Western Cape en­trepreneurs to the fore

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - LIFE - SHAN­NON LORIMER

BUSI­NESS­MEN and women from the Western Cape make up al­most half the fi­nal­ists in the pres­ti­gious 2016 En­tre­pre­neur of the Year Com­pe­ti­tion. They are: ● Carl and Peter Pre­to­rius from Just Trees, a whole­sale nurs­ery which sup­plies spec­i­men, con­tainer- grown trees through­out South Africa.

● Ne­rina Smith from Smith­land Guest Apart­ments.

● Mishje Cooper from ZooZoo Land Day­care.

● Stacey Brewer who runs Spark Skills, a school net­work, with SPARK Lyne­doch in Stel­len­bosch the sixth Spark school to have opened.

● Char­ente Goosen from Rush Ex­treme Sports which opened South Africa’s first In­door Tram­po­line Park in Cape Town last year.

● Vanessa Ja­cobs of SOW De­li­cious, a proudly South African range of eco-friendly gar­den­ing good­ies.

The com­pe­ti­tion, spon­sored by San­lam and Busi­ness/ Part­ners, aims to sup­port South African small and medium-sized en­ter­prises and of­fers prizes val­ued at R2 mil­lion, in­clud­ing cash prizes worth R425 000.

The 15 fi­nal­ists op­er­ate in a range of sec­tors but most are in­volved in ei­ther man­u­fac­tur­ing or the ser­vice in­dus­try.

“The man­u­fac­tur­ing sec­tor is vi­tal for job cre­ation, so it is al­ways en­cour­ag­ing to see driven en­trepreneurs oc­cu­py­ing this space,” com­pe­ti­tion spokesper­son Gugu Mjadu said.

Pre­vi­ous fi­nal­ists ben­e­fit­ted from the net­work­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties and me­dia ex­po­sure of­fered by the com­pe­ti­tion and some past win­ners went on to win in­ter­na­tional awards.

Ac­cord­ing to Mjadu, there were more en­tries than ever be­fore this year, in­clud­ing an in­crease in the num­ber of fe­male en­trants – up to 38 per­cent of ini­tial par­tic­i­pants and 60 per­cent of fi­nal­ists.

” The large num­ber of en­tries has raised the stan­dard of the com­pe­ti­tion and is tes­ta­ment to the thriv­ing level of en­tre­pre­neur­ial tal­ent present in the coun­try. We would like to to com­mend all en­trants as these are the in­di­vid­u­als who bring about pos­i­tive change and fuel eco­nomic growth” Mjadu said.

Win­ners will be an­nounced on Septem­ber 1.

Carl Pre­to­rius

Mishje Cooper

Stacey Brewer

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