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first_imgHaraune Rachide. Stay with this name. He is a boy who was born on September 20, 2005 in Mauritania and that two years and two months ago he came to Spain to study and play soccer. Coming from an upper middle class family (his father has a company), he wanted to come to Spain for training. And two years later he is the young player with the most offers from the big clubs in Europe.Rachide is breaking it at Cornellá. Play in the Catalan cadet honor division. Carries 36 goals in 24 games. He is right-handed, but he seems left-handed (as you can see in his plays on the video of this news). At 14 years old, he plays with older players, but there is no difference in him. At the age of 14 he has been called up by the national team Under-17 from Mauritania and by the Catalan Under-16 team.He is a powerful, fast and decisive striker. The last speed test they did was 33.9 km / h. Therefore Atlético, Madrid, Barça and Valencia want to sign him now. But in addition to the four greats of Spain they also want to hire the most powerful teams in England and Italy. At 12 he wanted to sign Bordeaux, but it was not possible by FIFA regulations, which as is known is very strict with minors. Haraune Rachide left Mauritania in 2018 and landed on the Marcet Foundation where he combined his studies with school football. Francesco D’Argenio, Ansu Fati’s agent, removed him from the Marcet Foundation and I become a legal guardian to have a residence and continue my studies. It was then that the owner of Cornellá, Andrés Manzano, bet on him and gives him a monthly help.His great performances, in addition to arousing the interest of a lot of clubs, have led people from Adidas make him a four-year contract with an economic endowment. Those who have dealings with him assure that he is an intelligent, educated, humble boy who lives for soccer.The scouts of all the European clubs are squeezing their agent so that Rachide starts next season in a new team. Now soccer has stopped, but the offers kept coming until yesterday. He is 14 years old and must continue his training, but Rachide, the pearl of Mauritania, if his injuries respect him and he follows this progression. he is called to be a great in world football. Haraune Rachide. Follow this boy.last_img read more

first_imgSANTA FE SPRINGS – Thirteen-year-old Andres Rodriguez considers himself a catalyst for positive change. At a diversity conference Friday, the Santa Fe Springs Christian School eighth-grader urged his peers to be more tolerant and compassionate toward others. “We’re always quick to judge, not to think,” Andres said. “I learned how not to judge people but to think first and get to know them.” Andres, a Downey resident, was among 180 students selected to participate in the weeklong conference aimed at helping young people face and combat prejudice and discrimination. “At first, they isolate themselves and get into groups,” Capacete said. “But they realize they’re all going through the same things, so that brings them together, and you begin to see a lot of understanding going on.” araceli.esparza@sgvn.com (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3024160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The 17th annual Diversity Summit – themed Agents of Change this year – included workshops on peer pressure, violence, inter-generation conflicts, stereotypes and other issues. “Our objective is education and awareness about the issues they’re facing,” said Anthony Lopez, who helped coordinate the conference. “I want to believe that, with our children, these issues have been minimized and that they really have been growing up in a diverse community.” City and school officials started the summit after the 1992 Los Angeles riots, which threw a spotlight on the need for tolerance and respect, Lopez said. “It wasn’t something that was jumping out in our community. They just wanted to be proactive in addressing those types of issues,” said Rick Brown, the city’s early youth intervention coordinator. Pacific Clinics case manager Raquel Capacete, who led one of Friday’s workshops, said she saw transformations taking place during the summit. last_img read more

first_img 2 Emre Can has formed part of a back three for Liverpool under Brendan Rodgers 2 Liverpool v Chelsea in the Capital One Cup is live on talkSPORT on Tuesday 20 January 2015After a poor start to the season, Brendan Rodgers has steadied the ship but now faces a tough two-leg test against Chelsea in the Capital One Cup semi-finals.The Reds’ upturn in form – eight wins and just one defeat in their last 14 games – has coincided with a switch to playing three centre-backs, but former Arsenal defender Martin Keown does not believe the Northern Irishman should persist with this formation against the Blues.“Brendan Rodgers is a coach who believes strongly in his own attacking philosophy,” Keown said in his preview of the match for the Daily Mail.“He sticks to his principles, sometimes to the detriment of the team. If Rodgers persists with his preferred back three, Chelsea’s wide men will tear them apart.” Keown, who won three Premier League titles with the Gunners, believes the Liverpool manager needs to show the kind of tactical flexibility he didn’t demonstrate when the Reds lost a crucial Premier League game at home to Chelsea at the back end of last season.“A conventional back four would increase their solidity,” argued Keown, “so it will be interesting to see how Brendan goes.”For more on Liverpool v Chelsea and to read Keown’s thoughts on Steven Gerrard, Cesc Fabregas and what Jose Mourinho has learned, check out dailymail.co.uk/sport/footballlast_img read more

first_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The rescue of a 12-year-old boy from a flood channel in the San Fernando Valley during Tuesday’s storm shows how government really should work. In the 1990s, there was a growing problem of youngsters, usually boys who played too close to the raging water, getting swept to their deaths in the L.A. River during severe storms. Media coverage of these tragedies educated the public that greater efforts were needed to steer people clear of flood channels and that emergency workers needed better training. Fire department officials from throughout the area worked out a multiagency plan to safely and efficiently rescue people. Rescue personnel were trained and the Swiftwater Rescue Team was launched. And the team has been saving lives ever since. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREOregon Ducks football players get stuck on Disney ride during Rose Bowl event If government always worked that well – identify a problem then develop a solution – the public might not mistrust it so much. Kudos to the Swiftwater team, which once again saved a young life.last_img read more

first_imgEven Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin is impressedColáiste Ailigh students are enjoying this years BT Young Scientist with a total of nine qualified projects.Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin is among those who popped along to wish some the entrants well. PICTURE SPECIAL: COLÁISTE AILIGH PUPILS ENJOYING YOUNG SCIENTIST OF THE YEAR TRIP was last modified: January 8th, 2016 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:BT Young ScientistColaiste AilighdublinRDSlast_img read more

first_imgFall boutique, 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m. today and 9 a.m.-noon Sunday, Northridge United Methodist Church, 9650 Reseda Blvd. Call (818) 993-5734. Holiday boutique, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. today and 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday at the parish center, St. Peter Claver Roman Catholic Church, 5649 E. Pittman St., Simi Valley. Call (805) 583-0466. Holiday boutique, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. today, Tujunga United Methodist Church, 9901 Tujunga Canyon Blvd. Call (818) 353-3669 or (818) 352-1481. Holiday boutique, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. today, Congregational Church of the Chimes, 14115 Magnolia Blvd., Sherman Oaks. Call (818) 789-7124. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week “Emma,” a musical based on Jane Austen’s novel, will be performed by the Emmanuel Lutheran Actors Theatre Ensemble, 8 p.m. today, 2 p.m. Sunday and 8 p.m. Friday at Emmanuel Lutheran Church, 6020 Radford Ave., North Hollywood. Tickets: $10. Weekends through Nov. 20. Call (818) 509-0882. Christian social dance, 8 p.m.-midnight today at Canoga Park Lutheran Church, 7347 Jordan Ave. Modest attire requested. Beginning dance lesson: 7-8 p.m. Admission: $12. Call (818) 402-3863. Hanukkah fair, noon-9 p.m. Tuesday and 5-9 p.m. Wednesday at Temple Kol Tikvah, 20400 Ventura Blvd., Woodland Hills. Call (818) 348-0670, Ext. 219. Science of Mind self-awareness class, an eight-week course, 7-9:30 p.m. Tuesdays at Glendale Church of Religious Science, 2146 E. Chevy Chase Drive. Fee: $130. Call (818) 244-8171. “Beyond Never Again: The Holocaust Speaks to Our Generation,” a six-week course, 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays at the Jewish Learning Center-Chabad of Ventura, 5040 Telegraph Road, Ventura. Fee: $75. Registration required. Call (805) 658-7441. Conejo Jewish Academy classes: “Gateway to Heaven: The World of Prayer,” a six-week course, 8 p.m. Tuesdays. Fee: $18. “Reincarnation and the Kabbalah,” a six-week course, 8 p.m. Tuesdays. Fee: $25. “A Skeptics Guide to Judaism,” a six-week course, 8 p.m. Thursdays. Fee: $25. “With Honor and Dignity: The Jewish Approach to Death, Burial and Mourning,” a three-week course, 8 p.m. Thursdays. Fee: $18. Classes will be held at 30345 Canwood St., Agoura Hills. Registration required. Call (818) 991-0991 or see www.jewishacademy.com. “The Spirit of Music,” performed by Donna Elaine Miller and Tommy Reaves, 8 p.m. Thursday, Unity Church of Burbank and North Hollywood, 637 S. Victory Blvd., Burbank. Tickets: $15, $10 for children in advance or $20, $13 at the door. Call (818) 841-4037. “Texas Hold ’em Poker Tournament”, 5-9 p.m. Nov. 12 in the activity center at St. Mel Roman Catholic Church, 20870 Ventura Blvd., Woodland Hills. Buy-in fee: $250 in advance or $350 at the door; spectators $35. Reservations by Thursday. Fundraiser for the 50th anniversary year of the church. Call (818) 340-6020, Ext. 1017. A silent auction and dinner, presented by Panorama Baptist Church and School, will be held at 5:30 p.m. Nov. 12 at Los Angeles Baptist Junior-Senior High School, 9825 Woodley Ave., North Hills. Tickets: $25, $10 children. Reservations by Thursday. Call (818) 892-8700. Westlake Aglow, a Christian fellowship for women, will hold a brunch meeting at 9:15 a.m. Friday at Oaknoll Villas Clubhouse, 300 McCloud Ave., Thousand Oaks. Rabbi Murray Silberling from Beth Emunah Messianic Jewish Synagogue in Agoura Hills, will be the guest speaker. Admission: $10. Reservations required. Call (805) 498-1961. “Sixty Years After World War II: Remembering the Greatest Generation,” a Veterans Day event with stories told by members of Chatsworth United Methodist Church, will be held at 7 p.m. Friday at 10824 Topanga Canyon Blvd. Call (818) 341-1270. Congregation Beth Meier Shabbat events: A family service led by Rabbi Aaron Benson, 7:30 p.m. Friday; “Garden of Eden” vegetarian dinner and service will begin at 6 p.m. Nov. 18 at 11725 Moorpark St., Studio City. Dinner: $10, requires reservations. Call (818) 769-0515. “Growing Up Jewish in Boyle Heights” will be the topic discussed following a Shabbat service at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Burbank Temple Emanu El, 1302 N. Glenoaks Blvd. Call (818) 845-1734. “Blessing of the Animals,” 10 a.m. Nov. 12 at Shadow Hills Presbyterian Church, 10158 Johanna Ave. Animals must be properly restrained. Call (818) 353-2500. Holiday boutique, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Nov. 12 in the social hall at First United Methodist Church, 4832 Tujunga Ave., North Hollywood. Call (818) 763-8231. “Teenagers: What Do They Want?” panel discussion, 9:45-10:45 a.m. Nov. 13 at St. Luke Lutheran Church, 5312 Comercio Way, Woodland Hills. Call (818) 346-3070 or see www.stlukelutheran.com. “Blessed Reward” will be the message delivered by the Rev. Bob Eichcle at 10:15 a.m. Sunday at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, 9 W. Bonita Drive, Simi Valley. Call (805) 583-0556. “Do You Have It?” will be the message delivered by the Rev. Bob McDill at 10:30 a.m. Sunday at Sepulveda Unitarian Universalist Society, 9550 Haskell Ave., North Hills. Call (818) 894-9251. “Bitter or Better? It’s Up to You” will be the message delivered by the Rev. Bonnie Rowsell at 10 a.m. Sunday service at Glendale Church of Religious Science, 2146 E. Chevy Chase Drive, Glendale. Call (818) 244-8171. “Resiliency” will be the message delivered by the Rev. Carrie Lauer at 10 a.m. Sunday when the Center of Spiritual Awakening meets at the Radisson Hotel, 9777 Topanga Canyon Blvd., Chatsworth. Call (818) 709-1451. “Ham and Eggs” will be the message delivered by the Rev. Dave Wilkinson at 8:15 and 10:45 a.m. Sunday at Moorpark Presbyterian Church, 13950 Peach Hill Road. Call (805) 529-8422. “Only One” will be the message delivered by the Rev. Evelyn Hammond at 10 a.m. Sunday at the Center for Highly Effective Living, Church of Religious Science, meeting at the Pacific Lodge Youth Services, 4900 Serrania Ave., Woodland Hills. Call (818) 883-1300. “Wisdom for a Lifetime” will be the message delivered by the Rev. Alden Studebaker at 10:30 a.m. Sunday at Unity Church of the Valley, 2817 Montrose Ave., La Crescenta. Call (818) 249-4396. “Choices” will be the message delivered by the Rev. Glenn Kirby at 8:45, 10:15 and 11:45 a.m. Sunday at West Valley Christian Church, 22450 Sherman Way, West Hills. Call (818) 884-6480. “Peace at You” will be the message delivered by the Rev. Thomas E. Witherspoon at 10:30 a.m. Sunday at Unity Church of the Valley, 2817 Montrose Ave., La Crescenta. Call (818) 249-4396. Religion events are complied by Staff Writer Holly Andres. Notices appearing in the events column must reach the Daily News two weeks before the Saturday on which they are to run. Items must be typewritten. Phone numbers must be included for contact purposes. Mail to Religion Calendar, P.O. Box 4200, Woodland Hills, CA 91365-4200. Fax (818) 713-0058 or e-mail without attachments to holly.andres@dailynews.com. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

first_imgDES MOINES, Iowa – The Drake University women’s soccer team is excited to welcome six student-athletes in Reilly Bertram (Urbandale, Iowa), Ali Burke (Shawnee, Kan.), Shelley Lyjak (Bartlett, Ill.), Mariah Northrop (Arden Hills, Minn.), Cassie Rohan (Palatine, Ill.) and Annie Schmitz (St. Louis, Mo.) for the 2016 season, head coach Lindsey Horner announced on Friday, Feb. 5.”I’m excited by the possibilities of our 2016 class,” Horner said. “I believe they will positively contribute to our team’s culture as they are motivated to compete at a high level, are dedicated students and most importantly young women of high character. Our returners have set high goals and expectations for this fall, so I’m excited to see how these new student-athletes transition to the college game and continue to push our program to further success.”Bertram is a local product from Dowling Catholic High School. A forward, she has helped the Maroons earn a pair of Iowa Class 5A State title runner-up finishes and another spot in the state semifinals. Bertram is a member of the Sporting Iowa club.Burke, from Shawnee, Kan., is a talented two-sport standout in basketball and soccer for St. James Academy and a four-year member of both Thunder teams. She is a midfielder and a member of the KC United Rangers soccer club that has helped the club win more than 50 tournaments and six-consecutive Kansas State Cup championships.Lyjak, from Bartlett, Ill., is another two-sport standout playing basketball and soccer for Bartlett High School. She is a member of the Sockers FC Chicago ECNL club.Northrup, from Arden Hills, Minn., is a forward for Mounds View High School. She was a captain this past season for the Mustangs that earned first team all-state honors and helped the team finish fourth at the 2015 Minnesota Class AA State championship. She is a member of the SC Centennial Premier club.Rohan, a midfielder, is from Palatine, Ill., who attends William Fremd High School. She is a member of the Eclipse Select club, which has captured back-to-back Illinois State Cup champions.The final member of the 2016 class is Schmitz, a defender from St. Louis, Mo. She played one season for Ursuline Academy and earned a varsity letter for the Bears. Schmitz is a two-year captain of the St. Louis Scott Gallagher ECNL club.2016 Drake University Women’s Soccer Class On Why They Chose Drake Reilly Bertram”I chose to come to Drake because I want to continue my soccer career in a program that fits my style while also receiving a high quality education.”Ali Burke”I chose Drake because it’s a university that will challenge me academically, prepare me for the future and allow me to further my soccer career.”Shelley Lyjak”Being a Bulldog will give me the opportunity to be the best student-athlete I can be.”Mariah Northrop”I chose Drake because of the numerous opportunities it holds academically, as well as the opportunity to continue my soccer career.”Cassie Rohan”I chose Drake because I really see myself attending its beautiful campus for the next four years. The soccer program is excellent and I want to be a part of it.”Annie Schmitz”I chose Drake because I felt a great connection between myself and the coaching staff.  It feels like they are genuinely concerned about me as both an athlete and a student.  They really push academic excellence as being part of the program, which is important to me.”What They Are Saying About The 2016 Drake University Women’s Soccer ClassReilly Bertram”Reilly possesses sound technical ability coupled with a good tactical understanding of the game. Reilly has a tremendous work ethic and passion for the game and a dedication to learn and improve all the time. She will be a great addition to Drake, both on-and-off the field.”John Sheridan, Head Coach Sporting IowaAli Burke”Ali is the consummate team player. She is a great friend to many, is very coachable and has a great understanding of her strengths and limitations. She is a selfless player who works hard on the defensive side of the ball and offensively has a great knack for making sure that the most dangerous player on her team will get the ball in transition.  She will be a great addition to the Bulldog squad on-and-off the field.”Rick Enna, St. James Academy CoachShelley Lyjak”Shelley has been a great player to coach over the past few years. Her speed and Energizer bunny effort is what sets her apart from other players. We are excited to see how Shelley will take on her next challenge playing at Drake.”Albert Martin, Sockers FC Chicago ECNLMariah Northrop”Mariah is one of the most dedicated, self-motivated, and coachable players I have known in my time as a coach.  Her work ethic and competitive nature will raise the level of those around her.  The Drake soccer program can look forward to a natural leader joining their team, someone who will excel on the field, in the classroom and set a positive example among her peers.  Drake is fortunate to have such a positive and impactful individual joining its program.” Katelynn Fast, Assistant Coach, Mounds View High SchoolCassie Rohan”Cassie’s combined ability to screen the line defensively as well as set the play up in the front makes her an elite two-way player. She has been a centerpiece of the success her team has had on the national level. She will be a great addition to the Drake program.”Rory Dames, Eclipse Select ECNLAnnie Schmitz”Annie has been such a positive influence on her club over the past several years, growing as a leader and helping to drive her team in the right direction. She has worked relentlessly to get up and down the line from her wingback spot and show a high level of commitment to find excellence in her game. We are very proud of her here at St. Louis Scott Gallagher and we know that she will be an asset for Drake in the next four years.”Scott McDoniel, St. Louis Scott Gallagher ECNL Print Friendly Versionlast_img read more

first_imgA US Congressman with roots in Donegal has called out President Trump for referring to Ireland as being a part of the UK. “Please stop embarrassing us on the international stage,” Congressman Brendan Boyle asked Trump after the President declared his belief that the people of the UK like him.Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Trump said he was popular in the UK despite protests against his visit: Trump said: “There might be protests. I believe that the people in the UK — Scotland, Ireland, as you know I have property in Ireland, I have property all over — I think that those people they like me a lot and they agree with me on immigration.”Pennsylvania Congressman Brendan BoyleIn a hard-hitting tweet, Democrat Congressman Boyle pointed out to the President that: “Ireland is not part of the U.K. It’s been an independent country for about 100 years. It was kind of a big deal.“Please stop embarrassing us on the international stage. Thanks.”Brendan Boyle, whose father Frank comes from Glencolmcille, was elected to the House of Representatives in 2014. He holds a strong value in his Donegal roots and visits home regularly. Congressman Boyle calls out Trump on ’embarrassing’ Ireland/UK gaffe was last modified: July 13th, 2018 by Staff WriterShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:congressman brendan boylepresident donald trumplast_img read more

first_imgThrough Thundafund, Open Streets Cape Town received an investment of R40 720 from a crowd-funding community of 70 supporters. (Image © Lisa Burnell for Cape Town Partnership)• Patrick SchofieldCo-founder, Thundafund+27 72 3100 198skype: ipatrick.ischofieldtwitter: @PakSchofield• South Africa’s competitive advantage in the developing world• Brewing business success: SAB Miller’s Graham Mackay • Adopt a Trashcankid • Barrier breakers build new world • Buy Back South Africa, save and create jobsLorraine KearneyA huge 70% of new businesses fail in their first year, says Patrick Schofield, co-founder of new South African crowd-funding platform Thundafund. But group funding can turn this alarming statistic on its head – by testing whether there is a market for a new idea before pouring cash into it.Billed as “African rainmakers”, Thundafund is the country’s first official, online crowd-funding initiative. It is based in Cape Town and focuses on creative and innovative projects likely to bring social and economic benefits.In the six months after it went live in June 2013, Thundafund raised over R425 000 for 20 projects. It aims to raise at least R1-million in 2014. “It is growing nicely,” Schofield says. The three-year goal, based on extensive global and local research, is to have 3 400 projects funded, R173-million raised and 10 000 jobs created.On a single day at the end of November 2013, 21 projects were submitted for consideration. So far, almost 300 ideas have been pitched, 12% of which have “gone live” – are online and open to funding. In a different model from international crowd-funding sites, Thundafund does not simply let any project on to its books. All ideas submitted are carefully considered by a group of experts. Those making the grade are mentored, raising their chances of success.“The international average for successful projects is 40%. Thundafund is sitting around 80%,” says Schofield. This is both good and bad: it shows the model can work, but it suggests the platform may be too cautious in taking on new projects.Sustainable businesses“The reason it is doing very well is because we are not just a crowd-funding platform,” Schofield says. “We’re a crowd-funding business support platform, which means we won’t put campaigns up there unless we think they’ve at least got a pretty good chance of success.”The project is based on solid principles, one of which is to avoid charity. “We spent over a year researching crowd-funding and looking at what would work best in South Africa. We came to a number of decisions. One, that we did not want a charity platform, because I do not believe that charities build sustainable enterprise, which is what we need in South Africa.“We also saw that crowd-funding had been incredibly successful in the United States and Europe, but those are very developed markets, and they are working from a much higher base of business skills and IT penetration. In South Africa, there are so many people and youth coming out of school, starting up ideas, but our education system has not actually prepared us to run enterprises. Coming up with ideas we are good at. Figuring out how to make them ideas that will work we’re not so good at.”That’s where the mentorship business support comes in, which Thundafund calls micro-mentoring. It uses a “Three Steps Ahead” policy: entrepreneurs who started their own businesses three years ago, and who know exactly what it’s like to be in that starter phase, mentor and guide the new start-ups. “It’s the right advice at the right time given by the right people.”New pitches are questioned about the strength of their network and social media presence, their value proposition, and what they offer in return for funding. “That is one of the main things we do at Thundafund, and it is very much part of our ethos: we’re not about donations. There is definitely space for donations, NGOs and charities in South Africa, but it is not our space.”Schofield argues that a healthy society with a sustainable economy, able to fend for itself and compete globally, can only be built on a trade-based system. “I really do believe that right from the level of human dignity, that people respect each other a lot more when they trade rather than go the donation route.”Schofield is almost evangelical about crowd-funding’s ability to build communities and bring rewards – rewards that include recognition and access. Invest in a good cause, such as building a school, and you’re investing in the future of the children. For that, the return is recognition for what you are doing, which is social standing in society, and that has huge value.Taking the riskThundafund’s main focus is creativity and innovation. South Africa has plenty of both, but there are real barriers to mass growth potential. One is a lack of access to capital. South African investors are traditionally conservative, particularly in the technology sector.“There are several reasons for that prudence, or inability to take risk by the venture capitalists,” says Schofield. “Most importantly is that they can’t get their money back. If you loan someone money, below R500 000, because of the legal processes it takes to get the cash back, you might as well give the damn stuff away. If they don’t give it back, to get it back through the legal routes is very expensive and almost not worth it. So it makes it very difficult for anyone to loan cash, which in turn makes it very difficult for people to borrow cash to start businesses.”Another option is government funding, which is often grant funding – and grant funding is generally spent inefficiently. The government by necessity has to be extremely risk-averse because of the potential for accusations of corruption – and in fact, when there are large wads of cash there is a large scope for corruption. “On the other hand, governments are in a position to be, and are often remarkable risk takers – because they push money into a lot of things that are unproven.”South Africa has a history of communities supporting people to start new ideas, such as the incredibly popular stokvels, which function as savings clubs, and investment clubs. “Crowd-funding is just the next level up. It works on the idea that if you come together, you can make something happen. Whether it’s through a theatre performance or a book or writing an iPhone app, you begin to see how people will invest in those as they see it working.”Creativity is much more accessible than innovation in South Africa at present. A large number of people are creating the most beautiful artisanal products, from plates to jewellery to clothing. Technology is still relatively new. “A lot of what’s on Thundafund at the moment is much more in the creativity space, but we are actively engaging to ensure that innovation grows rapidly.”The platform is building a relationship with the Cape Peninsular University of Technology, for example, and from this year it will be compulsory for industrial design students to do a crowd-funding campaign on Thundafund.RewardIt’s a good practical training ground for the students. Crowd-funding acts like a sort of retail mall for ideas. As an investor, you buy ideas that haven’t been realised yet, but which you love. “In essence, you are pre-buying the product, for example a bicycle gadget or a theatre performance: if you love it, pre-buy your tickets; if you love it, buy a dinner with the director, come to dress rehearsal, or get invited to the after-party.”There is always that reward. Firstly, it is for backers to recognise that they are not donating, and secondly, it allows the creators of the project to think in terms of a trade. For investing in Oranjezicht City Farm, for example, backers can Pimp Your Patch – they can name their row of vegetables, and even spend time at the city farm learning about gardening.It’s a pretty contemporary idea: a return on investment being something less tangible than cash in your bank or a dividend paid out. “People pay huge amounts for recognition and standing within society, and for access, such as being a beta tester of a new app or tickets to the opening night of a new performance… That’s a value that is being recognised – and it’s a trade.”Market researchThe return is the crux, but so is the ability of crowd-funding to test an idea. “It’s not just about creating something that is an ego trip; it’s about saying that this product that we create actually has a market in the world. That’s where crowd-funding can be very exciting. You’re guiding people; you’ve got to show that there is a market for a product and that people want it.”It’s an idea reiterated by Paul Dalton from Daddy’s Dragons, an incubator that works to increase the success rate of entrepreneurs. “Funding is a hot topic,” he said at the Thundafund landed launch on 28 November 2013, held in the stylish Cape Quarter in De Waterkant. “But you don’t need funding to start a business. More important is to go into the market place and get validation for your idea.”Schofield adds that you have to let go of your ego and accept that either the market likes your product or it doesn’t – and he’s learned this lesson by making his own mistakes along the way.The partnersThe Thundafund partners include Schofield; Jamie Walker; Eban Welby-Solomon, who heads up Social Alpha, which invests in impact investment; and Lunda Wright, a “tech dude” from Ghana. In building the platform, they partnered with Buzzbnk in the United Kingdom, which provided the initial backend. It was an efficient way of doing business: rather than rebuilding the combustion engine, Thundafund built on top of existing technology, reforming it for local needs.This route cut costs: “When we first thought of building Thundafund, we needed R6-million to get out the door. By the time we went live, we had used under a million. We used the principles of crowd-funding, and tested the idea on the market, before building on it.”Thundafund is the only local crowd-funding entity in the creativity and innovation space. It is a small enterprise: there are four staff members in South Africa, and six in the British backing company. There are more people in Bulgaria, where the site build was done and the technical backend remains. In time, the technical development will be brought to South Africa.Given Gain, which is based in Stellenbosch, is in the donation space. It is linked to an international organisation based in Switzerland, and provides non-profit organisations with secure online tools including online donation payment processing, CRM database, website, communication tools and fundraising tools.The projectsThundafunded projects include:Evolve Ybike, a 3-in-1 combination tricycle and balance bike, in which 65 supporters helped exceed the target of R30 000 to raise R49 070 – 165% crowd-funded projectT2T Africa Expedition Team, in which 82 supporters raise R61 150, exceeding the target of R13 500 by 453%Mooibos Vertical Gardens, which achieved R18 773 raised off a R10 000 target, equalling 188% crowd-funded with 37 supportersBenguela, which raised R10 770 on a R9 000 target to finalise recording costs for their fifth album –120% crowd-funded by 44 supportersOranjezicht City Farm, which raised R30 950, 310% more than its R10 000 target, to help realise the farm’s aim of a “veggielution”Open Streets Cape Town, which got investment of R40 720 from a crowd-funding community of 70 supporterslast_img read more

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest I’d say the majority of guys in Van Wert are close to half done with soybeans and maybe 5% to 10% of their corn harvested. So far for our corn there have been no quality issues. The test weight has been 58 to 61 pounds and moisture was about 20.5% the last time we ran. Every day that goes by drying corn gets a little cheaper. Hopefully we can be harvesting dry corn and putting it right in the bin.In soybeans, on the other hand, we have seen quality issues here and there — nothing that hasn’t been accepted but definitely not as good as last year. The soybean has a tarnished, brownish look. It is not in every field, though. We pretty much apply everything to our soybeans — fungicide, insecticide. After doing some research, it looks like stink bug damage. It is mind-blowing to me that it could be that because we applied insecticide but that is what it looks like. I wouldn’t leave beans in the bin for too long this year.I still think our corn is going to be knocking on the door of 200. It may not the best corn year we ever had or even better than last year, but it is excellent. The early corn hybrids definitely got hurt by the end of July heat and dryness. Later hybrids appear to be very good.On the soybean side it is rocking and rolling — unbelievable. We just harvested a 100-acre field that made an over 82-bushel average. I could barely keep up hauling it. It felt like we were hauling corn. I think in Van Wert County there will be 70 to the low-80 bushel range soybeans. The 30-inch beans we tried were about 10 bushels less than everything else. It was something we wanted to try and we probably won’t do it again.Our strip-tiller should be done today. We went out and played with it the other day and it seems like it will work and we’ll get started with that strip-tillage the next time it dries out. It is raining right now and we are hoping we don’t get much more.last_img read more