Meisie Nkosi, owner of the 100% black woman-owned Bella Bonni Guest House, has been awarded the Small Business Entrepreneur of the Year® title at the annual 2016 Entrepreneur of the Year® competition sponsored by Sanlam and BUSINESS/PARTNERS awards ceremony, held in Johannesburg this morning.
Established in 2006 in eMalahleni (Witbank) and catering for discerning private and corporate guests, Bella Bonni Guest House, has managed to stand the test of time, despite challenging economic conditions since opening its doors.
The judges were extremely impressed by Meisie’s ability to establish and grow a thriving business in the hospitality industry in an area that is not typically a tourist hotspot. “Meisie’s challenge is that, being based in Witbank, she is not able to rely on seasonal tourists like a business in Cape Town may do. However, she continues to grow her brand and satisfy a demand for accommodation in the area and has successfully adapted to her surroundings in order to do this,” commented the judges.
Originally focusing on only serving clients from the mines and power stations, South Africa’s economic downturn had an effect on Bella Bonni Guest House’s business as this clientele declined. This immediately prompted Meisie to research other areas of the market that the guest house could focus on in order to expand. By actively targeting the widespread tourism offices, Meisie has successfully opened the guest house’s reach to more commercial clients, while still maintaining original corporate relationships.
A former teacher, Meisie has been involved in informal businesses from a very young age and never imagined one day owning a thriving formal business. It was only when she was discovered and acknowledged for her passion for service through various business awards, that she realised she was, in fact, an entrepreneur.
Meisie says being selected as a winner in the national competition affirms that the business is on the right path. “This award will provide us with exposure, boosting our brand, and prove that we stand out from the crowd amongst our peers, clients and investors. Additionally, winning this award will be a big motivator internally, making staff proud to be part of the business, which is worth more than any cash reward and makes the whole experience incredibly rewarding.”
For more information please visit www.bellabonni.co.za.