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First SA firm for eFounders Initiative

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Pargo, a high-tech logistics and fulfilment company, has been selected as the first South African delegate to join the eFounders Initiative Entrepreneurship Training Programme, titled Shaping Champions for the New Economy, hosted by Alibaba in the city of Hangzhou, China.

The programme is organised jointly by the Alibaba Group and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), and will explore the opportunity to effectively advance and develop an e-commerce ecosystem in Africa together with the Alibaba.
Alibaba Group Executive Chairman Jack Ma announced the initiative during a recent visit to Rwanda and Kenya. Ma, who also advises the UNCTAD on small business and young entrepreneurs, is a big believer in using e-commerce to drive development on the African continent and that the Internet should be a utility available to the whole world. During his trip Ma pledged to support domestic and cross-border e-commerce and work with African universities, governments and entrepreneurs to develop training programs in areas such as e-commerce, artificial intelligence, big data and cloud computing.
The eFounders Initiative Entrepreneurship Training Programme includes a 2-week course at the Alibaba Business School and will take 25 high-potential entrepreneurs from across Africa to learn from e-commerce giants Alibaba, Taobao.com and Tmall.com. The programme outcomes are to:

* Learn how ecommerce has transformed the economy and society in China, along with learn the necessary skills required to advance the participant companies.
* Develop a new era of online business, and eventually play a role in building the African e-commerce ecosystem.
* Empower the participants to not only apply the acquired knowledge in their home countries but also mobilise and inspire others to embrace the new economy paradigm.
* Create a local community of e-commerce champions who can support one another moving forward.
Lars Veul, director and co-founder at Pargo says: “It’s a privilege to be selected as the first South African company for this prestigious program. The e-commerce ecosystem in South Africa has seen significant growth over the last years, although last-mile logistics remain one of the key challenges that we are solving, there are still many more challenges we need to deal with collectively.” He adds that to be recognised by an industry leader like Alibaba with over 18-year experience and participate in the program will without doubt have a major impact on Pargo, and open opportunities for Pargo to enable more international partners to access South Africa and other emerging economies.
Pargo solves the challenges of last-mile logistics to enable e-commerce in emerging economies to reach every consumer in an efficient and cost-effective manner. By using an extensive network of Pargo parcel points where people can send and receive parcels they are bridging the gap between online and offline commerce.