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: isivunocontainers.co.za.

Trailblazing health logistics duo awarded emerging Entrepreneur of the Year® title

Entrepreneurial duoSizwe Nzima and Siraaj Adams, owners of Iyeza Health, walked away as the winners of the 2017 Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year® title at the annual Entrepreneur of the Year® competition sponsored by Sanlam and BUSINESS/PARTNERS awards ceremony, held in Johannesburg on 6 September 2017.

Iyeza Health – which started in 2013 as a bicycle courier service delivering chronic medication from health clinics in Khayelitsha to just one client, Sizwe’s grandmother – quickly grew into a fully-fledged specialist health logistics company directly servicing 1 000 patients in the same area.

Following this successful expansion, the business further diversified and today their clientele also includes the private sector, having secured contracts with medical aid companies. This growth has enabled Iyeza Health to further link their logistics services with doctors, clinics and hospitals, as well as patients.

Apart from growing their customer base, Sizwe and Siraaj have also evolved their business model to include digital healthcare software and medical devices to assist people with diagnostic self-testing at home and, in doing so, have provided a convenient channel for proactive and preventative screening and care.

This software includes the Iyeza Health web-based platform, HIV Self Testing (hivselftesting.co.za) which enables customers to utilise the business’ services, such as ordering HIV self-testing kits, thereby offering accessible alternatives to the current status quo in the pharmaceutical distribution and supply chain.

Due to the duo’s hard work, innovation and dedication, this web-based platform is now the leading e-commerce platform for HIV self-testing in South Africa, with over 3000 kits being distributed per month. In addition to this, their website platform has also been adopted by the National Department of Health.

In addition, there is also a unique, integrated medical aid claim functionality built into the platform for customer convenience and once an order has been placed for a medical device, Iyeza Health is able to distribute the order nationally within two working days.

The Entrepreneur of the Year® competition judging panel was particularly impressed with the fact that Iyeza Health has not only contributed to solving a challenge within the health department, but that they are also providing a necessary service to the country. “Government pharmacies and hospitals are struggling to keep up with public demand, so what Iyeza Health has achieved in such a short period is already promoting social change within South Africa,” said the judges.

In response to the judge’s accolades, the emerging entrepreneurs say they remain committed to changing the face of public health in South Africa and intend to continue developing useful clinical mobile applications in order to improve health management in underprivileged communities.

For more information on Sizwe and Siraaj’s business, please visit the Iyeza Health website: www.iyezahealth.co.za.

Doing good is good business

The roots of Iyeza Health date back to 2013, when Iyeza Express – a bicycle courier company that delivered chronic medication from health clinics in Khayelitsha to patients’ homes’ – was founded by Sizwe Nzima. Back then the business had just one customer – his grandmother. Iyeza means both “it is coming” and also “medicine” – a fitting name for a company committed to delivering essential, life-saving drugs.

Iyeza Express then evolved into Iyeza Health, a specialist health logistics company that delivers chronic medicine to over 1000 people in the Khayelitsha area. The business has recently diversified and now also serves the private sector, having secured contracts with medical aid companies, which enables them to further link their logistics services with doctors, clinics and hospitals, as well as patients.

Co-owner of Iyeza Health, Siraaj Adams, says that through supporting health systems currently in existence, the aim is to continually strengthen and enhance health programme sustainability in local communities. “The business seeks to ensure seamless integration across the health services system in terms of drug prescription, review, dispensing, provision and delivery, including a fully-tracked health logistics service that allows people to monitor the door-to-door delivery of medicine.”

Over time, Nzima and Adams have diversified their business model to include digital healthcare software and medical devices. “We wanted to expand our service offering to assist people with diagnostic self-testing at home and, in doing so, to provide a convenient channel for proactive and preventative screening and care.”

In order to do this, the entrepreneurs developed a web-based platform which enables customers to order HIV self-testing kits online. “Through this system, we are able to offer accessible alternatives to the current status quo in the pharmacy distribution and supply chain. There is also a medical aid claim functionality built into the platform and we are able to distribute nationally within two working days.

Iyeza Health’s web-based platform is now the leading e-commerce platform for HIV self-testing in South Africa, with over 3000 kits being distributed per month. In addition to this, through their Digital Development Unit, the company has rolled out several platforms for the National Department of Health.

Nzima and Adams remain committed to changing the face of public health in South Africa. “We intend to continue to develop useful clinical mobile applications to improve health management in poor communities and also aim to improve access to self-testing diagnostics devices that encourage screening and early detection of disease in community health settings.”

This driven entrepreneurial duo are finalists in the 2017 Entrepreneur of the Year® competition sponsored by Sanlam and BUSINESS/PARTNERS. For more information on their business, please visit the Iyeza Health website: https://www.iyezahealth.co.za/.