Raising the bar on SA entrepreneurship

Cape Town - A shortlist of 15 entrepreneurs are through to the final round of this year’s Sanlam/Business Partners entrepreneur of the year award from a pool of more than 120 entries, which the judges described as setting a new standard in entrepreneurial talent.

Christo Botes, spokesperson for the competition, said entries had been received from a wide selection of entrepreneurs in a variety of sectors all over South Africa, many of them already at the helm of thriving businesses.

“The 15 finalists operate in various sectors, with the most prominent being the services, industrial and manufacturing sectors, with the majority originating from Gauteng and the Western Cape. We have very prominent and established businesses within our 2015 finalist pool, all with very strong financials,” Botes added.

He said all the entrants should be celebrated for making a significant contribution towards society. They were, he said, “addressing the unemployment crisis … [and] playing a key role in the growth of our economy”.

The overall winners, to be announced at an awards ceremony in Johannesburg on September 2, will win prizes worth R2 million, including cash prizes to the value of R350 000. They will also stand to benefit from various networking opportunities and exposure.

“Past winners have also gone on to win other prominent awards and form valuable partnerships as a result of their success in the competition,” Botes said.

There is value in the process even for those who come away with no prizes. Entering into awards provides entrepreneurs with the opportunity to stand back and inspect their own businesses, which can open their eyes in a new way. “We find that the platform often encourages entrepreneurs to reassess goals, identify competitors in the marketplace and to spend time thinking about their growth strategy going forward,” Botes said.

The 2015 Sanlam / Business Partners entrepreneur of the year finalists are:

Alex Fourie - Ifix Retail;
Lee Grant - Brandserve Group;
Lewis Thomas - Partners Hair Design;
Nadir and Ahmed Khamissa - HelloGroup;
Gil Oved and Ran Neu-Ner - The Creative Counsel;
Shaun and Pam Ledlie - Kershal Aviation Training Centre;
Ruan Oosthuizen - Flume Communication;
Charles Du Plessis - C3 Technologies;
Jean Nico Jacque De Villiers - AdMaths;
Bryan Anderson - Delta Steam Systems;
Orianda Ntsompo - Orizoe Services;
Michael Roberts - Robhur Management;
Nisha Maharaj - Niche Integrated Solutions;
Kim Whitaker - Once in Cape Town;
Ncamisile Maphumulo - Coastal Nephrology Centre.