Western Cape entrepreneurs to the fore
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.