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Businesses Invited To Submit Entries For The 4th Annual Premier Business Awards

Entries may be submitted in a range of categories, including technology, manufacturing and women in business.

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Business enterprises are invited to submit entries for the 4th annual South African Premier Business Awards by 30 September 2016.

These annual awards, which are organised by the Department of Trade and Industry (the DTI), Brand South Africa and Proudly South African, recognise business excellence and celebrate enterprises that promote the spirit of success and innovation as well as job creation, good business ethics and quality.

The Minister of Trade and Industry Dr Rob Davies has described this event as South Africa’s apex business awards which brings together all single sectored awards into one big, national business awards.

“The awards represent and acknowledge all South African business sectors and enterprises, as well as members of the media who meet the various criteria per category and have achieved success in their various fields,” says Davies

He adds that for the first time in four years, the partners have introduced the on-line entry system that will give businesses that are based in other provinces a chance to take part.

Related: 13 Female Entrepreneurs Rising To The Top

CEO of Brand South Africa, Dr Kingsley Makhubela has emphasised the role that business plays in building a strong and competitive Nation Brand.

“South African business is critical to building positive perceptions about the country’s competitiveness for both domestic and international audiences. In addition, these Awards also highlight how collaboration between government and business plays a part in building a competitive and capable Nation Brand,” says Makhubela.

Acting CEO of Proudly South African, Mr. Eustace Mashimbye added: “We are certain that through these awards, more South Africans will be able to rate the significance of South African businesses as well as the quality of many of their products as among the best in the world. Through these awards and using other mechanisms, we are optimistic that the acceptance of “Buy Local” message will grow among South Africans nationwide, adding to the growth of our country’s economy.”

Categories for the awards include:

  • Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Manufacturers Award
  • Exporters Award
  • Enterprise Development Support Award
  • Women-Owned Businesses Award
  • Young Entrepreneur Award
  • Investor of the Year Award
  • Proudly South African Enterprise Award
  • Play Your Part Award
  • SMME Award and Black Industrialist Award.

Related: The 7 Things Science Says You Must Do Daily To Build A Billion-Dollar Company

More information on the South African Premier Business Awards, competition rules and entry forms is available on www.sapremierbusinessawards.co.za or 0861 843 384.

Entrepreneur Magazine is South Africa's top read business publication with the highest readership per month according to AMPS. The title has won seven major publishing excellence awards since it's launch in 2006. Entrepreneur Magazine is the "how-to" handbook for growing companies. Find us on Google+ here.

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Blu Blood’s Fearless Leader Ranked Among 2018 Standard Bank Top Women Award Finalists

Having pioneered leading lifestyle and event management company, Blu Blood, in 2008, Shaaista Khan Osman celebrates the company’s 10 years in business with two excellence nominations in the upcoming 2018 Standard Bank Top Women Awards taking place on Thursday, 23 August at Emperors Palace.

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Cemented as South Africa’s leading and pre-eminent initiative to honour the achievements and advocate the advancement of gender empowerment, the Standard Bank TOP WOMEN awards celebrates their 15 year anniversary gathering South Africa’s most accomplished businesswomen and organisations accelerating gender transformation in the workplace.

Shaaista Khan Osman’s commitment and successes for Blu Blood and the soon-to-be-launched World Women’s Network has earned her the recognition as a frontrunner of gender empowerment in two categories: TOP BUSINESSWOMAN OF THE YEAR and TOP GENDER EMPOWERED COMPANY IN INNOVATION THROUGH TECHNOLOGY.

Commenting on the achievement of reaching Finalist status, Shaaista comments:

“I was truly taken aback when I received the news of the nominations. I am humbled because it is our strong and dedicated business family unit that has contributed to my successes and of which I am in awe.  I am honoured to take on this great responsibility of being a voice in the progression of women in business alongside other likeminded and courageous women.”

Starting out with a humble upbringing as the youngest of six children, Shaaista’s story is a true testament of hard work, dedication and sincerity.

Related: Watch List: 50 Black African Women Entrepreneurs To Watch

Blu Blood has grown into one of South Africa’s leading event, artist & communication management companies, which Shaaista runs with her business partner & husband, Osman Osman.  Blu Blood is synonymous with hosting the biggest Bollywood productions in South Africa and Africa; producers of one of the most successful comedy brands, Kings & Queens of Comedy; collaborations with local and international comedians including Tumi Morake, Riaad Moosa, Orlando Jones and Russell Peter; as well as producing theatre and children’s stage productions.

But Shaaista’s biggest and most challenging project to date is the World Women’s Network.  Powered by Blu Blood, WWN is a membership based, online global initiative for women’s  economic and social empowerment with the premise of the organization being to give all women the opportunity and tools to achieve their goals, through pivotal joint ventures and strategic partnerships to build sustainable projects for the development and vision of women.   One of the key principles of WWN is the hope to uplift individuals and communicates through education and mentorship by offering free schooling, selected higher education courses and life skills courses and mentorship to members of WWN.

Director of Standard Bank TOP WOMEN, Karla Fletcher:

“We are devoted to providing the ultimate platform to address the challenges facing women-driven economic growth. Together with the CGE, our panel of judges and all those who have participated in the Standard Bank TOP WOMEN Awards in the past 15 years, we represent a community that actively responds to the pertinent questions surrounding the barriers to success for women entrepreneurs. We are excited about the work and calibre of this year’s finalists, and their significant impact offers South Africa optimism for the future.”

Shaaista proclaims that it is up to the individual to “seize every opportunity, own each day and sculpt your own brilliance”.  For more information, visit www.shaaistakhan.com.

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Entrepreneurs! Now Is The Time To Change Lives And Grow Revenues

All signs point to Africa as the most extraordinary place to be and do business in the future.

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So, how are we going to do business?

This is the question posed by Musa Kalenga, the enthusiastic entrepreneur and strategist who was named one of the Top 200 young South Africans by Mail & Guardian, at a recent Entrepreneurship To The Point Session hosted by Property Point, the Growthpoint Properties initiative.

The answer to doing business that he offers entrepreneurs, even in this digital age, is humanity.

“Humanity is the new black; it is how we are going to be the next powerhouse of this globe,” says Kalenga. “Being human is the one thing that will enable us to survive in the age of augmentation.”

Kalenga is obsessed with using technology to empower the digitally invisible. “We can send people to the moon but we can’t feed people on earth? This is a problem,” he cautions, “because unless we’re making fundamental business model changes, we won’t have a market for the future.”

He took the Entrepreneurship To The Point audience on a journey, highlighting the sweet spot where technology and creativity merge.

Looking at how African entrepreneurs should respond to the age of augmentation, he uses the shocking November 2015 Paris attacks as an example. Facebook activated its Safety Check function, Uber alerted its drivers to take people to safety, and Airbnb operators took in anyone in need.

Related: How To Make (A Lot Of) Money On Airbnb

“While these are tech businesses at their core, they displayed decidedly human responses. They also didn’t have to redo their business model to respond in a more human way,” points out Kalenga. “The technology journey that communities and consumers have to go through must match ours as brand creators, value seekers and entrepreneurs.”

Doing this is simpler than you may think. Technology’s intersection with humanity is all about finding simple, meaningful solutions.

He points to the trend of impact investment – an approach taken by some of the world’s richest family businesses. Impact investment means finding opportunities that are solving human-centred problems and creating value for the humans that we seek to serve, and then figuring out how to make revenue as a business. Essentially, it puts doing good before making money. This is where humanity, technology and entrepreneurship are on course to meet and power the extraordinary future of business in Africa.

“Human beings are at the top of the food chain because we can understand a small and simple thing, then develop it for different purposes all the time. Also, because we can rally around common cause and purpose. Enhancing quality of life in the way people experience technology is key to continuing to solve problems, not only in Africa but across the globe,” concludes Kalenga

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Futureproofing The Next Generation Of Entrepreneurs

Futureproof – a business built on purpose.

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The South African labour market remains vulnerable, particularly in the youth employment sector. While there is a call for more entrepreneurs, further support for SMME’s and increased youth employment by government, the youth of today lack the skills, knowledge and opportunities to answer to the call.

Riddled by poverty and unemployment, South Africa remains a country in crisis. With more than 3.3 million* unemployed youths, entrepreneurship has been highlighted to eradicate our unemployment woes; here’s the catch though: a recent study on education depicted the effect that poor education has had on entrepreneurs, who are largely ill-equipped to run their own businesses as a result. (Businesslive.co.za (2017)).

Getting youths to grips with entrepreneurship

By combining a background in education and entrepreneurship, entrepreneurial educationalist, speaker, radio presenter, mother of two and all-round go-getter, Lisa Illingworth co-founded Futureproof to educate youths from as young as primary school on real-life entrepreneurship.

Related: Kid Entrepreneurs Who Have Already Built Successful Businesses (And How You Can Too)

As an ex-teacher, Lisa recognised a serious need for educating children on the practical application and art of entrepreneurship to create a generation of informed, thriving youths. “Young adults in the 21st century are entering the working world equipped with knowledge and skills that are irrelevant for the workplace,” explains Lisa.

Futureproof is built on an unwavering commitment to entrepreneurship as a mechanism for intervening in the poverty cycle that our youths are caught up in. “I don’t want to watch another generation driven by poor education standards, self-entitlement and helplessness”.

Lisa believes that entrepreneurs possess qualities that each of us can aspire to in order to take charge of our own futures: they identify a problem or a gap and create a service or a product to solve this problem and generate a flow of money. “Their tenacity is something that few can relate to. Entrepreneurs sacrifice short-term gain to deliver a long-term solution and derive an income from their efforts and passion. Nothing comes easy to an entrepreneur, so persistence is key” she emphasizes.

In a country where many simply admit defeat, Lisa and her team believes that possessing an entrepreneurial mindset can set our youths apart and accelerate them in the working world. “Futureproof exists with a massive transformative purpose to educate the future generation of entrepreneurs,” explains Lisa.  “We aim to identify and grow the 5% of high impact entrepreneurs that will create the much-needed economic transformation that this country requires but organically, this process allows kids to learn how to create their own income opportunities” Lisa continues.

Futureproof – for purpose, for profit

Today, Futureproof is a “for purpose, for profit” business. We sacrifice neither. “This business is built on a model that was based on authentically practicing what we teach. Many social enterprises default to a charity and this business is unapologetically not a charity. We teach kids to build sustainable enterprises and we mirror this through the way we do business”.

Related: The Ultimate 101 List Of Business Ideas To Start Your Own Business In South Africa

Futureproof provides kids the opportunity to craft their own futures by applying the entrepreneurial skills gained in their real-life situations. “By instilling an entrepreneurial mindset, we look to cultivate a generation of hungry entrepreneurs who are able to identify and build-on opportunities. Our courses teach problem solving at the highest level to the youngest kids, and we have seen some amazing success stories come out of this in kids as young as eight years old”.

At its helm, Lisa says that Futureproof’s Board of Directors is made up of some of the country’s top business minds – a team driven by passion and purpose. “We attract incredible people in business and for this reason I am pleased to be surrounded by top women in their respective fields such as S’onqoba Maseko and Chairperson of our Board of Directors (previous head of innovation for FNB and now the COO of Future Nations Schools) and Masenyane Molefe – our Human Resources Specialist and HR Director of Hyundai South Africa.

For more information on Futureproof’s programmes and how to get involved, visit: www.futureproofsa.com

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