September 29, 2013

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Industrialising Social Media with Digital Factory

Digital Factory

As part of our Innovation Incubation and Acceleration (InnovIA) profile series, we highlighting another exciting social enterprise start-up, Social Media Factory, which was founded by Craig Ross to maximize the use of Social Media to create employment and provide quality services to organisations, businesses and corporate companies.

The idea was birthed after realising the high unemployment rates in his community and the opportunity to develop digital artisans in working as remote agents/workers for companies in need of digital work. The Digital Factory team develop the campaigns and strategies for companies and compile manageable pieces of work for its extended community to execute. This is further managed and moderated by the Digital Factory manager to ensure quality of the work being executed in the factory.

Through this service more than 50 part-time workers has been employed through the Social Media Factory and being part of the RLabs InnovIA the goal is to grow the platform beyond South Africa.

September 29, 2013

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Africa’s First Social Media Surgery in Local News Paper

The article reads as follows: Africa’s first social media surgery was held at Vangate Mall on Saturday. The Social media surgery waas presented by the Bridgetown based organisation Rlabs. The event was aimed at introducing people to online tools, such as gmail, facebook and twitter to name a few, and to register them online as well as showoing them how to use the platforms. Craig Ross who managed the surgery said mainy business people registered at their counter. Here surgeon Brent Williams assists Maxwell Johannes to set up a gmail account.

September 28, 2013

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Entrepreneur – Alternative Mindset

Entrepreneurship classBeing part of the RLabs business incubator (Innovia), one of the criteria’s were to complete a Small business course through Getsmarter & University of Cape Town (UCT) ,which I completed in October 2012. For the duration of the course I have learnt a lot about entrepreneurs and what entrepreneurship really means. When it comes to the word entrepreneur(s)  the question “are entrepreneurs made or born?” My answer will be 50/50. I facilitate the entrepreneurship class within the Grow Leadership Academy. I posed the question to my 120 students “who wants to start a business” Most of them answered with much excitement, “yes we would like to start and have our own businesses.” I asked another question, what is preventing you from starting a business. The general answer ” they don’t have good ideas ” or  ” they don’t have money to start off “ 

kingross

This was a challenging as I don’t have any “good ideas ” for them and I don’t have capital to invest in those who have business ideas. To inspire them, I shared a motivational story that a friend told me.

Entrepreneur mindset

There was a young guy who had a life coach and was his mentor too. His mentor asked him  ”why don’t you start a business ? ”  You are an intelligent person. He answered “he doesn’t have any business ideas and he is lazy. All he does is sleep. 

His mentor told him you can start a sleeping business,seeing that you love sleeping. The mentee thought this is a big joke, however,today he has a “sleeping business” he travels the world sleeping in the best Hotels and he gets paid to do so. All his business requires of him, is to write about his stay and his experience in the respective hotels.

If you have a business idea let nothing stop you from reaching your dreams. 

Entrepreneurs who are made, needs motivation, Entrepreneurs who are born, also needs motivation, true entrepreneurs are made to change the world no matter what.

August 7, 2013

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Jobs Trailer

May 22, 2013

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10 steps to happiness in business (& life)

May 22, 2013

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We Can All Become Entrepreneurs – Living Lab

Iringa Living Lab

A couple of weeks ago Iringa Living Lab was a hive of activity. The long awaited training on entrepreneurship was finally done, by Mr. Craig Ross from RLabs Cape town. The training attracted more than 20 participants of Iringa Living Lab. And what a week it was.

From the start, Craig emphasized that he was not going to teach, because he’s not a university professor. He was neither going to share new information, we all know what entrepreneurship is about. “So what is he going to do?”, some participants wondered. “I am going to share what has worked in my life, what I have seen work at Rlabs”, he said.

Well, true to his word, he shared his experience, in a simple but powerful way. His first challenge was to go against what most people think is a key aspect if one is to become an entrepreneur, having capital. Craig said to become an entrepreneur, one does not need capital. You need a powerful idea, that can add value to your target clients.

VALUE!!!! Not that we had not heard about it, it’s a word we come across very often. But, many of us attending the training understood value differently. Many believed it’s about selling a high quality product or service. How wrong we were! Craig proved to us that Coca Cola is not in the business of selling coke, they sell happiness, refreshment! What? Yes, think about it, close your eyes, think of all the Coca Cola adverts, you see that they sell happiness?

And how do you start a business without capital? It was our turn to prove what many of us didn’t believe was true. After taking us through the exercise of idea generation, now it was time to answer the question, how we go forward with our brilliant ideas. We looked at the enormous requirements for each idea. And then, we looked at what we already have. Many of us discovered we already have what it takes to start, and then capital in form of money can find us on the way. Really!!

And we all have something at our disposal. So what makes many people not to start? It’s the mindset. We need an alternative mindset, to begin to see the same things with different lenses! Now, this requires a paradigm shift. That is the task we have.

March 11, 2013

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How Africa Tweets

tweets in Africa

Though many African nations have caught on to Twitter, the study shows that there is plenty of room for the platform to grow. Visit the source for more stats and information.

February 18, 2013

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The Entrepreneur Within You – Entrepreneurship Ideas

Entrepreneurship Ideas

 It was never my aspiration to start a business but when this question was posed to me: “What do you have in your hands that you can give back to the world?”, I knew what I had to do. I absolutely had to make my business, The Digital Factory, into more than just a thought that may be forgotten, I had to make it a legacy that will one day be left to the world with my entrepreneurship ideas.

In 2012

my business was incubated for nine months in the RLabs Innovation Incubator and Accelerator (Innovia). In this nine months I learnt so much about entrepreneurship and how to become a successful entrepreneur (even though I did not have an entrepreneurial mindset. In the Innovia there were seven other businesses and we became like a family, a community of budding entrepreneurs who gave each other support and shared ideas. The encouragement and motivation that I received from my fellow incubatees was invaluable.

In October of 2012

my business was launched and since then the most challenging part of entrepreneurship is being by myself. I still have support but I now have to keep myself motivated. I must admit, it has been a difficult few months since the launch of  The Digital Factory and I know that it won’t get any easier. I now facilitate two entrepreneurship courses within the RLabs Academy and I’ve found that imparting the knowledge that I gained in my nine months of incubation has not only given me great joy but it has also helped me put certain factors into perspective. I have been forced to critically examine my own shortcomings and how they can be compensated. I now have the immense pleasure of mentoring other inspiring entrepreneurs and seeing their growth. My greatest wish is that someone had told me long ago of how rewarding it is to be one’s own boss.


March 8, 2012

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I Am a Change Agent

Over the last five years lots has happened in my life. I became a son, friend, daddy, husband, innovations manager, social entrepreneur, and most of all I am reconstructed. It is pleasurable waking  up in the morning knowing I’m not going to work, but to a space where I can change lives of the many people that walks through the doors of RLabs. Strategising, and turning idea into innovation is what drives me here at RLabs and always on my toes to think out of the box to reconstruct my communities.
This year my focus is on my project “Social Media Factory” that is currently being incubated in InnovIA. The Social Media Factory aims to provide and create employment for people that are skilled in Social Media. We did work with the World Bank “Innovation Fair” and Vote for Table Mountain Campaign.
I have to thank God for all my achievements because I use to live a life where I had a negative impact on society. Today I can stand tall and say I am a Change Agent.

“Keep your coins I want change”

March 7, 2012

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Nokia N9 It Was Amazing

Love the phone. Absolutely beautiful to hold and look at. I mean the build quality is the best I’ve ever seen. Cant say enough about the body of the phone and the screen. Brilliant. Swiping is different and takes a little time to get used to, but easily mastered. Just a matter of some short retraining I’d say. Comes pre loaded with just about everything you could practically need. If you want tons of apps / games you’d best look elsewhere because the ovi store for the N9 is hasn’t got much . It will  suite  someone  fine, if you not into apps. Good usable smartphone but not for gaming platform.  Camera is good, and battery life is better than a Nexus One that I have reviewed, so I’m happy. Not worried about the OS not lasting as the promised support will likely outlast the phone given the pace of smartphone development.

  • QWERTY Keyboard
  • 8 MP Camera with LED Flash and auto focus and 3264×2448 resoluton
  • SMS, MMS, EMAIL, Push Mail, Voice Mail, Video Call
  • Accelerometer sensor , which Auto-rotate
  • Proximity sensor is Auto turn-off
  • Boasts Touch sensitive controls
  • Dolby Digital Plus via HDMI
  • Tv out Via Composite & HDMI
  • Casing, which is Anodized aluminum
  • Black, Magenta and Cyan Clors
  • Meego Powered OS
  • 1GHz Cortex A8 CPU, powered by VR SGX530 GPU and TI OMAP 3630 chipset
  • Multi-touch input method
  • Scratch-resistant surface
  • Voice Command, Document Viewer
  • Photo & Video editor, Flash Lite v4.0
  • Audio, Video Recorder & Playback
  • MP3, MP4 player
  • MP3, WAV Ring tones, Vibration
  • 3.5 mm Head Phone Audio Jack
  • Speaker Phone and also playable as well as downloadable games
  • Stereo FM radio with RDS & FM Transmitter
  • Video and Photo Editor
  • MicroSIM card is supported

 

January 29, 2012

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Social Media Factory: Industrialising Social Media


As part of our Innovation Incubation and Acceleration (InnovIA) profile series, we highlighting another exciting social enterprise start-up, Social Media Factory, which was founded by Craig Ross to maximize the use of Social Media to create employment and provide quality services to organisations, businesses and corporate companies.

The idea was birthed after realising the high unemployment rates in his community and the opportunity to develop digital artisans in working as remote agents/workers for companies in need of digital work. The Social Media Factory team develop the campaigns and strategies for companies and compile manageable pieces of work for its extended community to execute. This is further managed and moderated by the Social Media Factory manager to ensure quality of the work being executed in the factory.

Through this service more than 50 part-time workers has been employed through the Social Media Factory and being part of the RLabs InnovIA the goal is to grow the platform beyond South Africa.

sourch

January 4, 2012

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Christmas In Paradise

2011 Christmas was not the ordinary traditional setting  for the Ross family which found themselves in another time zone.  Mauritius indeed, the seven day holiday was still in full swing.

They woke up early with excitement cos they heard a lovely story, Santa had a bit of trouble travelling with his reindeer in the heat so instead made a few adjustments and decided to pop by with his boat and deliver gifts to all the children visiting Club Med Resort La Plantation d’Albion.

  

In the pic above we escorting Santa to the main hall after his tiring boat trip and we all have a sing along together while he hands out gifts.

What a lovely day, girls were amazingly surprised with their gifts and lunch was awesome with so many choices and not forgetting the desert (I have a weakness so desert is always my favourite) Anyway I hope your day was super lovely with all your family members.

November 23, 2011

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How Smart Can You Get

A few months ago I was afforded the opportunity to do an online course. There were over 18 courses to choose from, two  stood out for me,which was the Internet Super User and Internet Marketing course, my choice was Internet Marketing.  The course was offered through GetSmarter, a high-touch online education company and is accredited by the University of Cape Town. This course duration was 10 weeks and the deadline for submitting our assignment was the end of business day every Monday.Overall,I had a great experience, I’ve learnt a lot and my mindset on internet marketing has changed, I can definitely say I am “Smarter”.  I  have no hesitation in recommending this course to anyone who wants to acquire more knowledge on internet marketing skills or specifically,how it benefits marketing professionals in small, medium and large businesses as well as small-business owners and entrepreneurs.

The topics/subjects that were covered:

Module 1    Introduction to internet marketing
Module 2    Website design and development
Module 3    Online copywriting and web PR
Module 4    Email marketing
Module 5    Online advertising
Module 6    Search engine optimisation
Module 7    Social media and viral marketing
Module 8    Web analytics and conversion optimisation
Module 9    Mobile marketing
Module 10 Internet marketing strategy

November 23, 2011

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How Smart Can You Get

A few months ago I was afforded the opportunity to do an online course. There were over 18 courses to choose from, two  stood out for me,which was the Internet Super User and Internet Marketing course, my choice was Internet Marketing.  The course was offered through GetSmarter, a high-touch online education company and is accredited by the University of Cape Town. This course duration was 10 weeks and the deadline for submitting our assignment was the end of business day every Monday.Overall,I had a great experience, I’ve learnt a lot and my mindset on internet marketing has changed, I can definitely say I am “Smarter”.  I  have no hesitation in recommending this course to anyone who wants to acquire more knowledge on internet marketing skills or specifically,how it benefits marketing professionals in small, medium and large businesses as well as small-business owners and entrepreneurs.

The topics/subjects that were covered:

Module 1    Introduction to internet marketing
Module 2    Website design and development
Module 3    Online copywriting and web PR
Module 4    Email marketing
Module 5    Online advertising
Module 6    Search engine optimisation
Module 7    Social media and viral marketing
Module 8    Web analytics and conversion optimisation
Module 9    Mobile marketing
Module 10 Internet marketing strategy

November 12, 2011

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Table Mountain A Global Icon of Nature

Well done  to everyone  who voted for our majestic Table Mountain! The announcement was 21:07 in  the V&A Waterfront. We were all  gathered  at Sevruga Shushi Restaurant, waiting for the announcement of  the  top 7 wonders of nature. It was a nervous, nail biting moment  but but some how I just had that feeling that Table Mountain will come out tops.

The  New7Wonders of Nature are as follows: Amazon, Halong Bay, Iguazu Falls, Jeju Island, Komodo, Puerto Princesa Underground River and  Table Mountain. I am proud to say that I was part of the Social Media Factory team that did the online campaign for this historical even.  Table Mountain is  360 million years old and is on of the oldest mountain on earth.

Social Media Factory in collaboration with Table Mountain Cableway  did a outreach programme to teach disadvantage children computer literacy and and getting them to vote. From February – November more than 120,000 unique visitors per month  was directed to www.votefortablemountain.com. A record breaking 3million votes was casted via the Mxit platform in one day. The Table Mountain fanpage reached an amount of 14,000 fans over a 8 month period and @votefortablemount twitter reached more than 2 million twitter users.

You can read more about the online campaigns and the outreach programme here

November 8, 2011

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From Table Mountain to RLabs

November 8, 2011

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Running for Hope

 

 

Saturday past was the big day for me, did the “I Ran-D For Hope” campaign. I woke up with a cough, headache and felt a bit flu-ish, however ,after a good ,healthy breakfast ,I felt good and ready for the day. My background , I am not professional runner and this was the first time I did a road run, this distance. The journey was from the foot of  Table Mountain to the RLabs office. While making my way to Table  Mountain, I realized, just what I got myself into,and the realization…there  is no way out this is going to be a long day for me.

The first stretch from Table Mountain to Mike Sports was down hill all the way .  Mike Sports was  the first water stop. I enjoyed the first stretch and we did it at a fast pace. When I came to Woodstock, I grew tired and my legs started to cramp, all that went through my mind was”  its still a long way home”. Then,Just when I felt like giving up the RLabs team, Hectic nine 9 and Fiona Fury( Table Mountain) came pass with motorbikes and made a noise and cheered me on. That gave me some extra miles :-)

Coming down Blossom Road, this was the home stretch,  I had little to no energy left. While waiting for the traffic car and the motorbikes to escort me into Bridgetown, where RLabs are situated. I took a break to stretch. A  few minutes later the traffic cars came with the motorbikes. I was escorted through Bridgetown,the people came out to see what the buzz was about, I took that opportunity to encourage them to vote for Table Mountain.

As I came through the gates at RLabs it was  amazing to see all the students  standing outside as I’m making my way to RLabs. This whole campaign was about them and to raise funds for their end of year graduation. The students also contributed extensively to the Vote For Table Mountain campaign. My overall experience, I enjoyed every moment of it and it was nice to have a team and people that supported us.

 

A big thanks to our sponsors

 

   

Our Partner Vote For Table Mountain

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