South Africa’s top entrepreneur of 2015 revealed


The Creative Council recognised as Sanlam / Business Partners Entrepreneur of the Year® winner

South Africa’s premier annual entrepreneurial competition, Sanlam / Business Partners Entrepreneur of the Year®, has named Gil Oved and Ran Neu-Ner, co-owners and founders of The Creative Counsel (TCC), as this year’s overall competition winner at the awards ceremony held in Johannesburg this morning.

TCC is currently the largest advertising group in South Africa by staff and turnover, employing more than 1000 permanent employees and thousands of temporary staff who are trained and upskilled. Oved and Neu-Ner were selected from a finalist pool of 15 due to their exceptional flair for business and the creativity, passion and focus that they have demonstrated since starting the business 14 years ago.

The entrepreneurial qualities that the two display have resulted in a prosperous and innovative business model, and what started in 2001 as a two man operation is now a R600m+ business which employs and upskills thousands of South Africans. In the last year alone TCC grew by more than 25% and was recognised as the largest local advertising and communications group – a first in South African history that a non-traditional agency has achieved such status.

TCC was started as an in store promotions company by the co-CEOs and co-founders who have been friends and budding business partners since they were 15. The business has since evolved into an integrated agency that offers brand activation, experiential sales and marketing solutions to brands that wish to engage with their customers in a unique way.

According to Frances Wright, a member of the 2015 Sanlam / Business Partners Entrepreneur of the Year® judging panel, what Oved and Neu-Ner have built in 14 years is phenomenal. “TCC today competes with multinational marketing and communications agencies that have been around for centuries. These two entrepreneurs have perfected job creation in that they employ candidates deemed ‘unemployable’ by employers and focus on up-skilling them, and therefore make a significant contribution to not only the economy, but job creation too. The business has also shown consistent growth, while maintaining a healthy net profit over the years.”

Neu-Ner says that winning this accolade is incredibly humbling and a great honour. “The platform also provides an opportunity for us to share the story of our entrepreneurial journey and hopefully through our failures, lessons learnt, and successes, many young people will be encouraged to pursue their business aspirations.”

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