After months of searching and assessing, the 2012 Sanlam / Business Partners Entrepreneur of the Year® competition winners were announced at an awards ceremony held on Thursday, 6 September in Johannesburg.
The overall Entrepreneur of the Year® Winner for 2012 is William Duk of The Plantation Shutter Co. (Pty) Ltd, a business that designs, manufactures and installs adjustable window and door shutters.
According to Nimo Naidoo, project manager of the Sanlam / Business Partners Entrepreneur of the Year® competition, William was awarded the overall title because of his hard work, entrepreneurial spirit and his ability to transform a bankrupt entity into a thriving, profitable business that services a national clientele.
The competition, widely considered to be the pre-eminent of its kind in South Africa, has served as a springboard for past finalists and winners. Nimo says that the competition aims to honour, benefit and uplift South African SMEs, as well as celebrate excellence in entrepreneurship, thus serving as an inspiration to others trying to succeed in the world of business.
Other category winners that managed to beat hundreds of other South African business owners to win awards are Tabisa Nomnganga of Bravo Promotions, who was awarded the Emerging Business Entrepreneur of the Year® award, Warren Graver of Envirodeck who took the Small Business Entrepreneur of the Year® award home and Trevor Davids of Trevor Davids Plumbing, who won the Medium Business Entrepreneur of the Year® award.
The Job Creator of the Year title was awarded to Madelé Ferreira of Mooihoek Boerdery and Stuart Forrest of Triggerfish Animation Studios was awarded the Innovator of the Year title.
Nimo says that all of the winners demonstrated exceptional entrepreneurial skills and submitted promising entry forms. “All of the 2012 winners were subjected to strict judging criteria to ensure that their businesses were not only sustainable, but also profitable and ethical. The winners were selected from a group of 22 finalists by the competition judges.
“By successfully uplifting local entrepreneurial role models, as the Sanlam / Business Entrepreneur of the Year® competition aims to do, South Africa will be able to build a society that celebrates entrepreneurial activity and success.
“Creating an entrepreneurial society is crucial in stimulating job creation in our country, as well as ensuring that South Africa becomes economically competitive globally,” concludes Nimo.