R50 000 prize for egg vendor
BUSINESS PLAN COMPETITION: 1 000 ENTRANTS FOR PRESTIGIOUS SOUTH AFRICAN CONTEST
Having a good strategy is essential to start a successful business.
Innovative entrepreneur, Tebogo Mathe from Pretoria was named the national winner of the 2019 SME Toolkit BUSINESS/ PARTNERS Business Plan Competition for Aspiring Young Entrepreneurs.
The competition saw over 1 000 innovative young SA entrepreneurs vying for the prestigious title.
The free-to-enter competition, now in its 10th year, aims to encourage, assist and inspire SA’s youth to start their own businesses as a means to reduce the country’s high unemployment rate.
Business Partners Limited executive general manager David Morobe, speaking at the awards ceremony in Johannesburg, said in order to ensure the success of these businesses, it is crucial aspiring entrepreneurs be taught the essentials of starting a business, such as developing a business plan.
“A business plan is a key starting point because it lays the foundation of a business by outlining key building blocks such as sources of funding, strategic vision and growth planning, among others.”
Mathe was awarded the national prize for his business plan for his egg distribution business, clearly demonstrating his ability to be exceptionally entrepreneurial with very little money or resources, explained Morobe.
“He has already started implementing measurable business activities on a small scale and his passion for his venture came through in his business plan.
“Despite all the challenges, he uses every opportunity, especially those that exist within his own community, such as using part-time sellers and paying them a commission. In doing so, Mathe has created regular income for 23 members of his community.”
When selecting a national winner, judges consider the quality of the business plan, the level of innovation, the viability of the business concept, as well as overall entrepreneurial ability.
Mathe will receive a R20 000 mentorship voucher, R30 000 in seed capital, as well as additional sponsored prizes to aid his business.
Morobe said the competition continues to be a great journey and he looks forward to working with SA’s talented youth every year.
The 2019 regional winners (each receives a mentorship voucher of R10 000, as well as access to an expanded business network):
► Sinethemba Javu (Western Cape): After seeing the opportunity in his community of Browns Farm in Phillipi, Javu plans to use a space in his home to provide internet and printing services. He holds a national diploma in business management and has set his sights on an additional office, closer to the city centre once the business grows.
► Siphosihle Nzewuza and Lunika Dlamini (East London): They dream of owning and running a hydroponic strawberry farm. While Nzewuza has experience and knowledge in both retail and forestry, Dlamini is a qualified civil engineer with business administration exposure. Within the next six years, they intend to grow their business to include agro-tourism as an additional offering.
► Olebogeng Mashune (Free State): Is passionate about farming and agro-processing, and plans to start an agro-processing business called Mashune Agrico Trade. She learnt everything she knows about the industry from her grandfather and inherited agricultural land from him. Her hope is to become a full-time employee of her own business, with the long-term goal to expand into Africa.
► Keshia Mecuur (Johannesburg): Hailing from the west of Johannesburg, Mecuur plans to open a travel agency through which she will arrange national and international trips for clients. She holds a national diploma in tourism management, has experience as a products and itinerary intern at SA Tourism and teaches tourism as a subject at Randfontein High School.
► Xolane and Takalani Hlongwane (Limpopo): Using a special formula, they plan to produce, and sell cement products and bricks. While Xolane holds a BCom degree from the University of Free State and has been working in the financial and banking sector for over 15 years, Takalani has worked in the cement and brick manufacturing industry since 2006 and is currently pursuing a degree in business management and entrepreneurship.
► Tshepo Gaerupe (Northern Cape): With a passion for radio and social affairs, he plans to start a radio station for his area called Voice of Northern Cape. With knowledge of public relations, communication sciences and project management, he has worked as a news reader, radio presenter, programmes manager, events organiser and sales and marketing manager.
► Londiwe Mthembu (KwaZuluNatal): Her business plan is to start a poultry farm in the Eastern Cape, an idea that was born when she observed a neighbour travelling far distances to purchase eggs and chicken. She holds a diploma in public relations and her previous experience includes project management for youth projects in the area.
► Shaun Ridgway (Port Elizabeth): Ridgway’s business plan is to use unmanned aerial vehicles, also known as drones, technology to collect aerial visual data for the agriculture sector. Currently working as a chartered accountant, Ridgway aims to work specifically with citrus farmers in the Eastern Cape to help them collect data required for their businesses.
► Thando Mashego (Mpumalanga): Mashego intends to build an aerial data capturing services business using innovative technology for various industries in the Mpumalanga area. He holds a web design certificate from Boston Business College.
Tebogo Mathe, left, and David Morobe.