Promoting entrepreneurial excellence as the norm, not the exception

Business Partners Limited (BUSINESS/PARTNERS), a specialist SME financing company that has been financing SMEs for over 30 years, initiated the Entrepreneur of the Year® competition in 1988 to give recognition to the vision, innovation, perseverance, drive and commitment of the individuals who run successful small and medium enterprises.

However, the candidacy was limited to the client pool of BUSINESS/PARTNERS. BUSINESS/PARTNERS decided to extend this programme to the rest of the South African business community. In doing this the company brought on board Sanlam as a partner sponsor for the project. Through the sponsorship of both BUSINESS/PARTNERS and Sanlam, as well as the support of various other institutions, the project has achieved success.

There are many competitions all over South Africa that acknowledge businesses on some level, but none that offer the same national credibility as the acknowledgment from companies like BUSINESS/PARTNERS and Sanlam in the formal small and medium enterprise fraternity.

The competition recognises and empowers South Africa’s successful entrepreneurs by providing them with the correct type of knowledge, education and support. It is widely considered to be the pre-eminent competition of its kind in South Africa and has served as a business growth springboard for past finalists and winners. The competition also plays an important role in the entrepreneurial industry, which needs to improve and evolve in order to continue contributing towards the economy.