2013 EOY competition launches

25 years on and still committed to fostering entrepreneurship in SA

Entrepreneurship is crucial in stimulating a country’s economy, as well as fostering critical skills development and job creation. It is therefore vital that entrepreneurship is embraced and celebrated locally.

Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, South Africa’s pre-eminent entrepreneurial showcase, the 2013 Sanlam / Business Partners Entrepreneur of the Year® competition has been launched, offering a free platform for the country’s leading entrepreneurs to share their achievements and elevate the profile of their businesses, as well as their profits.

According to Nimo Naidoo, project manager at Sanlam / Business Partners Entrepreneur of the Year®, the competition also provides entrepreneurs with the chance to win prizes worth R 1 340 000, which includes cash prizes to the value of R300 000. “Beyond the chance to win, previous finalists and winners’ businesses have benefitted significantly from the competition’s various networking opportunities and associated marketing and national media exposure,” says Naidoo.

According to 2012 Sanlam / Business Partners Entrepreneur of the Year® overall winner, William Duk of The Plantation Shutter Co., no marketing budget could ever be big enough to purchase the level of exposure that was generated on his behalf. “The award also adds to the level of credibility that a business has in the market place.”

Tabisa Nomnganga of Bravo Promotions, one of the category winners of the 2012 competition, says that winning the Emerging Entrepreneur Award has increased her confidence as an entrepreneur as well as her client base. “Since winning the award in September, I have signed up three lucrative business deals which in total amount to over R500 000. My bottom line profits have also increased by over 40% from the previous financial year.

“In addition, I have had to increase my staff compliment and have thus created more job opportunities within my community.”

Naidoo adds that 2013 entrants will also experience a new streamlined entry and judging process. “This is to primarily ensure that entrants do not become over-burdened during the entry form completion phase and we now expect even greater interest and participation from entrepreneurs from across the country.”

She says that one of the key aims of the competition is to acknowledge successful entrepreneurs in the small and medium enterprise sector and their relentless drive to grow their businesses to keep our economy ticking. “Through this initiative we focus on celebrating entrepreneurship and promote the successes of our heroes in the SME industry.”

According to Naidoo, the competition is open to entrepreneurs from all industries and for businesses of any size. The 2013 competition will also feature a series of national workshops where crucial entrepreneurial skills will be provided to attending business owners.

Entrepreneurs interested in entering can do so here as well as interact with fellow entrepreneurs and entrants on the Sanlam / Business Partners Entrepreneur of the Year® competition social media platforms: twitter: @EOY_SA and Facebook: www.facebook.com/EOY.SA.

The closing date for the competition is 16 June 2013.