed to use this skill to create ammunition. Higher levels of engineering allow players to build better and more powerful weapons, as well as improve their equipment scores.

 

Benefits of Leveling up Engineering

As we mentioned above, Engineering can be used to create Weapons and Ammunition and these two items are best-selling items in New World for they are the most basic requirements in this game! If you are a senior engineer who can build high quality weapons and ammunitions, you must be popular among the market! So, to level up your engineering skill and craft high quality items will help players to earn more New World Gold via selling these items on the market!

 

When you craft an item using Azoth, you increase your chances of gaining privileges. You can also make some quality melee weapons, such as swords and hammers and then sell them to small settlements such as town projects.

 

How to Level Up fast Engineering Skill?

If you want to level up engineering skill fast, the most effective way is to make as many iron cartridges and arrows as possible. And to make cartridges and arrows, you must equip enough resources with iron ore, wood for timber and charcoal, saltpeter for gunpowder, and feathers for arrows. Along mining these resources, your Mining skill can be also upgraded.

 

Just find a spot with iron veins, where can help you can mine easily! And then start your work! After your iron ore are full of inventory, and then you can reach to a settlement. And to get iron ingots, you need to smelt everything together! After that, go to the Workshop crafting station to craft cartridges or arrows. The cartridge requires additional steps to make, but it helps to improve your engineering level faster.

 

You need saltpeter, which is usually found in mines and used to make gunpowder. Feathers, on the other hand, are easier to obtain because turkeys are ubiquitous. Kill them and skin them for their feathers, then cut down the wood and turn it into wood to make iron arrows.

 

This method will cost you a lot of time, but mass-producing cartridges and arrows seems to be the best way for New World Engineering to reach level 50 so far.

 

If you want to make money in New World, leveling up Engineering Skill is one of the important way! On the other hand, you can also choose to purchase NW Gold at Z2U.com. Here, you can find cheap New World Coins for Sale, cheaper than others, ultra fast delivery in 10 minutes, huge stock to ensure you can get your products quickly, and friendly live support will help you to solve problems!

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