Founder of construction business Silverline Group, Jonathan Pepler, has been recognised for his remarkable accomplishments during the early stages of a business life cycle by being awarded the 2013 Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year® title in the annual Sanlam / Business Partners Entrepreneur of the Year ® Competition, which was held in Johannesburg on Wednesday, 4 September 2013.
The Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year® category which celebrates entrepreneurs who have been in business for less than three years, acknowledges Pepler’s success of becoming one of the largest light frame steel construction companies in South Africa in just a few short years.
In addition to providing conventional construction services, Silverline Group specialises in constructing light frame steel structures, a high-performance environmentally-friendly alternative building solution not widely used in South Africa. Modelled on international best practice used in the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Asia, light frame steel structures are fast gaining popularity in South Africa, due to the fact that it offers an effective method of construction that produces no waste and 80% less carbon footprint than conventional building methodology.
This innovative building method also reduces the time needed to construct a building considerably and as a result, more businesses are opting to make use of this method as it allows them to start operating and making a profit much earlier than expected. A recent example of this is the new McDonald’s in Goodwood, Cape Town, which was able to open the outlet four months earlier, compared to the time it would have taken with traditional brick and mortar building techniques.
Due to the growing demand for this product, Pepler made the decision to franchise the company, making it the only franchised construction business in South Africa, and one of very few in the world. The company also provides significant support, mentorship and skills training to its more than 30 franchisees, which Pepler believes is a major factor behind the business’ success.
Pepler says that winning the competition serves as encouragement to further push the envelope to be more efficient, more effective and to make a greater impact on the environment, as well as the people and businesses which benefit from their product.
As a result of Pepler’s achievements, not only has an alternative and sustainable construction practice been created within South Africa, but his company and franchises are a major contributor to job creation and economic growth.
According to Kobus Engelbrecht, a member of the 2013 Sanlam / Business Partners Entrepreneur of the Year ® judging panel, Pepler stood out in the Emerging category due to his exceptionally well executed business idea and the enormous growth potential of the business.
“The building method Jonathan uses is not unique internationally, but within South Africa it is not widely used and has he set out to successfully convince the major role players in the local market to accept this building method. Banks, for instance, chose not to finance buildings constructed in this way, but Jonathan managed to convince them otherwise.
“Jonathan also successfully franchised his business, which enabled him to grow it into a business with a national footprint in a short space of time and without the need for a large amount of capital,” concludes Engelbrecht.
For more information on Silverline Group, please visit their website www.silverlinegroup.co.za