Now in its 7th year, the competition is in celebration of annual Global Entrepreneurship Week, taking place next week 14 – 20 November, and invites youth between the ages of 18 and 35 to submit their business ideas, and attend one of 12 workshops held around the country. These regional workshops focus on teaching the complexities and fundamentals of compiling a business plan, as well as the basics of running a business. All 2016 entrants also received a Sales and Marketing eLearning course from SA BusinessHub to the value of R 750 each.
This year the competition received 347 entries initially, and, after completion of the workshops, 99 business plans were received for judging, from which eight regional winners were selected to contend for the overall national title.
The 2016 national winners, Nteleki and Njokweni, based in Johannesburg, are the entrepreneurs behind the business idea, MB.co Podiatrists, a business that seeks to offer podiatric interventions for clients, as well as provide a variety of customised innersole accessories, orthotics and footwear modification techniques.
Competition judge, Tiisetso Tsiki of Business Partners Limited (BUSINESS/PARTNERS), says that Nteleki and Njokweni, submitted a high-quality business plan which included a strong implementable concept and catered to a gap in the market. “Over and above the business plan, something else we look for is passion, dedication, drive and enthusiasm – all of which are not quantifiable – and Nteleki and Njokweni both demonstrated these traits” says Tsiki.
Both certified Podiatrists with proven experience in the industry, this dynamic partnership have their sights set on the occupational health industry and plan to focus on individuals who are employed in industries requiring the use of safety boots. “While protecting the foot from external dangers, safety footwear can cause severe complications in the lower limbs and feet, says Nteleki. “Such injuries can prevent the sufferer from functioning properly in his or her role, and can result in poor work performance.”
As part of the winner’s prize, MB.co Podiatry will receive R 25 000 in cash, business mentorship worth R 12 000 and a smart tablet device. All regional winners also received business mentorship valued at R6 000 each.
The other regional winners this year included:
Alyssa Reddy – SGD Training and Consulting (KwaZulu-Natal – Richards Bay):
Start, Grow, Develop Training and Consulting is the brain child of 25-year-old Alyssa Reddy, who realised that soft skills and human resources training was hard to come by in her home town of Richards Bay. The business is initially targeting small and medium enterprises, matriculants and employees looking to broaden their skills-set, but Alyssa hopes to eventually branch out and offer her services to larger organisations and the public sector.
Japhta Mokoko – Jayspectrum Trading and Projects (Pty) Ltd (Gauteng):
Randfontein local Japhta Mokoko is an artistic glass designer and manufacturer who has identified a large gap in his local market for sand-blasting and decorative blasting. While the target market for his glass design is wide – ranging from home owners to shopping centres and industrial parks – he will also be incorporating glass gifting into the business, making the diversity of his products a core business strength.
Johnson Mthembu – Stokvella (KwaZulu-Natal – Greater Durban):
Johnson Mthembu is the driver behind Stokvella, a mobile app developed to address the issues of transparency, security and accountability that members of the R45 billion Stokvel industry face. The Stokvella system aims to put all stokvel members in control of their own monies.
Mpho Rasimphi – #FYI Tutoring (Limpopo):
Five years ago, Mpho Rasimphi began tutoring struggling high school learners in Polokwane in preparation for their final exams. Today, #FYI Tutoring employs University students and part-time educators, and targets Grade 12 learners from local high schools by offering extra lessons in mathematics, physical science, accounting, economics and business studies.
Murray Senyatsi – iRez modern low cost rental apartments (Limpopo):
Polokwane is the hub of tertiary education in Limpopo, attracting students from all across the province and even the country. Aspiring property entrepreneur, Murray Senyatsi, aims to address the serious lack of quality accommodation for these students by providing low cost, well managed, safe and secure housing for students who are currently living in poor conditions and at great distances from their learning institutions.
Nosisa Ndabandaba – Supriim Vegan (Pty) Ltd (Western Cape):
Cape Town based Nosisa Ndabandaba is capitalising on the healthy eating trend gaining popularity around the world, by providing wholesome vegan and gluten-free snacks to those seeking tasty, environmentally friendly food. Starting with an outlet in Cape Town’s city centre, this health conscious entrepreneur aims to delight customers with “junk food with a clean and healthy twist” by sourcing all her organic ingredients locally and providing a 100% vegan alternative where very few options currently exist.
Prudence Biziwe Jackson – Chosen Fun House (Free State/Northern Cape):
Chosen Fun House, founded by Prudence Biziwe Jackson, assists businesses and individuals who are hosting events by taking responsibility for all activities associated with the event. This includes catering, travel and accommodation for guests, in addition to co-ordinating the event itself. Services are provided either separately or as a turnkey package, while events can range from weddings to corporate gatherings to large family reunions and holiday catering services.
Discussing takeaways from the various workshops, Petro Bothma, Enterprise Development Manager at BUSINESS/PARTNERS notes that it was evident that the young, hopeful entrepreneurs in attendance do not fully comprehend the vast amount of work that goes into developing a plan and starting a business, with the financial side of a business being largely neglected by many aspiring business owners.
The latest 2015-2016 GEM South Africa report states that the low prevalence of entrepreneurial activity among the youth is of concern in the South African context. “While many young aspiring entrepreneurs have the passion and ambition, they often stumble with the technicalities of starting a business.
“If we want to encourage our youth to become successful entrepreneurs, we need to adequately support and equip them with the basics and foundations of starting and running a business, which is the very reason why we launched this competition seven years ago,” concludes Bothma.