Entrepreneur of the Year/ Job Creator of the Year
Why he won: Superior local knowledge, flexibility and determination create a winning combination.
Due to the significant contribution he has made in his local community by providing jobs to more than 680 employees, Tommy Makhatho, owner of BiBi Cash & Carry, a retail group situated in the rural area of Qwa Qwa in the Free State, has also been named both the 2013 Sanlam/Business Partners Entrepreneur of the Year and Job Creator of the Year.
In addition to his job creation achievements, Makhatho also assists fellow entrepreneurs by allowing smaller retailers to make use of the BiBi Cash & Carry brand name, in exchange for support and access to company information. The retailer also offers an in-house learnership programme to its staff which transfers critical tools and skills to employees of all levels.
Makhatho presently owns seven BiBi Cash & Carry stores, which is currently South Africa’s largest entirely black owned retail operation, and is involved with 32 express stores, which he actively assisted in starting. Since the first store was launched in 1984 this retail group has grown significantly in profit and size.
The lauded entrepreneur believes he has a competitive advantage over the bigger retail chains in the area due to his team’s superior local knowledge, its flexibility as a smaller regional player, as well as its determination to operate close to the townships and communities where most of its consumers reside.
From the judges
“The success and perseverance Tommy Makhatho has displayed in a very competitive market makes him a truly worthy winner and an inspirational role model to aspiring entrepreneurs both within his community and the country as a whole. It’s clear that Tommy understands the needs of the market segments in which he does business. This, coupled with his meticulous attention to detail, and an unrelenting will to continuously seek ways to add to his bottom line, makes him a worthy winner.” – Kobus Engelbrecht, marketing head, Sanlam Business Market
Chris Brown and Andrew Brown
Small Business Entrepreneur of the Year
Why they won: Securing a niche market through exceptional service.
Andrew Brown, co-founder of The Daily Buzz, an upmarket and speciality chain of coffee bars which service the corporate workplace, spotted a gap in the market for a superior and easily accessible coffee spot while working as a risk professional in Joburg. The idea to provide quality coffee in such a way that allowed employees to return to their workstations quickly and efficiently was slowly formed.
As part of the start-up plan, co-founder and brother Chris trained at the London School of Coffee, as well as other institutes in Italy, the US and Africa in order to perfect the art of delivering a premium coffee experience.
Over the years The Daily Buzz has successfully secured a niche in the market and is set apart from its competitors by its ongoing skills development and training programmes, which are provided to all staff on a frequent basis to ensure exceptional service and product expertise.
Since opening their first coffee bar in the Standard Bank headquarters in Johannesburg with just two employees in 2006, The Daily Buzz has grown to seven outlets and employs approximately 60 people.
From the judges
“With five fellow finalists recognised in the small business category, Andrew and Chris were awarded the title as they perfected a simple product, added to it a healthy dose of service, and created a brand which is highly sought after. Ultimately what made The Daily Buzz stand out was the combination of a high quality product and a determined focus on customer service and experience.” – Stefan Beyers, Partner, PWC South Africa
Medium Business Entrepreneur of the Year
Why he won: A role model for aspiring entrepreneurs who want to make a difference.
After a long journey in the medical industry which equipped him with a wealth of medical institutional experience, Anton Rossouw founded Life Path Health in 2001. A network of private hospitals, Life Path Health specialises in mental health-related illnesses, addiction rehabilitation, post traumatic stress and anxiety disorders.
Apart from playing an active commercial role in the healthcare industry, Rossouw also actively participates in the development of awareness surrounding mental health. The business prides itself on regular engagement with industry bodies to negotiate medical aid funding for the treatment of mental illnesses. “The destigmatisation of mental illness in South Africa is a focal point for our company and our efforts have been a key driver to address the issue,” says Rossouw.
Successfully establishing six clinics throughout the Western Cape, with a seventh clinic opened in October 2013, Rossouw plans to expand nationally in the next five years.
From the judges
“Anton Rossouw is a role model for aspiring South African entrepreneurs. In a competitive industry, he has managed to identify an opportunity to establish a sustainable business which employs over 200 people while taking on some sizeable competitors.” Dr Kerrin Myres, CEO, Resonance Group
Mariaan du Plessis and Conrad Smith
Innovator of the Year
Why they won: Ground-breaking research and a focus on quality, strategy and systems ensure continued growth.
A strong and compatible business partnership has stood Dr Conrad Smith and Mariaan du Plessis in good stead. Over the past decade the founders of Medical Nutritional Institute have developed top-quality products that are scientifically sound and able to withstand the scrutiny and scepticism of the mainstream pharmaceutical and medical world, thanks to a strong entrepreneurial flair, a good mindset for business strategy and system development, and most notably ground-breaking research and development within the pharmaceutical industry.
Established in 2002, the company specialises in the development of
non-prescription medication made from organic molecules. All products are manufactured to the specifications of local and international medicine regulatory boards, including the Medical Control Council (MCC) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Du Plessis, who is currently the CEO at Medical Nutritional Institute, says that although the reputation of complementary medicine has been under continued scrutiny due to a lack of regulated quality products, Medical Nutritional Institute has continued to prosper thanks to a continued focus on innovation.
From the judges
“Medical Nutritional Institute has successfully developed new products in an environment the pharmaceutical industry has become sceptical about, and are persistent in their research and development of new and innovative products. The business has been successful in making its products credible in this sometimes cynical environment.” Ferose Oaten, entrepreneur
Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year
Why he won: Alternative and sustainable construction business brings an innovative building model to South Africa while driving employment.
Each year, the Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year title goes to an entrepreneur whose company has excelled in the early stages of the business’s life-cycle.
This year’s winner, Silverline Group founder Jonathan Pepler, has enjoyed rapid growth thanks to the introduction of a high-performance environmentally-friendly alternative building solution not widely used in South Africa.
Silverline Group provides conventional construction services, but its real growth lies in the fact that it also offers an effective method of light-frame steel construction that produces no waste and 80% less carbon footprint than conventional building methodology.
This innovative building method also considerably reduces the time needed to construct a building. As a result, more businesses are opting to make use of this method, which allows them to start operating and making a profit much earlier than expected. A recent example of this is the new McDonald’s in Cape Town, which was able to open the outlet four months earlier than expected.
Due to the growing demand for the product, Pepler made the decision to franchise the company, making it the only franchised construction business in South Africa, and one of very few in the world. The company also provides significant support, mentorship and skills training to its more than 30 franchisees, which Pepler believes is a major factor behind the business’s success.
From the judges
“Jonathan Pepler stood out in the Emerging category due to his exceptionally well executed business idea and the enormous growth potential of the business. The building method he uses is not unique internationally, but within South Africa it is not widely used and he has set out to successfully convince the major role players in the local market to accept this building method. Banks, for instance, chose not to finance buildings constructed in this way, but Jonathan managed to convince them otherwise. Jonathan also successfully franchised his business, which enabled him to grow it into a business with a national footprint in a short space of time and without the need for a large amount of capital.” – Kobus Engelbrecht, marketing head, Sanlam Business Market
Lifetime Achiever AWARD
Why she won: Celebrating entrepreneurship and the mindset to create wealth and make a difference.
Margaret Hirsch, the first recipient of the Lifetime Achiever award in the history of the competition, was honoured for serving as a remarkable inspiration and role model to aspiring entrepreneurs.
The COO of national appliance store, Hirsch’s, Margaret and her husband Allan started appliance store Hirsch’s from a tiny showroom in Durban in 1979. 34 years later, Hirsch’s has grown significantly and now boasts 12 stores as well as five concept stores across the country. In addition, the company currently provides employment to approximately 785 people.
Introduced in 2013, the Lifetime Achiever Award aims to commemorate seasoned entrepreneurs who have continually contributed towards the development and growth of South African entrepreneurship. This award will not only be obtainable by future competition finalists, but also among relevant industry veterans.
According to Hirsch, this award pays tribute to entrepreneurs who have remained focused on achieving their goals, and should serve to inspire the next generation of South African entrepreneurs. “Awards such as these convey the message that there are opportunities available for those with the correct mindset to create wealth and do extremely well in our country.”
From the judges
“Hirsch’s entrepreneurial success is a powerful reminder of the fact that there are always opportunities available to entrepreneurs — even when others might only see challenges. Her life is testimony to the resilience, patience and focus that makes a good entrepreneur. Margaret is an inspiring role model to many entrepreneurs in South Africa and is a brilliant example of the type of leaders that we need to build wealth and prosperity in the country.”– Ferose Oaten, entrepreneur
Visit www.eoy.co.za for more information on where and when to enter for the 2014 Sanlam/Business Partners Entrepreneur of the Year awards.
10 Young Entrepreneurs Under 30 Share Their Start-Up Secrets
The future of entrepreneurship has never looked so bright…these young entrepreneurs share their wisdom around building a successful business.
Natural Talent Can Become Your Success
Thabo Khumalo – ToVch
“I learnt to design and sew while assisting my mother who was a seamstress, and that is when I realised that I had a talent to create,” Thabo Khumalo explains. “But I never knew I was an entrepreneur.” Thabo Khumalo started his company ToVch in 2010 and has since appeared in South African Fashion Week, Soweto Fashion Week and Mpumalanga Fashion Week.
Khumalo has a small but engaged audience, who he communicates directly with. “The brand has a dedicated audience, and the social media presence also allows me to continuously scan the fashion environment to keep up with external forces.”
One of the most challenging aspects of launching his businesses was marketing the brand with limited funds. He used social media and word-of-mouth to market. “On social media, people share your brand with others simply because they want to,” says Khumalo. “It’s a powerful platform, and it does not cost anything.” Khumalo built up his company using support from a strong online network, which became his marketing strategy.
For Founder Of National Tekkie Tax Day Having A Higher (Business) Purpose Keeps Her Driving Forward
The NGO space isn’t easy. It’s a constant uphill battle to connect scarce resources with the vulnerable. Annelise de Jager has persevered in this space because she’s tapped into her personal purpose and values.
- Player: Annelise de Jager
- Initiative: National Tekkie Tax Day
- Launched: 2013
- Visit: www.tekkietax.co.za
Use your purpose to drive you forward
Connect your purpose with what you do, and you’ll find untapped reserves of perseverance and the discipline needed to achieve your goals.
Purpose before profit is not a new concept in business. In fact, it underlines the motivations behind some of the most successful entrepreneurs. It’s also not reserved for social enterprises alone.
However, it is in the social entrepreneurship and charitable spaces that living one’s purpose first found a foothold, mostly because without a strong purpose, the work would just be too hard, and many would give up.
Annelise de Jager, founder of National Tekkie Tax Day, unpacks how she’s used living her purpose to drive her forward, even when she’s faced almost insurmountable challenges and disappointments.
Make ‘living a life that matters’ intrinsic to everything you do.
“I was lucky in that I didn’t ever need to sit down and say, ‘I want my life to matter, so I need to do x, y, z’,” says Annelise. “It was intrinsic for me. However, in the past five years I’ve become acutely aware of it, and I’ve seen how important the ability to look beyond oneself is when you’re facing disappointment and challenges.
“It helps you look beyond the now, find a solution and keep pushing on, because there is a bigger goal at stake. The biggest revelation for me has been that anyone can figure this out and use it as a tool to achieve their dreams and purpose — you just need to trigger your intrinsic motivators.
“Figure out what’s really important to you, and then align this with what you’re doing, in both your business and personal journeys. Robin Bank’s Mind Power and Shaping your Destiny courses are a great place to start.”
Don’t be afraid to ask what’s next
Critical to Annelise’s journey has been the realisation that when goals are met, we need to ask ourselves: What’s next? “Too many people achieve their goals and then feel adrift. You should meet your goals. Your ultimate vision should change. That’s growth, and it’s critical if you want to keep moving forward.
“Our experiences inform our knowledge base and world views, and so as you live and run your business, that view should be changing, bringing with it new challenges and perceptions. Don’t be scared of it; embrace it.”
Annelise went to Potchefstroom University to study social work where she joined the university’s musical revue group, the Alabama Student Company. “Alabama was given the opportunity to tour Taiwan, but I was about to graduate. Travel is high on my personal values list, so I started a second degree in communications to stay in university — and — in Alabama.”
New experiences can be the source of great ideas and strength
Studying communications opened Annelise to a new discipline that she loved. “Marketing and communications are so filled with energy — an energy social work didn’t possess. I loved both, and I wanted to find a way to meld them together. This would ultimately shape my business, The Marketing Team, after I’d been a social worker for a few years. Don’t be afraid to adjust your plans based on new experiences; they can be the source of our greatest ideas and strengths.”
No experience is ever wasted
“We spend too much time trying to plan exactly what we should be doing, where and when, instead of following our hearts and instincts,” says Annelise. “No experience is ever wasted. Once I discovered my love for communications, I questioned whether I’d wasted four years studying social work. I hadn’t.
“Both disciplines became the bedrock of how I would assist the charitable space in South Africa. Experiences open our eyes, our hearts, and our understanding. They give us empathy and patience. They allow us to view things from other perspectives. If you want to really make a difference in other peoples’ lives, these traits are invaluable.”
Be open to finding answers in unexpected places
“By 2004 I felt rudderless,” says Annelise. “I’d been running my own business, handling communications and marketing for NGOs, developing campaigns and even assisting NGOs to run more as businesses than under-funded organisations, but it didn’t feel like I was doing enough.
“Part of the problem was that you can only give people the tools to work with, you can’t make them use them. Another problem was under-funding. Corporates spend billions each year on CSI projects but they don’t like to fund salaries and basic operational expenses.
“It’s frustrating because volunteers can’t do what needs to be done — most households need two breadwinners, which limits the availability of volunteers to assist.
“I was looking for a way to add more value. Should I start my own NGO? Where could I make the biggest impact? I’d been offered an excellent coaching position, which would allow me to walk away from the problems this sector deals with daily. It was tempting, but it wasn’t what I wanted.
“At that time I attended the Global Day of Prayer in Argentina on behalf of a client. It was at that conference that I had an almost supernatural experience. I left knowing exactly what my purpose was.
“How these realisations come to you is less important than the fact that you’re open to them. Deep down I knew what I wanted and needed — I just needed the courage and fortitude to follow my path. My experience in Argentina gave that to me because I allowed it to.”
Always find the strength to persevere.
Nothing worth doing is ever easy. In the NGO space, this is particularly true. “I developed the idea for National Tekkie Tax Day because NGOs constantly asked me to help them develop funding campaigns. I developed this fundraising model when I launched Casual Day and ran the project successfully for 18 years.
“But I also believe the NGO space can benefit from a more unified mindset to overcome donor confusion and fatigue. This is my new focus, but it’s difficult to get organisations to shift their mindsets. National Tekkie Tax Day is a step in this direction.
“It encompasses 12 national NGOs and 1 000 regional organisations across five categories — but there’s one product and one national marketing drive. Donors can choose a category to support.
“I’ve needed to persevere to help NGOs see the benefits in working collaboratively, and corporates to see the benefits of supporting the operational costs of NGOs.
“I don’t have a high profile job at a top company. People don’t call you back in my world. And yet you need to keep pushing forward against incredible headwinds.
“I wake up each morning and repeat the mantra that my success helps everybody; my failure helps nobody. There won’t always be easy wins, but with the right purpose you can persevere. You can make a difference.”
Support National Tekkie Tax Day on 26 May 2017
12 national charities | 1 000 local charities | 5 sectors to support
Animals, Bring Hope, Children, Disability, Education
Available at Toys R Us, Clicks and Babies R Us or online at www.tekkietax.co.za
Meet The Man Behind The Brand: Patrick O’Shea Of Hi Honey Infusions
Patrick O’Shea Of Hi Honey Infusions on what put the bee in his bonnet.
- Website: www.hihoneyinfusions.com
- Email: email@example.com
- Facebook: Click here
- Orders: +27 23 614 2801
When Patrick O’Shea first started the Hi Honey range of honey infusion products from his Montagu home kitchen in 2015, nothing could have prepared him for the success that would follow.
Now just over a year later, Hi Honey Infusions has become a thriving, well-loved brand in the homes of many South Africans on their quest to live a healthy lifestyle.
We recently chatted to him about Hi Honey’s humble beginnings and his vision for the future.
It all started with a love affair with honey…
Patrick has loved honey since he could remember and his earliest memory was of the little light blue honey containers called Champagne Honey.
“My dad was a musician/entertainer on the Holiday Inn circuit during the mid-70’s in South Africa and we used to stay in the hotels he played at. I couldn’t wait for breakfast time so I could claim a few of them,” reminisces Patrick.
Related: How To Start A Farming Business
The concept of combining honey and organics was still relatively new around the time Patrick began experimenting with it: “In early 2015 I read an article about the amazing health benefits of combining honey with cinnamon. Besides sounding delicious it also piqued my interest and I began researching the availability here in South Africa for such a product. I didn’t find any flavoured honey products and so began to create a range of honey infusions in my kitchen at home.”
After developing the recipes and manufacturing process, Patrick approached local Montagu business, Roscherr’s/Church Street. Managing Director Kallie Fourie and Production Head Martin Roscherr saw the brand potential and agreed to make the range.
The rest is history.
“They have been absolutely amazing since the first batch of Hi Honey Infusions were made last year,” says Patrick. “In June last year I was only supplying a few shops in the Montagu area. By November the range became available in Montagu Dried Fruit and Nuts stores nationwide through Roscherr’s/Church Street.”
Honey and a healthy lifestyle
Only honey produced by South African bee keepers is used, primarily from the Western Cape area, to manufacture Hi Honey products. The honey is infused with certified organics which are sourced from around the world, except the Rooibos and soon to be released Baobab honey, which come from South Africa.
Since ancient times, the health benefits of honey haves been recognised and celebrated:
“Honey has so many amazing properties and health benefits. It is a really good, healthy food choice and pure honey is known to help build your immunity against sickness,” Patrick explains. “Honey contains simple sugars, which are not the same as white sugar or artificial sweeteners. Its exact combination of fructose and glucose actually helps the body regulate blood sugar levels. Some honeys have a low hypoglycaemic index, so they don’t jolt your blood sugar.”
Natural, raw honey combined with the health benefits of organics like cinnamon, Rooibos, ginger and others offer people the best of both. “It also makes the honey experience more interesting and yummy!” says Patrick.
Hi Honey and Montagu: A proud partnership
Patrick says that the Montagu Dried Fruit and Nuts brand has been so supportive of this locally produced product from the start.
“Montagu CEO Hannes Jansen, Sales Director De Wet van Rooyen and Marketing Manager Liesl Carstens have and continue to give valuable advice and recommendations. Without their interest in the Hi Honey brand and products, I don’t think the business would be where it is today in such a short space of time,” explains Patrick.
“A small business that has great support from a big company forms the makings of something really special.”
New products and plans for the future
The Montagu franchise company recently turned five years old and Patrick was honoured to have been asked to launch the new alcohol- and preservative-free Hi 5 energy booster honey sachets to all the franchisees at the celebratory event in August 2016.
Patrick is constantly thinking of potential new combinations for the brand: “I think Hi Honey Infusions are a fresh new way to enjoy honey and I like the way they taste and look. The new addition to the range is Baobab and I think people are really going to enjoy the creamy fruity flavour,” he says.
Hi Honey can be enjoyed over oats, on toast or a pancake, or in these other useful ways:
- A teaspoon of Hi Honey chocolate, cinnamon or cayenne in coffee
- Hi Honey Rooibos or ginger in tea
- Hi Honey chocolate with almond milk for a lactose-free hot chocolate
- Hi Honey cayenne or turmeric in a curry
When he’s not running a thriving business, Patrick enjoys writing music and performing, reading, travel, making aromatherapy products, spending time with his two children and family and, when time allows (of which there is so little these days), playing golf.
Hi Honey Infusions is a preferred supplier to Montagu Dried Fruit and Nuts stores nationwide.
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