Calling all budding entrepreneurs
The 2017 SME Toolkit BUSINESS/PARTNERS Business Plan Competition for Aspiring Young Entrepreneurs is open for entries. Having already successfully spring-boarded hundreds of young entrepreneurs over the past seven years, the 2017 SME Toolkit BUSINESS/PARTNERS competition will once again provide the opportunity for young and ambitious individuals aged 18 to 35 to try their hand at entrepreneurship by providing free business training.
The eight regional winners and one overall winner will receive cash prizes and vouchers for mentorship sessions from leading business experts.
The competition comprises three phases. The first is a full-day workshop which equips all candidates with the necessary knowledge to compile a business plan. All the essential elements of starting a business will be discussed, including financial management, marketing, legal considerations and employment issues.
During the second phase, participants are required to draft and submit their business plans, which a panel of judges will evaluate. Eight regional winners will then be selected and each will be awarded mentorship sessions worth R6 000, which will assist them to develop their business plans further and get their businesses started.
The third and final phase of the competition culminates during Global Entrepreneurship Week, which takes place from November 13 to 17. One of the regional winners will be named the overall, national winner.
The national prize includes R25 000 in cash, a mentorship voucher worth R12 000 and a smart tablet or similar gadget.
Christo Botes, the executive director at Business Partners Limited, a specialist risk finance company for formal small and medium enterprises, says this competition differs from others in that even participants who don’t win will receive support to aid their entrepreneurial journey.
“In previous years, all entrants have found the workshops to be extremely motivating, and the competition has spurred hundreds of young entrepreneurs to put their ideas into action as often, it is the lack of this business know-how that prevents young entrepreneurs from translating their business idea into an actual trading business.
“During these highly regarded sessions, participants are also able to meet other like-minded young people, exchange ideas and get to start useful business networks.”
To enter the SME Toolkit BUSINESS/PARTNERS Business Plan Competition for Aspiring Young Entrepreneurs, please visit http://southafrica.smetoolkit.org/ The closing date for the first phase of the competition is 5pm on Monday, July 31