Seven SA star entrepreneurs recognised at premier competition

Mining engineer, Samuel and Motlapele Molefi – founders and owners of Modi Mining CC – were named this morning as the overall winners of the 2018 Entrepreneur of the Year® competition sponsored by Sanlam and BUSINESS/PARTNERS. Modi Mining provides contract mining services to companies specialising in the South African mining sector.

Speaking at the event that celebrated three full decades of discovering and cultivating the best entrepreneurial talent that South Africa has to offer, spokesperson for the 2018 edition of the competition, Gugu Mjadu, said that the Molefi couple was selected as the overall 2018 Entrepreneur of the Year® winners because of the remarkable growth and expansion their business has exhibited, in spite of a harsh economic climate.

“Despite operating within an industry that continues to face significant challenges, Modi Mining has experienced average growth of over 30% per annum since starting operations in 2011, increasing net asset value from below R1 million in 2012 to over R80 million last year. This is truly impressive!” says Mjadu.

Other 2018 category winners are:

  • Beverley Gumbi, the founder and owner of Isivuno Container Business (“Isivuno”) was awarded a special Judges Prize in this year’s competition.  The judges prize was introduced in 2014 and seeks to acknowledge a business that may not yet be at the same level of the other entrepreneurs (in terms of size and turnover), but makes an impression on the judges due to the business’ social impact and future potential and the business owner’s attitude and positive entrepreneurial outlook.

Mjadu says the judges believe that Gumbi has the entrepreneurial attitude and determination required to go far. “Beverley’s energy is just contagious and, while she is a female with no engineering experience or technical training, she is tackling a traditionally male-dominated industry and making a success of it!”

As part of this year’s 30-year celebration of the annual competition, the judges also recognised the illustrious South African entrepreneur and property developer, Dr. Richard Maponya, with a Lifetime Achiever award.  

“Dr Richard Maponya is an entrepreneur par excellence and his family name is synonymous with entrepreneurship in South Africa. He did not only make a success of business in an era when black entrepreneurs faced many obstacles that prevented them from being successful but has built a formidable business empire in the democratic South Africa which should remain for generations to come.

Dr Maponya is a legend and excellent role model for entrepreneurs in South Africa across all genders and races. It is a true honour that he has availed himself to accept our Lifetime Achiever Award.”

The competition provides prizes worth R 2 million, which include cash prizes of R70 000 per category and R200 000 for the overall winner, towards further growing their businesses. Beyond these monetary prizes, Mjadu adds that each winner will also receive valuable mentorship support, networking opportunities and associated marketing and national media exposure to further drive their business’ success. “Past winners have also gone on to win other prominent national and international awards as a result of their success in the competition and form valuable partnerships with fellow winners and finalists.”

Now in its 30th year, this competition and others like it serve a particularly important purpose in South Africa, concludes Mjadu. “Entrepreneurial competitions of this calibre serve a dual purpose – they are a celebration of the hard-working self-starters in the country, and also act to inspire budding entrepreneurs who have the potential to create employment and economic growth at a time where the country is facing numerous challenges in this regard.”

Local advertising gurus claim top entrepreneurial award

Local advertising gurus, Pepe Marais and Gareth Leck of Joe Public United, were named the Medium Business Entrepreneurs of the Year® at the award ceremony for the 2018 Entrepreneur of the Year® competition sponsored by Sanlam and BUSINESS/PARTNERS held in Johannesburg this morning.

After having entered the competition in 2017 and making it through to the finalist stage, Marais and Leck remained eager to work on their business and re-enter this year with the hopes of winning a category. Their perseverance paid off as their hard work earned them the 2018 Medium Business category title.

Founded 20 years ago with zero capital, Marais and Leck managed to disrupt the local advertising industry by offering haute-cuisine advertising services for print, TV and radio at takeaway prices with various services displayed on a menu. Since then, the business has seen its fair share of ups and downs, but the entrepreneurs’ dedication to building a better business has seen them build a successful business, which is today ranked highly among the country’s top advertising agencies.

The business’ challenges have included selling the business, expanding into an offshore market, retracting back into the local market, losing half of their client base, buying the business back, and starting again from scratch. They have since rebuilt Joe Public into the largest independent, South African-owned advertising group in the country, offering full services in advertising and communications through five integrated specialist companies.

Marais and Leck’s dedicated approach has seen the agency grow from strength to strength, winning numerous awards for their business and clients – the most recent of which was the coveted Agency of the Year award at the 2018 Loeries Awards.

The team prides themselves on their “purposeful approach” to an industry that is often compared to the likes of used car salesmen. They pride themselves on keeping the bottom line at the bottom – and prioritising the purpose, growth, development and well-being of their people (both staff and clients).  

In light of this, Joe Public started their own non-profit organisation in 2008 called One School at A Time and have recently launched their own SETA-accredited academy, Joe Public School of Growth. “Over the past decade, we have systematically been making inroads with our two partnership schools in Soweto and Diepsloot. We are most proud of Forte High in Dobsonville, Soweto – a struggling high school that has become one of the top three township schools in Gauteng.

“Pepe and Gareth are determined individuals who embody the tenacious attitude typical of successful entrepreneurs. After missing out on the prize last year, they went back and worked on aspects of their business that they identified as needing attention. Their win is evidence of this hard work and passion,” said the competition judges.

For more information on their business, please visit the Joe Public website:

Local container conversion company recognised by special entrepreneurial prize

Beverley Gumbi, the founder and owner of Isivuno Container Business (“Isivuno”) – a container conversion, rental and supply company, based in Pinetown, KwaZulu-Natal – has been awarded the Judges’ Prize at the 2018 Entrepreneur of the Year® competition sponsored by Sanlam and BUSINESS/PARTNERS awards ceremony, held in Johannesburg this morning.

The Judges’ Prize is an additional award that was introduced to the 30-year-old competition in 2014 to recognise businesses that may not yet be at the same level – in terms of size and turnover – of the competition winners, but make a special impression on the judges due to their business’s social impact and future prospects and the entrepreneur’s attitude and positive entrepreneurial outlook.

“Beverley’s energy is just contagious and, while she is a female with no engineering experience or technical training, she is tackling a traditionally male-dominated industry and making a success of it!” said this year’s competition judges.

Established in 2005 to offer a creative solution to the dire shortage of infrastructure and service delivery in both urban and rural communities in South Africa, Isivuno’s refurbished containers can be erected within a short space of time, are mobile and very versatile.

With a mission to serve both the private and public sectors’ needs, Gumbi says she is driven by the prospect of bettering the community, country, and ultimately even the continent. “I want to contribute to local economic growth and socially sustainable development through the manufacture, design and supply of ‘fit for a purpose’ converted shipping containers and park homes for communities and SMMEs at extremely competitive rates.

“Having focussed mainly on the conversion of ordinary shipping containers into business and dwelling units, we are well on our way to becoming the local enterprise development partner of choice. However, our sights are set higher than this, and we hope to one day penetrate other African markets by forming strategic partnerships with formidable companies across the continent.”

The business has already shown tremendous growth from its early days where the majority of the equipment was rented, to now where it owns all of its equipment and tools. When asked what she is most proud of, Gumbi says that her greatest pride comes from seeing the innovative solutions that Isivuno has been responsible for creating over time.

“In addressing the various challenges that our clients present us with, we have created a number of truly innovative products. These include a waterless ablution facility to address ablution challenges in rural and underdeveloped areas, the popular waterborne or waterless shower/toilet combo, and doctor’s consulting rooms to encourage people to get tested and know their HIV status.

“We have even converted a shipping container into a cinema before – the possibilities are truly endless,” she adds.

It is this innovative nature and contagious sense of determination that has made Beverley a deserving winner at this year’s Entrepreneur of the Year® competition. For more information on her business, please visit the Isivuno Container Business website:

Husband and wife team wins top entrepreneurial accolade

South Africa’s premier annual entrepreneurial platform, Entrepreneur of the Year® competition sponsored by Sanlam and BUSINESS/PARTNERS, has named mining engineer, Samuel Molefi, and his entrepreneurial wife and business partner, Motlapele Molefi, as this year’s overall competition winners at the awards ceremony held in Johannesburg this morning.

Samuel and Motlapele are the founders and owners of Modi Mining CC, a successful mining services and supplier company that provides clients with contract mining; sweepings and vamping; underground construction; rail installations; services pipes installations; power cable suspension; box front installations among others.

Built on the integration of the Molefis’ extensive experience in the mining and explosives sector, the business comprises of well-proven machines and highly motivated staff who are target driven and have an understanding of the business’ vision and mission.

The judges were particularly impressed by the business’ ability to achieve an average growth rate of over 30% per annum since starting operations in 2011, despite operating within an industry that continues to face high levels of volatility. When asked how they’ve been able to achieve this high level of growth during such challenging times, Samuel says it comes down to understanding the industry and clients.

“We’ve managed to achieve this level of expansion through our unwavering commitment to meet our clients’ ever-changing needs. We’re able to do this because we are continually improving based on feedback from clients, and keep a close eye on how the sector is evolving to ensure we are always providing what our clients require to remain sustainable.”

The company’s support for local economic development and the country’s transformation imperative is showcased through their creation of employment opportunities and affiliated projects. “Sourcing most of our labour from the local communities that we serve in, we now support a total of 420 permanent employees. Additionally, we can safely say we have contributed towards the creation of over 10 000 jobs by businesses within the Black Umbrellas incubator – a non-profit enterprise development incubation organisation that we support.” 

On being named this year’s Entrepreneurs of the Year®, Samuel and Motlapele say that they are honoured and feel motivated to continue their entrepreneurial journey. “Being awarded the highly-esteemed title of Entrepreneur of the Year® confirms that we are on track to realising our overall business objective, which is to be the supplier of choice to the mining industry,” says Samuel.

For more information on their business, please visit the Modi Mining website:

Father and son receive Small Business Entrepreneur of the Year® award

Father and son team, Kerry and Craig Motherwell, have received the Small Business Entrepreneur of the Year® award at the awards ceremony for the annual 2018 Entrepreneur of the Year® competition sponsored by Sanlam and BUSINESS/PARTNERS, held in Johannesburg this morning.

Kerry and Craig are the owners of Foxolution SE, which designs and builds on-site oxygen generators for various industries, utilising their own purpose-built technology to supply hospitals and clinics. The generators, which extract oxygen from the surrounding air, are utilised for a number of industrial applications, including gold recovery, waste water treatment, water purification and odour control.

While Foxolution is currently the only manufacturer of oxygen generators in South Africa, the company has sold the majority of its units on the rest of the African continent, which helps to bring revenue into the country. The company has installed units in Ghana, Sierra Leone, and Liberia, among other countries. 

Launched in 2003, Foxolution has also prevailed against its share of potentially crippling challenges. Most notably, Foxolution has rebounded from being bankrupted by one of its clients, and successfully weathered the 2008 global financial crisis.

Kerry and Craig have also committed themselves to ensuring that Foxolution’s employees receive the best possible opportunities to grow their skills. Having been accredited by the Manufacturing, Engineering and Related Services Sector Education and Training Authority (merSETA), Foxolution offers in-house training for aspirant technicians, artisans, and engineers. The company also provides financial support for long-standing employees who wish to study further in line with its core engineering activities.

The Entrepreneur of the Year® panel of judges commended the Foxolution team’s tenacity and entrepreneurial drive. “We are extremely impressed by Kerry and Craig’s commitment to understanding every aspect of their industry, as well as their results when it comes to bringing revenue into South Africa. Like many businesses, Foxolution has also experienced situations that threatened to close their doors, and the fact that they could continue to build their business through rough times is a testament to their entrepreneurial spirit,” commented the judges.

On being selected as a winner in the national competition, the father-son duo say this is only the beginning for Foxolution. “This award confirms that we are on the right track with our business, but it also serves to motivate us to keep moving forward in terms of growth and expansion,” they conclude.

For more information on their business, please visit the Foxolution website:

Helping entrepreneurs is a winning business

Louw Barnardt of Outsourced CFO named Emerging Business Entrepreneur of the Year®

Local entrepreneur, Louw Barnardt, owner of Outsourced CFO, received the 2018 Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year® award at the annual Entrepreneur of the Year® competition sponsored by Sanlam and BUSINESS/PARTNERS awards ceremony, held in Johannesburg this morning.

The financial management company that renders technical and visionary CFO services to emerging tech and innovation businesses, is the vision of chartered accountant, Louw Barnardt.  

Barnardt says that the business idea came about when he noticed a gap in the South African market for high-level, yet accessible financial consulting. He says that many businesses, especially those in the start-up and scale-up phase, require the time and skills of a qualified CA or CFO, but don’t have the resources or capacity to take one on full-time. Outsourced CFO helps small-to-medium business owners rethink, automate and scale their businesses in the pursuit of business eminence.

In line with the global trend of organisations moving away from traditional business models to take on more flexible structures, Outsourced CFO allows start-up businesses to focus internal resources on the activities which provide a unique competitive advantage, while opting to outsource non-core, yet critical functions such as financial management.

In just under five years, Barnardt has capitalised on this trend and has emerged in Cape Town’s market and beyond, as a trusted CFO service provider and thought leader. Since inception, the business has achieved an 87% growth rate year-on-year adding seven new staff members in the past year alone and there are no plans to slow down.

Outsourced CFO provides a range of financial management services, an offering which Barnardt says is constantly evolving. These services include CFO, cloud accounting and fundraising services. “Our team is always on the look-out for the best tech, the best resources, and the most efficient ways to execute on tasks and deliver value. Our differentiating factors are the entrepreneurial professionals we employ, the top-end technology we leverage and the high quality and innovative service we provide to consistently exceed client expectations.”

Barnardt, who wanted to be an entrepreneur since the tender age of six, says that while his business has received numerous accolades over the past four years, it is the growth of the businesses they help that is a true reflection of their own success.
The competition judges agree: “Outsourced CFO has helped their entrepreneur clients raise over R400 million in seed and growth finance. This is exceptional work, especially taking into account the South African landscape which is desperate for growth in this all important sector of the economy.  

“We were very impressed with Louw’s energy, drive and passion for his business – the hard work he has put into not only growing his own business, but other entrepreneurial businesses through their hands-on work in helping entrepreneurs run the financial side of their businesses,” said the judges of this year’s competition.

“I am honoured to receive this award and be ranked among the top entrepreneurs in South Africa, all of whom are doing incredible work in their respective industries,” says Barnardt.

For more information on Outsourced CFO, please visit the website:

Methods to create leads for your business

The pipeline of any business needs to be continuously filled with new client prospects. Options are a dime a dozen – the real challenge is to find the ones which lead to the best business outcomes for your type of business.

It is of paramount importance to track and measure the outcomes and success of every marketing element you apply in your business. In this way you can determine what works and then redirect marketing spend to these marketing elements.

Here are 5 lead generation options to consider for your business:

1. School newsletter advertisements

Most schools have more than 1 000 children in attendance. Schools normally publish a quarterly newsletter to keep parents informed about school activities. Most of them also make use of advertisers to co-sponsor the cost of the newsletter. It is a very inexpensive way to promote your business if your product/service is focused on a retail customer base. You can ‘sweeten’ the deal by offering a discount or upsell option when parents provide you with a copy of the advertisement. The cost for an advertisement or A5 insert is mostly a couple of hundred rand per newsletter batch.

2. Business branding (building and vehicles)

A well-branded building, office or business vehicle goes far in making your business visible in the area in which you operate. Most of us can cite examples where we needed a service and whilst on the road saw a vehicle or a building/office which does exactly what we require. If the contact number and website details are clearly visible, it makes it easy for people to write it down or take a picture.

3. In shopping centre signage

Use an A-frame stand with a catchy heading or offer and with an arrow pointing in the direction of your shop. This is useful when your shop is situated in a place with less passing feet. You do, however, need the permission of the centre/mall management.

4. Stickers and fridge magnets

I first saw this tactic after a local electrician completed electrical work at my home. He stuck a sticker with their contact details on the electricity supply board. Now I knew where to get hold of them the next time I needed the services of an electrician. You can also apply this option by writing a brief note to introduce your business to potential clients and adding a sticker/fridge magnet to the note. Use the services of a graphic designer to develop an enticing sticker or fridge magnet.

5. Mutually beneficial campaigns

You already know of businesses that do not compete with yours, but service clients in your target market. You can develop a proposal, which can be mutually beneficial, by offering to pay the other business to e-mail your offer to their clients, to share a referral fee with them on all concluded new business on the back of their mail-out and even offer to do the same for them on your client base. The premise is that client information is recorded.

“You are out of business if you don’t have a prospect!” – Zig Ziglar, American author, salesman, and motivational speaker

To support business owners with the important task of business planning, Sanlam gives you free access to the book Your Annual Business Game Plan for Success, which provides an easy and straightforward framework needed to draft a well-crafted game plan that will create the positive change and growth necessary for business success.

Go to to download your free copy.

Empowering entrepreneurial minds across Africa

“Entrepreneurship isn’t the finish line – it’s a journey of continuous learning, unlearning and relearning. As an entrepreneur you must strive to be an expert in your respective field. You may not have all the answers, and that’s okay, but don’t settle for the mediocrity of not knowing.”

This is the expert advice from Anele Mkhuzo-Magape who founded Zinde Zinde (Pty) Ltd t/a African Entrepreneurship Initiative – a consulting and entrepreneurship education training company with a focus on youth in townships and peri-urban areas.

Mkhuzo-Magape is an entrant in the 2018 Entrepreneur of the Year® competition sponsored by Sanlam and BUSINESS/PARTNERS.

She started her career at the Gordon Institute of Business Science’s (GIBS) Enterprise Development Academy, designing programmes for long-term sustainability in entrepreneurship. After three years in the position, she discovered that there was a gap in the market: there were too few Enterprise Development Agencies creating programmes specifically targeted at young black entrepreneurs in townships and peri-urban areas. Some entrepreneurs had to travel far to access these programmes and access was further worsened by a language barrier in their execution. This meant that some entrepreneurs didn’t have the confidence to adequately express themselves and what their businesses do.

When she left her job to focus on her business full time, Mkhuzo-Magape had almost nine years of corporate experience in customer service management and project management, and an education background in Economics and Business Administration. This, she says was a solid foundation to build from and she felt very privileged for the opportunities that she had – she knows this is not every entrepreneur’s story.

“I knew I wanted to change that narrative through education and entrepreneurship. It is my responsibility as a young person to plough back into the community what I have learnt and to continue learning every day.”

New business development is always difficult. Mkhuzo-Magape says her greatest challenge was identifying corporates and government departments that were truly passionate about realising her vision. “We didn’t want to simply consult and deliver training as a tick box exercise; we wanted to create sustainable and thriving enterprises, and programmes that change lives and communities.”

Mkhuzo-Magape says the business model is built on accessibility, and that beneficiaries do not pay for their services. Funding comes from corporate and government institutions that they partner with. “Our greatest challenge is convincing potential investors of our passion and making them see the value it offers in terms of their long term strategy.”

But she says seeing entrepreneurs who have been through their programmes develop and reach for opportunities to realise their ideas is her greatest achievement. “There are so many talented young people with amazing ideas but they just need the right support and platforms to help elevate them– I get to do that every day, and that’s my success.”

Over the next five years, Mkhuzo-Magape envisions African Entrepreneurship Initiative to grow into a knowledge hub for young entrepreneurs across the continent, and says she has structured the business’ growth strategies to achieve this. “We want to bring innovation to entrepreneurial education through practical tools such as simulations and gamification. Our training must be relevant and accessible to youth and be presented in the vernacular languages that are appropriate to the youth we want to target.”

Finding the start-up sweet spot

Entrepreneurial lessons from generations of entrepreneurs

Picturing a typical entrepreneur – the chances are you visualize a young, mission-driven techie with a mind-blowing idea that will make him or her the African version of Mark Zuckerberg.  While the fast, digitized millennial entrepreneur’s approach to business is highly beneficial for future success; there’s a lot to be said for more seasoned entrepreneurs and the wisdom they have gained during their years in the game.

Gugu Mjadu, spokesperson for the 2018 Entrepreneur of the Year® competition sponsored by Sanlam and BUSINESS/PARTNERS, says that instead of pitting one generation against the other – entrepreneurs looking for guidance should seek out a sweet spot between the two – as there are important lessons to learn from both:

Entrepreneurship is a tricky road at the best of times. In South Africa, the business ownership path is littered with a number of macro and micro environmental challenges making entrepreneurship even more difficult. These include access to markets, successfully navigating the legislation landscape and accessing finance. With this in mind, it is important for entrepreneurs to seek out advice from as many trusted sources as possible – to ensure they learn and gain insight into how to prepare their own business for success.

As the world of work shifts and evolves, it’s important to recognise that business lessons can come from all generations in the entrepreneurial world.

This includes millennials, who characteristically approach life and business with a fresh ideas and a new perspective on existing methods. Some valuable lessons from the millennial entrepreneurs include:

1. Be different – and not just in your USPs

Millennials are generally recognised for their ability and enthusiasm to stand out and be different. Differentiating from your competitors in the market with Unique Selling Points (USPs) is something all the entrepreneurial text books will tell you – but ‘being different’ goes beyond this. Entrepreneurs shouldn’t be afraid to show their unique characteristics, to embrace diversity and look for opportunities outside of the proverbial box.

2. Question everything

Characteristically, millennials are curious. There is plenty to learn from this character trait – being willing to question why things are done in a certain way, and being brave enough to question if historical processes are still relevant and efficient. There is nothing wrong with changing the way something is done if it doesn’t suit your business. Standard practices are ineffective if they don’t evolve with your changing business needs.

3. Do and do quickly

Millennials were born into the technological age – they have grown up in a world filled with instant gratification, artificial intelligence, the internet of things and always-on connectivity through the internet, smart phones and social media. As a result, these entrepreneurs tend to work faster and this plays into the growing global trend of ‘failing fast’ – the skill of knowing when to stop planning and execute, and additionally, to recognise and stop doing something when it is not working.

On the other hand, seasoned entrepreneurs, who are perhaps more traditional and methodical, also have priceless tips and best practices as well as lessons on what not to do – all of which are valuable takeaways:

4. Be open to learn

Many established entrepreneurs admit to regretting their youthful arrogance when they first started their business. They have realised through years of experience that learning comes in many forms – advice from a business mentor, lessons through reading or even from receiving harsh criticism. Entrepreneurs should be open to looking at every situation as a learning opportunity – if something didn’t go well, what can be changed? If something went well, how can it be further improved or how can that process be applied to other areas?

5. Be deliberate

Part of building your business is building a network of clients, suppliers and other internal and external stakeholders. More seasoned entrepreneurs will attest to the value of being mindful about who you conduct business with – essentially, you want to trust your suppliers and stakeholders as they are an extension of your own brand. You want to deliberately pick out and nurture these networks as they are the relationships that will take your business further.

6. Don’t be afraid to fail

More established entrepreneurs, having been in business for a good while longer than millennials and having suffered more than a few set-backs themselves, will explain that the key is not to become despondent when things don’t work out. Failures are natural, and necessary for growth. As long as you actively learn from mistakes and proactively take steps not to repeat these in the future – failures can be the most valuable stepping stones to success.

Closing the funding gap for women entrepreneurs

Globally, women experience many barriers to equal economic participation. The Establishing a baseline for lending to women-owned SMEs 2013 report by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) points to low levels of access to finance for women entrepreneurs with 15-25 percent of loans issued to women across 34 IFC client financial institutions in 25 countries. This presents a significant stumbling block to economic growth for the country.

The 2018 Entrepreneur of the Year® competition sponsored by Sanlam and BUSINESS/PARTNERS aims to build on the entrepreneurial successes celebrated for the last 30 years by encouraging and rewarding women making waves in their communities through business. Over the last five years, for example, we have seen 35 female entrepreneurs named finalists in the annual competition which accounts for 47 percent of all finalists, and 13 named winners accounting for 43 percent of all winners.

While we remain encouraged by the increasing number of female entrepreneurs entering the competition – we need to uncover and celebrate many more women who, to a large extent, remain unsung heroes of their communities through such business competitions.

According to the African Development Bank, in Sub-Saharan Africa, the financing gap for women is estimated at over $20 billion. This amount is made up by gender-specific challenges that women face, including lower access to quality business training and education, lesser funding opportunities for women-owned small businesses, and cultural beliefs discouraging women from participating in business.

Since our economic growth as a country largely depends on the success of entrepreneurship – it is crucial to ensure that both male and female, existing and aspiring, entrepreneurs have equal opportunities when it comes to accessing funding, training and business opportunities.

These are a few practical steps women can take to proactively close the finance gap for themselves and increase their access to growth opportunities:

Invest in knowing your industry

One of the general rules of thumb when it comes to entrepreneurship is to know more than what directly impacts your own business. It is important for entrepreneurs to be aware of the economic macro and micro environments affecting their businesses, and also the political and legislative landscape within which they operate. For women especially, it is also key to know the points of exclusion of a particular industry, if any. You have to be aware of the general biases and stereotypes in your industry in order to disrupt them.

Collaborate with other women

The old adage of ‘two heads are better than one’ is a powerful mantra for women in business to remember. A group of women-owned organisations standing together and calling for equal funding and business opportunities stands to make a bigger difference than any one organisation doing this work in silo. The work done by organisations and chambers such as the Businesswomen’s Association is therefore important in facilitating this collaboration and women entrepreneurs are advised to participate in similar organisations.

Look for opportunities with like-minded funders

There are many organisations that provide funding and who are passionate about creating equal opportunities for all – some of whom have funds specifically aimed at assisting female entrepreneurs. It is important to find out about these financiers and align your business finance applications with their criteria.

We hope to see the biggest number of female entrants in this year’s competition since our launch in 1988. We must continue to encourage women to embrace entrepreneurship and disrupt staid industries and to participate in competitions that highlight their success.

If you haven’t entered yet, be sure to visit the entry form page, and complete the entry form before 31 May 2018.