The chief executive officer (CEO) of Cape Town-based startup ViGO, Carl Wallace, has been selected by an initiative of the World Economic Forum (WEF) to be a Global Shaper, allowing him to connect with the worldwide network of Global Shapers, network with WEF communities and represent youth at WEF events.
HumanIPO reported in September last year ViGO had launched myViGO, a simpler CMS platform aimed increasing the margins of those working in the creative industry by offering any individual the chance to create a website.
“Wallace’s vision of creating a tool that will empower thousands, perhaps millions, of Africans has been realised through ViGO – an intuitive online platform that helps SMEs both build a web presence and grow their business,” the company said in a statement.
Global Shapers are selected on the basis of their achievements, leadership potential and commitment to make a difference. The WEF saYS Shapers are highly motivated individuals who demonstrate great potential for leadership in society.
“We have to reduce the 80 per cent failure rate of startup businesses because this failure rate means the loss of human and livelihood potential – and that’s incredibly detrimental to our economies and our nations,” said Wallace.
“Sustainable and ongoing development and growth is possible in Africa, especially with education and access to the internet. And ViGO is right there, present on both fronts.”
Professor Klaus Schwab, WEF founder and executive chairman, said: “We are becoming increasingly aware that solutions to our global challenges must purposefully engage youth, at all levels – locally, regionally, nationally and globally. This generation has the passion, dynamism and entrepreneurial spirit to shape the future.”
Wallace’s company has recently released a mobile app allowing the creation of websites from any mobile device.
“We have a fresh responsive approach to some of the grand challenges in Africa. Most people don’t have tablets, laptops or PCs, but there is around 98 per cent mobile penetration in certain parts of the continent,” Wallace said.
“Our new ViGO mobile app now allows users to create beautiful websites in minutes from any mobile device. And, in so doing, we empower African business owners with new ways to get online and reach out beyond their previous limitations.”
ViGO is in the process of partnering with various organisations to implement an education platform where young, unemployed people are trained on how to create websites with ViGO. These youth will be able to use ViGO and become skilled micro-entrepreneurs that provide valuable and affordable services to the SMEs of Africa.
“We’ve calculated that we’ll be investing what amounts to ZAR100 million (US$9,400) over the next two years to provide this opportunity to SMEs and biz startups throughout Africa. We’ve partnered with Microsoft on their Biz4Afrika initiative and are currently negotiating with companies like Vodacom, MWEB and Nedbank to turn this vision into reality,” Wallace said.
“We are passionate about the small business environment and we stand 100 per cent behind the entrepreneurs of this continent to turn Africa into the jewel it is destined to become. The future of Africa lies not in the hands of governments, but in the hands of our entrepreneurs.”