Our 2012 winners share the benefits of entering the competition

The 2013 Sanlam / Business Partners Entrepreneur of the Year® competition is officially open for entries! We asked our 2012 winners about the various benefits that they have seen as a result of the competition thus far, as well as their advice for potential entrants.

William Duk of The Plantation Shutter Co: Overall Sanlam / Business Partners Entrepreneur of the Year® winner

“Although I think it is still too early to measure the precise financial impact, but the positive media exposure that we obtained following winning the award, is beyond comprehension. Over time, this in turn translates into a significant positive financial impact. No marketing budget could ever be big enough to purchase the level of exposure that has been generated. I feel that we could relate to someone coming from relative obscurity and winning an Olympic Gold.

Winning the award is the best possible public acknowledgement that an entrepreneur and his or her business can receive for all the effort and hard work that goes into building a business. For me, the award is not about “me”, but rather about every single person in the business that has contributed during our journey thus far. The resulting energy can definitely be felt in the business.”

Tabisa Nomnganga of Bravo Promotions: Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year

“To be awarded the Emerging Entrepreneur Award in 2012 has increased my confidence, as well as my client base. Since winning the award in September my bottom line profits have definitely increased by over 40% from the previous financial year, and the publicity I received provided me with a platform to let the people know I have a worthy business. I would definitely encourage entrepreneurs to enter the competition in order to see how their business ideas fare in front of the experts.”

Madelé Ferreira of Mooihoek Boerdery: Job Creator of the Year

“The prize money that I received has made it possible for me to plan a trip to California in order to visit research facilities where new plant materials and new strawberry cultivars are being developed. The award has also boosted the professional relationship between Mooihoek Boerdery and the various chain store groups that we supply to. In addition, the award has lead to recognition in the form of an award by the Kouga Municipality (Eastern Cape) Business Chamber.

This award boosted the faith that I have in myself. I could never have imagined that one day my business and I would win such an award, or grow to be such a successful enterprise.”

Stuart Forrest of Triggerfish Animation Studios: Innovator of the Year

“Triggerfish had been operating under the radar for many years, and our focus had been on our projects – not on our business. We decided that the company needed to raise its profile, so entering the competition was a great opportunity to do that. We were beginning to talk to funding partners and strategic partners, and we needed to expand our network and increase our credibility.

Winning the Innovator of the Year was perfect, because we were looking for partners who were attracted to innovation. It’s been very helpful to say at the bottom of our introductory email to potential clients that we were chosen as Innovator of the Year by prestigious brands such as Sanlam and Business Partners. It means that there has been a certain level of analysis performed and we have been recognised as a valuable company.”

Trevor Davids of Trevor Davids Plumbing: Medium Entrepreneur of the Year

“Winning the 2012 Medium Business Entrepreneur award was an awesome experience, which drew a positive response from all of our clients. I advise 2013 participants to remain positive no matter the difficulties they may face. Considering the current economic climate, they should be proud that they have been considered, as this is an achievement in itself.”

Warren Graver of Envirodeck: Small Entrepreneur of the Year

“Winning Entrepreneur of the Year® has benefitted Envirodeck tremendously due to increased mainstream publicity – which often proves unaffordable for a small business. In addition, the networking opportunities that the competition provides has also helped me make better business decisions, due to sound advice that I have received from successful entrepreneurs.

A 2013 entrant should have a strong understanding of how marketing and finance combine to make a successful business. This needs to be conveyed in an overall business plan that is simple for the judges to understand. Remember that simplicity in presentation is key and that key facts should be elaborated on in order make your business stand out.”