This year’s 702 Small Business Awards with Softline Pastel have drawn to a close, with 30 finalists already benefiting from the exposure they have received during the course of the awards and three winners announced at a gala event held in Sandton last night.
Dancing Divas was named this year’s winner and receives an advertising package for 702 including the production and flighting of a professional radio commercial worth R100 000. In addition, they win a laptop loaded with accounting, payroll, human resources and legal documentation software from Softline Pastel and a free Pastel training course.
“All 30 of this year’s finalists showed the traits of a great business, they understand their customers and I think there’s a lot that companies of all sizes could learn from them,” said Steven Cohen, managing director of Pastel Accounting.
Offering small businesses big exposure
“Simply through being a finalist in the competition we have already enjoyed the benefits of exposure on Talk Radio 702 and have had a number of new clients signing up as a result,” said Tina James, founder of Dancing Divas, who describe themselves as a dance experience for mature women.
The Pretoria-based company offers a safe space for women who feel they aren’t the right size, shape or age to dance in total comfort. In addition to learning to enjoy dancing, participants find friendships that extend beyond the class.
“Dancing Divas has given so many women who thought they were too old to get there and be a part of a group, a purpose and a sense of belonging,” said nominator, Catherine Kirsten. She says with the classes they can start feeling good and proud of themselves again and slowly watch themselves improve. “They have changed so many lives in a positive way,” she added.
The judges were very impressed with the impact Dancing Divas has on their clients.
Spotting a gap in the market
“Tina and her team have found a way to make people feel good about themselves, have fun, meet other people and enjoy all the health benefits of getting active,” said Pheladi Gwangwa, Talk Radio 702 station manager and one of the judges. “It is also noteworthy that they spotted a specific gap in the market for the older generation.”
The two runners up in this year’s awards were 4 a Kid and Tshidullo African Day Spa. Both win software packages and training from Softline Pastel as well as an airtime package of R50 000 each, on Talk Radio 702.
4aKid is a business that offers speciality safety products for children. Owner Ally Cohen started the business in 2007, through her own need for safety products as her child was badly brain damaged and required additional protection as he cannot speak or read.
Tshidullo African Day Spa brings offers clients all the benefits of a trip to the spa in the comfort and convenience of their own homes.
In addition to offering a great service, Tshidullo also employs eight therapists and a nail technician, most of these qualified professionals are the breadwinners in their families and owner Pheladi Thobejane is proud to be impacting on them positively.
“We congratulate the winners, and all the finalists. They are shining examples of why the SME sector is so important to our economy and we look forward to watching these businesses go from strength to strength,” said Cohen.
For details of all the finalists, visit www.sba.702.co.za.