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 Young techpreneur awarded for wow-factor

 

 Innovative techpreneur, Khomotso Malakalaka, was announced as the national winner of the 2018 SME Toolkit BUSINESS/PARTNERS Business Plan Competition for Aspiring Young Entrepreneurs – a competition that saw 800 young aspiring entrepreneurs attend business planning workshops across the country to equip them with the necessary skills and tools to turn their business idea into a reality – in Johannesburg on 21 November 2018.

The competition aims to encourage, assist and inspire South Africa’s youth to start their own businesses as a means to reduce the country’s high unemployment rate by promoting entrepreneurship as a viable career choice.

However, according to Petro Bothma, Enterprise Development Manager at Business Partners Limited (BUSINESS/PARTNERS), who was speaking at the awards ceremony held this morning in Johannesburg, in order to do this, it is crucial that aspiring entrepreneurs be taught the essentials of starting a business, such as developing a business plan.

“This year, the competition saw an increase of entrants, especially from the country’s smaller cities, which is testament to entrepreneurship becoming a more popular career path throughout South Africa and not just in the larger metros,” says Bothma. “It is for this reason that 11 regional winners were chosen as opposed to the usual eight – with the exceptionally high calibre of the submitted business plans following the workshops, it was an extremely tough competition to judge.”

Malakalaka was awarded the national prize for her business plan for her Polokwane-based online grocery shopping and delivery start-up, The GoodGrocer, which ultimately exuded the ‘wow-factor’, explains Bothma. “The GoodGrocer will offer services that take advantage of the growing customer demand for e-commerce by providing a convenient and high-quality service, whilst taking into account its customers’ lifestyle needs and catering to the essential requirement of hassle-free, easy, and convenient online grocery shopping.

“The business plan submitted by Malakalaka was an outstanding representation of her start-up, showing great attention to detail and ultimately, the viability of the business. Set to begin trading in 2019, Malakalaka ensured that all her bases are covered and that the foundation for her business is in place. This, combined with her passion and her enthusiasm all played a role in her win,” says Bothma.

When selecting the national winner, the judges consider the quality of the business plan, the level of innovation, viability of the business concept, entrepreneurial ability and whether the aspiring entrepreneur is in fact ready to become a business owner in terms of their leadership skills and suitability to mentorship.

For being crowned the national winner of the 2018 SME Toolkit BUSINESS/PARTNERS Business Plan Competition for Aspiring Young Entrepreneurs, Malakalaka will receive R25 000 in seed capital for her business, a mentorship voucher valued at R12 000, a smart tablet and goodie bag.

Now in its ninth year, Bothma says that the competition continues to be a great journey and that she looks forward to working with South Africa’s youth each year. “The younger generation is filled with such passion, enthusiasm and hope, and our aim remains to continually support and channel this passion in order to help them to make their dreams a reality through the competition.”

Below is the list of other 2018 regional winners; each won mentorship voucher valued at R6 000:

Ayanda Jiyane – Hair Reconstructioners (KwaZulu-Natal)
At present, Jiyane has been operating out of her home or by traveling to her clients’ homes. However, once Hair Reconstructioners has been more formally established, it will offer a variety of hair services, including braids, twists, freehand, hair relaxing, hair treatments, hair washing, and weaves. Additionally, within three years of operation, Jiyane aims to add a spa to the business’s model, as well as start a mobile salon.

Frans Mpholo - Orange Berry ICT solutions(Free State):
Orange Berry ICT solutions is an internet café business which, once established in Kroonstad, will provide fast, reliable, and cost-effective internet access and services in the community; sell reasonably-priced, high-quality computer peripherals; increase the number of computer users in the area; provide locally- and internationally-recognised skills and training services; and attain and maintain a strong business presence in the province. 

Lucky Shabalala - Entertainment Neighborhood (Johannesburg):
Entertainment Neighborhood provides the use of video gaming facilities at R10 per hour to individuals from low-income households in the townships of Vereeniging. Shabalala started the company by using his personal gaming console which he set up outside a local hair salon. Today, Entertainment Neighborhood consists of eight PlayStation 4 consoles, eight UHD TVs, and 32 video games.

Moloko Goodwill and Michael Manaswe – PUREPONICS AQUAPONICS (North West):
Aquaponics is a sustainable agricultural practice combining hydroponics (the growing of plants in water) with aquaculture (the farming of aquatic organisms). Through this practice, Goodwill and Manaswe aim for PUREPONICS AQUAPONICS to produce and supply affordable, organic fish and vegetables to restaurants, supermarkets, grocers, schools, and other health- and eco-conscious institutions and consumers.

Nyaniseka Mxinwa and Noluthando Yolanda Funani – Buyel’mbo Innovative Services (East London):
Founded in 2016, and based in East London, the company’s services include the supply of processed timber to commercial clients, local retailers, and events coordinators, as well as the supply of untreated poles to various clients in the bigger Eastern Cape region.

Puseletso Patience Phoku – Panache Entertainment Agency (Mpumalanga)
Established in 2015 and based in Mbombela, Panache Entertainment Agency’s primary services include the recruitment and job placements of models, as well as establishing partnerships with marketing companies and sales representatives of local and international brands requiring brand activation services and promotions.

Shaidat Aroyewun - 1in Town (Port Elizabeth)
At present, Aroyewun designs and manufactures small clothing orders for family and friends. However, once the business is established, 1in Town will stock and supply a variety of fabrics and material designs to designers and tailors in Port Elizabeth and surrounds. The company will also design and make clothing for children aged 10 and lower, unique and custom-made burkas for Muslim women, as well as various types of caps.

Siphelo Sikolisi, Thembile Ndlondlo, Khululwe Tintelo, and Mphindeleli Qalazive – AutoPrecision Engineering (Western Cape)
AutoPrecision Engineering will largely be owner-operated and managed, with each of the owners being responsible for various business operations including marketing and sales, occupational health and safety, project management and machinery maintenance, as well as administrative functions. Once established, AutoPrecision Engineering’s services will include cylinder head reconditioning, cylinder reboring, crankshaft grinding, and cylinder head skimming, among others.

Takalani Magoro and Maemu Tshivhase – Sky Base Projects (Pretoria)
The concept for their company is to offer three main services: low-cost home staging (rearranging the property’s existing furniture), de-cluttering (removing unnecessary items from the property), and cleaning, which includes garden maintenance. Although based in Pretoria East, Sky Base Projects will cater to customers throughout Gauteng.

Thatho Maleka – Smart TKT (TKT BrowLash Boutique) (Northern Cape):
Founded in 2018, the TKT BrowLash Boutique is situated in Magojaneng Village in Kuruman, and is positioned to provide modern women of all ages with reasonably-priced, convenient eyebrow and eyelash services, including micro-blading. In addition to these services, Maleka’s boutique also sells retail beauty care products.

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