Free software for startups in 2023

The best free software for Startups and Entrepreneurs in 2023

The journey of an early-stage startup, MSME or SME can be very difficult and requires doggedness to manage the adventure. It takes a combination of dedication, hard work, and free software for startups to turn an early-stage startup into a thriving enterprise.

One key to success is effective management, which is where the right tools and software can make all the difference. In this article, we will highlight four areas where the right software can help small business owners streamline operations, increase efficiency, and free up time and energy to focus on other key areas of the business. Whether you are just starting out or looking to take your company to the next level, here are some of the best free software for startups in 2023.

 

Customer Relationship Management(CRM) Software

Customer relationship management (CRM) tools help businesses and startups retain customers, which is a key factor in determining and defining growth (what’s a startup with no customer?). It is one of the most relevant tools to a business’s growth because it helps to accomplish much with customers and clients while managing their relationships. 

Every startup needs a CRM to provide that required seamless customer experience. Without a CRM software you are losing 85% of converting customers into long-term customers. 

What features should you look out for in a CRM software

  • Dashboard and report 
  • Marketing automation 
  • Email integration 
  • Sales pipeline management 
  • Lead management

Here are some of the free CRM software for startups;

  • Zoho is a good choice for CRM software as it allows for seamless integration with other applications. It has a fully customizable user interface based on preferences; you can add features such as reporting tools, emails, etc. The software offers a startup-friendly free plan which supports up to three users. Zoho is a budget-friendly, and among the best free tools for startups online
  • Hubspot comes with a free forever plan and tiered pricing plans which are highly scalable. It has flexible pricing plans that allow you to purchase these tools individually or stack them together for an all-in-one CRM solution. Hubspot has many helpful tools for startup teams and it is the overall best option.

 

Project Management Software

As a startup in its early stage, you might have multiple projects to handle with small manpower to oversee the project. online project management tools allow you to stay in charge, collaborate with the team, assign a task, and manage project timelines.

The tool to choose will depend on the needs of the team and how easily it can be customized. Here are some of the free software for startups;

  • Trello is an online project management tool that gives a visualization of projects being managed. It doesn’t offer much flexibility in assigning tasks. It has a free plan and the paid plan starts from $5 which is cost-effective for startups.
  • ClickUp is another good software that allows you to manage teams and tasks, set priorities, and communicate all in one space.
  • Asana is a good online project tool with more customization features. It is suitable for small teams and has a feature that permits subtasks to individuals, and tracking of the task. Asana offers a free plan and its paid plan starts from $10/month. 

 

Finance Management Software

You might wonder if using financial software has any benefit. But if you plan to scale or move to the growth stage your accounting has got to be straight. It’s important to digitize your accounting processes as it helps effectively manage accounting records, reduce errors, 

Financial management software gives startup owners and managers faster access to better insights about payables, receivables, fixed assets, and other key financial data points. Some finance management tools to try; 

  • QuickBooks is a comprehensive financial management tool with powerful features tailored toward small and medium businesses and startups. It helps you with bank reconciliation, invoices, tracking expenses, payroll, and advanced reporting. They offer both cloud and on-premise solutions, and it has a flexible payment plan starting from $10/month.
  • Xero and Zoho Finance is a professional finance tool that lets businesses manage invoices, track expenses, and report. They also have user-friendly dashboards which don’t have much accounting expertise.

 

Cybersecurity Software.

Cybersecurity is critical for business, with the increase in online theft, pushing, and hacking employers will want to take security measures that protect employees who use email, your business’s applications, websites, or endpoints. There are various types of cybersecurity solutions for SMBs and startups. Using the right security hardware or software will empower your business to maximize its potential without sacrificing safety.

  • Antivirus software for ransomware attacks
  • Endpoint Protection protection of hardware connected to the network 
  • Web Application Firewalls (WAFs) keep your web-based applications protected from hackers that want to steal your information 
  • Cloud-based security 

The two most important factors for entrepreneurs and early-stage startups that are cash-strapped are affordability and scalability when it comes to using free software for startups. It’s also okay to migrate from one software to another when the time to scale comes but ensure you choose a software that meets your present needs and aligns with your future business goals so that transitioning is seamless.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tech Startups - cfagbata

Penetration of Tech Startups in Africa

Reports indicate that over 35% of the African population has Internet access. While Africa accounts for 15.0% of the world’s population, only 10.9% of the World’s Internet subscribers are Africans. Africans who have access to broadband connections are estimated to be in percentage of 1% or lower.

In 2017, a total amount of $560 million was invested in startups. South Africa ($167.9 million), Kenya ($147 million) and Nigeria ($114.6 million) accounted for 76% of the total funding that came into the region.

In recent time, Africans have been waking up to grab and explore the opportunities abound in solving African problems through the use of technology thought startups establishment.

Tech Startups companies are springing out and they have been able to solve some major problems besetting the African continent ranging from transportation, communications, mobile banking, Agriculture, etc. Thankfully, a number of business and innovation blogs have been at the forefront of sharing the stories appropriately. 

It has been said that the first technological movement in Africa can be traced back to Nairobi the state capital of Kenya. In 2006, Kenya experienced what was called “The Big Boom” in Internet connectivity.

The first undersea Internet cable was laid and as a result, Kenyans have more access to the Internet. Different technological innovations were carried out and to a large extent, some exist till date.

First among those innovations was M-mobile money service. M-mobile was officially launched by Safaricom a Telecom Company in 2007 with the primary aim of fast-tracking the process of sending and receiving money without a bank account.

As long as you have a mobile phone, you can send and receive money. Within some few years, M-mobile was able to acquire over 6 million customers on its database.

Towards the end of 2007 an app called USHAHIDI was launched by a group of four young individuals – Erik Hersman, Ory Okolloh, JuliananRotich, and David Kobia – with the aim of monitoring and tracking down violence during elections in Kenya and it became a huge success.

e-Tech Startup companies in Kenya are Branch, Tala, Kopo Kopo, Bamba, Angaza, Eneza Education, etc.

In Nigeria, mobile banking has been revolutionized and made very easy through technology. Commercial banks are partnering with tech startup to create apps which enable the business transaction carried out efficiently without an individual having to visit the banking hall.

Fintech companies such as Paga, etc. have improved the standard of paying and receiving money over the years exponentially. They have been able to make online banking transaction so easy that in just a click, you can send and receive money and also monitor your financial transactions without you calling your account officer for an explanation.

They have been able to create thousands of jobs and manage to attract over $82 million dollars in grants in the first quarter of 2018.

There is also Thrive Agric, Farmcrowdy, Agritech, etc. whose major aim is to connect farmers and investors together via a mobile app thereby solving one of the main problems of farmers who do not have start-up capitals to buy notable equipment and hire more hands to expand their business.

In terms of transportation, Gokoda, Taxify, SmartCab, etc. are making headway.

In the Northern part of Africa, Cities such as Algiers, Cairo, Casablanca, and Sousse are seriously making headway in terms of creating a fast-growing, ICT, ed-Tech, and e-health innovation centers.

Egypt has been credited as being the torchbearer when it comes to tech startups in the Northern part of Africa. According to, it has been estimated that fundraising spiked up to 105% making Egypt one of the most popular technological driven innovation centers in the continent.

Apart from the fact that Egypt does experience periodical political turmoil, successful tech startups are growing up vibrantly. With a population of over 90 million people, coupled with the fact that millions of the entire population are mobile phone users, it has been postulated that there will be a 35% growth rate in the future of mobile and web commerce in the coming years. Notable tech companies in Egypt are Fawry, Tpay, Dopay, Raye7, Tyro, jeered, etc.

Tech startups are also coming of age in Morocco and Tunisia. It has been estimated that in Morocco a total amount of $3.4 million was raised with Beerset (a meeting and events app) raising most of it. Tunisia is also doing quite well with companies like Roammart and getting funded.

In the Southern part of Africa, South Africa has experienced massive growth in economic opportunities as a result of the emergence of tech startups. With the majority of South Africans having smartphones with access to the internet and card base payment becomes popular, the emergence of companies has been able to bridge the gap between customers and merchant.

Tech startups such as Hashtag South Africa, Tuluntulu, Jobcrawler, Yoco, The Artery, Smart Toy club, etc. have been able to solve various problems besetting the country and also created more job opportunities South Africans.

Finally, Investors have realized that when it comes to tech startups, the best place to invest is Africa. The African continent is gradually waking up and the ground is very fertile for new innovative and technological ideas to take root.