News Roundup for Busy Entrepreneurs 26 May 2017

Every week Finfind selects some of the newsworthy articles to help keep busy entrepreneurs up to date and informed about the latest happenings in the world of SME Finance and other SME news. Enjoy.

FNB launches non-cash dispensing ATMs in rural areas

FNB is piloting first-of-their-kind ATMs that don’t dispense cash, but perform all other actions, across rural areas in South Africa.

These ATMs are a smaller version of the standard ATM which FNB introduced in 2013 are safe and easy to operate and can perform a variety of transactions such as airtime and electricity purchases, view statements, pay traffic fines and perform card cancellations.

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Ecobank challenge finalists announced

Ecobank has announced the finalists in the Ecobank Fintech Challenge, a competition for African technology startups launched in January. The list includes 20 innovators from across the continent who will join the Ecobank Fintech Fellowship programme.

An innovation fair and awards ceremony will be held on 21 June at Ecobank’s headquarters in Lomé, Togo to honour the 20 startups selected.

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6 African startups selected for Google’s Launchpad Accelerator

Google Developers has selected six startups from across Africa to take part in the first African version of its Launchpad Accelerator, which offers free training, credits and collaboration.

Disrupt Africa reported in February Google was bringing the Launchpad Accelerator to Africa, aimed at assisting startups in leveraging Google’s latest technologies to scale their businesses through mentoring.

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Number of SME-corporate deals falls for first time in four years

The number of deals between SMEs and large businesses has fallen, despite big firms spending more on collaborations with small businesses than on research and development.

Figures from Bond Dickinson showed that the number of deals between large organisations and SMEs fell by 28 per cent in 2016/17 following three consecutive years of increases.

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Late payments prompt financial and mental health issues for SME owners

More than a quarter of small business owners struggle with depression, anxiety, stress or other issues caused by the worry of late payments, according to a report.

Research by The Prompt Payment Directory found that 29 per cent of SME owners in the UK are affected by issues like these because of clients who miss payment dates.

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New hub to drive SME, start-up growth in Saudi

The Small and Medium Enterprises General Authority of Saudi Arabia has announced the establishment of HUB1006, an operating entity for a series of entrepreneurial hubs focused on growing the SME and start-up sectors across the Kingdom.

HUB1006 was launched during the Impact to Innovation (i2i) Roundtable, organiaed as part of the US presidential visit, in order to realise the goals of Vision 2030 and the National Transformation Programme (NTP) led by Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman.

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