African Tech Quicklinks

PayPal’s Electronic Profiling
Jon Gosier captures the emotions of so many people with his rant on PayPal’s blanket policies against anyone transacting business in Africa (black or white, with track record or not).

Maker Faire Africa as “Bushpunk”
Bunmi Oloruntoba asks if the normal Maker Faire’s feel more like Victorian HG Wells England’s steampunk, then could Maker Faire Africa be considered “bushpunk”? (a new term as far as I know…)

Mapping the Cloud
Ethan Zuckerman’s excellent essay on the cloud, while at Ars Electronica in Austria.

Kenya’s Internet Grows Up
Shashank Bengali, in Nairobi, talks about Craigslist going live in Kenya and points to Kenya’s largest newspaper’s efforts in the same space, N-Soko. I actually disagree, until we have an electronic means to transact business on the web/mobile, then we’re stuck.

Seed funding in African tech entrepreneurs
Sean at AfricaFeed has some real-world insight and thoughts on seed investing in African tech entrepreneurs.

Innovation in Africa (panel)
A couple of us were at the SoCap conference in California last week, talking on a panel on innovation in Africa. NextBillion’s writeup captured the discussion best.

Social Entrepreneurs and SoCap ’09

Last year, after Pop!Tech where I was labeled a Social Entrepreneur Fellow, I wrote a post for them asking, “if every African entrepreneur is a social entrepreneur?” This questions stems from my lack of clarity on what defines a “social entrepreneur” in the first place.

SoCap 09I just pulled into San Francisco for the second annual Social Capital Markets conference (SoCap). Kevin Jones, the convener of the conference calls this, “The market at the intersection of money and meeting.” So here, Social Capital is supposedly about putting money behind social entrepreneurs.

How do you define social entrepreneurship?

Rob Salkowitz says, “Every entrepreneur who creates employment & opportunity where it’s needed is a social entrepreneur.” That’s broad, but so is the terminology we’re starting with.

Wikipedia defines it as, “A social entrepreneur is someone who recognizes a social problem and uses entrepreneurial principles to organize, create, and manage a venture to make social change.”

What’s your definition?