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Life after being named a 2017 Entrepreneur of the Year® winner

Not only do entrepreneurial awards offer winning businesses a cash injection, but they are also a great platform to raise a business’ profile – which can often prove to be more valuable than the cash prize! An awards platform not only offers entrepreneurs the opportunity to expand their current network and receive expert analysis of their business and its process, but they also generate wide-reaching media exposure.

One month since the 2017 Entrepreneur of the Year® awards ceremony – which saw some of South Africa’s top entrepreneurs converging in one room for a morning of celebration and networking – we caught up with some of the winners to hear first-hand how the competition, and being a named a winner, has impacted their business.

Willem van der Merwe, owner of Africa Biomass Company: 2017 Entrepreneur of the Year®

“It has been a whirlwind since receiving the title of 2017 Entrepreneur of the Year® and winning has certainly elevated the public’s awareness of our company to another level. Not only have we received recognition for our work like never before, but it has also helped us to really demonstrate the value we bring to our industry.

“We have also been well-pleased with the media exposure our brand has secured since winning: the feedback we have received from clients and stakeholders, is in many ways more than double what we are accustomed to. While it is still early, we expect that the continued exposure will help us in reaching the goals we’ve set for the next level in our business. We’ll definitely consider entering again in the future!”

Read more about Willem’s business and why he was selected as the 2017 Entrepreneur of the Year® here.

Siraaj Adams and Sizwe Nzima, co-owners of Iyeza Health: 2017 Emerging Business Entrepreneur of the Year®

“We have been overjoyed since our win – both with the experience, as well as with the attention we have received post the awards ceremony. Many of our clients and stakeholders have been most impressed with the accolade and have been very complimentary – which we really value.

“We have also received fantastic media coverage and increased brand awareness – our LinkedIn profile alone has received over 2000 profile views in just one month! We will definitely enter the competition again in the near future with the goal to take our win from the Emerging Business category to the overall title of Entrepreneur of the Year®!”

Read more about Sizwe and Siraaj’s business and why they were selected as the 2017 Emerging Business Entrepreneurs of the Year®here.

Siphiwe Ncgobo, founder of iLawu Hospitality Group: Job Creator of the Year®

“Winning the Job Creator of the Year® title was both a surprise and huge honour for us. We are extremely proud of this accolade as we have always believed that the strength of our success is purely based on the dedication, commitment and sacrifices of our past and current staff members.

“We feel very fortunate to have participated in this competition which gave us the opportunity for some much needed introspection into our operations and we really valued the fair and constructive feedback from the judges.

“Without a doubt, the media exposure we have received has positively impacted our business, and we are dedicated to working even harder to make sure that our current and prospective clients’ expectations are met. We have a lot to work on in our business and have already set ourselves a few goals to achieve within the next three to five years.”

Read more about Siphiwe’s business and why he was selected as the 2017 Job Creator of the Year® here.

Considering entering the 2018 Entrepreneur of the Year® competition – watch this space for more details. Entries will open early 2018.



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