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Tsogo Sun’s Entrepreneur Of The Year Finalists Announced

This year’s Tsogo Sun Entrepreneur of the Year Award finalists run businesses in a range of market sectors – find out more about the winners below.

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With South Africa’s entrepreneurial activity being rated as low for a developing nation and only a quarter of that of other sub-Saharan countries, according to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, support for entrepreneurs by the nation’s private and public sectors is essential for economic growth.

Tsogo Sun Entrepreneurs has been committed to entrepreneurial development for more than a decade, revealing countless small business successes, providing practical support through a 12-month development programme, and recognising excellent entrepreneurial performance through the prestigious annual Tsogo Sun Entrepreneur of the Year Awards for the programme’s top performers.

This year’s Tsogo Sun Entrepreneur of the Year Award finalists run businesses in a range of market sectors, and include Carol Senosi, owner of cleaning services business, Lefa Cleaning Services in Gauteng; Nqobile Nkosi, whose business, NQ Jewellery Design, operates from Soweto; Lucille Cremen, who owns Cresco Tours in Gauteng; Zinzi Masina, owner of La Emme Guesthouse; and Meisie Nkosi, owner of Bella Bonni Guesthouse, both situated in eMalahleni in Mpumalanga.

Nqobile Nkosi, Tumi Manong, Rebone Sesoke, Meisie Nkosi, Zinzi Masina, Candy Tothill, Lucille Cremen, Hayley Moore and Carol Senosi

Nqobile Nkosi, Tumi Manong, Rebone Sesoke, Meisie Nkosi, Zinzi Masina, Candy Tothill, Lucille Cremen, Hayley Moore and Carol Senosi

Related: The Most Powerful Advice Entrepreneurs Ignore

Says Marcel von Aulock, Tsogo Sun CEO, “To meet the national requirements for job creation in South Africa, we need to cultivate an environment that is conducive to establishing and developing small businesses. Tsogo Sun contributes towards this social and economic imperative through our empowerment programmes such as the Tsogo Sun Entrepreneurs, which assists emerging enterprises to grow and thrive so that they can become active participants in the economy.”

He adds that the Tsogo Sun Entrepreneurs programme forms part of the group’s sustainability and growth strategy, with particular emphasis on delivering value to small and medium sized businesses in the communities where Tsogo Sun is present.

“The programme harnesses decades of our group’s experience and expertise and makes this available to entrepreneurs in all industries across the country to support them in their efforts to become successful. Over the years, the programme has become an important part of our supply chain and many of the registered entrepreneurs have become suppliers to the group.”

Entries to the 2016 Tsogo Sun Entrepreneur of the Year Award were open to 152 Tsogo Sun Entrepreneurs who have benefitted or are benefitting from the 12-month development programme.  Says Candy Tothill, Tsogo Sun’s GM of Corporate Affairs, “Entrants were required to complete a comprehensive entry form to be considered for the Awards.

“These were shortlisted using a stringent evaluation method that included assessing performance in the programme, financial performance, customer knowledge, marketing, innovation efforts, job creation, contributions to the greater community, potential for growth, and overall sustainability.”

Related: 7 Steps To Launching Your Own Business

The finalists will be interviewed by a panel of nine judges, who include Tsogo Sun executives, change agents, thought leaders, and past Entrepreneur of the Year winners. The 2016 Judges are: Marcel von Aulock, CEO of Tsogo Sun; Vusi Dlamini, Group HR Director of Tsogo Sun; Laurelle McDonald, Corporate Finance Manager of Tsogo Sun; Ravi Nadasen, Tsogo Sun Operations Director; Ella Bella Leite, Founder of Generation Earth; Adriaan Groenewald, CEO and Co-founder of Leadership Platform; Carol Sanderson, 2014 winner and owner of Casambo Exclusive Guest Lodge; Emmah Makatu, 2013 winner and owner of Zwinoni Lodge; and Salome Tshungu, 2012 winner and owner of The Orchards.

TS Entrepreneurs - finalists, left to right Meisie Nkosi, Zinzi Masina, Lucille Cremen, Carol Senosi and Nqobile

TS Entrepreneurs – finalists, left to right Meisie Nkosi, Zinzi Masina, Lucille Cremen, Carol Senosi and Nqobile

Adriaan Groenewald, judge and CEO and Co-founder of Leadership Platform, comments, “Growing new entrepreneurs is one of the greatest ways to empower individuals. It is the best way for us to grow the SA economy. We all know this, but do we all actually do something about it? Tsogo Sun does. I have personally interviewed several Tsogo Sun entrepreneurs and have been highly impressed by their comments on how the programme assists them. We are honoured to be involved with this initiative in some form.”

Tsogo Sun hosted the five finalists at Montecasino for a three-day leadership workshop, during which they were announced to the media on 25 August. Tothill says, “Panel interviews with the judges are being undertaken during the leadership workshop on 26 August to assess each of the finalists using a system that enables our judges to score results against the same set of criteria.  While there can be only one winner, being a finalist in these awards puts the entrepreneurs on a bright path towards an even more successful future for their businesses.”

The Tsogo Sun Entrepreneur of the Year Award winner will be announced at the Annual Awards Dinner on 20 October at the Riverside Sun, during the annual conference that will place from 18 to 21 October. At the Awards Ceremony, the Minister of Tourism, Derek Hanekom, will give the keynote address.

Prizes for the winner include R30 000 from Tsogo Sun, a business bursary from Tsheto Leadership Academy and a professional business image experience from tweak&STYLE, while also providing a platform for the winner to promote their business and contribute to the development of other SMMEs in South Africa. In addition, the winner will be the Ambassador for Tsogo Sun Entrepreneurs for the year.

Related: 9 Answers You Need About Yourself Before Starting Your Own Business

Vusi Dlamini, Tsogo Sun’s Group HR Director, says the company is proud of what Tsogo Sun Entrepreneurs is achieving. “Entrepreneurial development is critical for the growth of the South African economy, particularly in these challenging economic times. The value of the Tsogo Sun Entrepreneurs programme is immense.

“Apart from showcasing the good work that’s being done by the entrepreneurs themselves, it assists participants with skills development and exposure to the markets that Tsogo Sun serves; it helps them build self-confidence and finally, it breeds success. It is definitely an invaluable programme that empowers entrepreneurs to hold their own in the business world.”

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.

Entrepreneur Today

Search Is On For SA’S Online Retailer Of The Year

World Wide Worx in partnership with Platinum Seed, Visa, Heavy Chef and the Ecommerce Forum of Africa, launch new awards to recognise online stores that promote shopper trust.

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World Wide Worx today announced that it was launching a new awards programme — called the Online Retailer of the Year — to honour online stores in South Africa that grow trust amongst digital shoppers. The awards are part of a broader project to boost online shopping by World Wide Worx in partnership with Visa, Platinum Seed, the Ecommerce Forum of Africa and Heavy Chef.

“Online retail in South Africa has consistently grown above 20% since the turn of the century but only passed 1% of overall retail in 2016. Research shows that trust is a big factor in ecommerce growth, which is why we want to recognise online retailers who help to grow the entire sector by ensuring the kind of ecommerce standards that engender trust with online shoppers,” Goldstuck says.

“But once online retail passes two per cent it crosses an essential psychological barrier and this often leads to a tipping point in emerging economies. That’s when we see online retail snowballing. It gathers real momentum and everyone in the sector benefits,” Goldstuck explains.

To be eligible for entry to the Online Retailer of the Year, owners of digital stores are urged to participate in an essential survey of local online shopping being run by Goldstuck’s World Wide Worx, together with Visa and digital growth agency Platinum Seed.

To participate in the research, local online retailers can go to www.surveymonkey.com/r/OnlineRetailSA

All online retailers who participate will be entered into the award. However, participation in the survey is not a precondition for entry to the awards. However, only online retailers who operate from within South Africa’s borders are eligible for this local award.

The awards will be made at a Heavy Chef event in Cape Town on Thursday, October 01 2018. At the same event, World Wide Worx’s Arthur Goldstuck will lay bare the state of local retail, with Brad Elliott, CEO of Platinum Seed, and Visa.

Related: Up To R1 Million In Funding For Tech Solutions To Early Childhood Challenges

Goldstuck, who is judging the awards, will present the following awards:

  • Online Retailer of The Year
  • 1st runner-up – Online Retailer of the Year
  • 2nd runner-up – Online Retailer of the Year
  • Best New SA Online Retailer of the Year.

The winners of the Online Retailer of the Year awards will be given a digital badge that the online store can display online. The winners will have bragging rights for a year — until the next award is made in 2019.

Judging criteria for the awards include trust, innovation, customer service, digital excellence, customer engagement, product excellence, and the online reputation of the digital store. Visa, Heavy Chef, and Platinum Seed will oversee the judging of the awards. The Ecommerce Forum of Africa will audit the results.

Retailers or entrepreneurs who want to attend the awards and presentation of the research results by Goldstuck can purchase tickets from Heavy Chef.

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Entrepreneur Today

Up To R1 Million In Funding For Tech Solutions To Early Childhood Challenges

Applications from individuals, non-profit and for profit organisations are welcome. Innovation Edge accepts early stage ideas pre or post proof of concept phase.

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Innovation Edge, an early stage investor and venture builder, has launched a call for tech solutions to problems faced by young children and those who care for them. The most promising ideas stand the chance to receive up to R1 million in funding and will have access to a range of incubation support. Qualifying ideas will address a defined need within early childhood and have a sustainable route to scale that includes families living in poverty.

Deadline for submissions is 19 October 2018.

The human brain is naturally wired to learn, but the brain’s capacity to absorb new information and learn new skills is most pronounced in the first 5 years of life. During this period of development, not only does the brain learn best, but it gets wired in ways that impact lifelong learning. Experiences during early childhood literally shape the architecture of the developing brain.

Sonja Giese, Executive Director for Innovation Edge, explains why investing in solutions to early childhood problems is critical; “ Eight out of 10 Grade 4 learners in South Africa cannot read for meaning. Six out of 10 Grade 5 learners cannot do basic maths. These scores are predictive of final school outcomes, meaning that by the age of 10 years, a child is on the educational trajectory she will most likely follow.”

“There is no conceivable way in which South Africa will realise its development goals, including increased employment, radical economic transformation, reduced crime and dependable leadership, without significantly altering the current trajectories of our youngest citizens. This sector is desperate for innovative solutions that offer impact at scale.”

Related: The Truth About Venture Capital Funding

While Innovation Edge welcomes submissions for any bold ideas at any time throughout the year, this call is specifically focused on tech solutions to early childhood challenges.

Examples of the types of challenges that applicants are invited to respond to include the following :

  1. Paper-based systems of recording classroom attendance are time-consuming and lacking in accuracy. How might you create a tech solution that enables pre-school teachers (in both high/mid and low income environments) to quickly capture verifiable classroom attendance for children aged 3 to 6 years?
  2. Young children’s (birth to 6) developing brains thrive from having daily positive back and forth conversations with their parents. How might you create a tech solution to help parents (in both high/mid and low income environments) embed this behaviour into their daily lives?
  3. Approximately 33% of women living in adversity will experience a mental illness (primarily depression) during or after pregnancy.  What opportunities could tech offer to support mothers, particularly those in low-income environments, who are suffering from depression?

Applications from individuals, non-profit and for profit organisations are welcome. Innovation Edge accepts early stage ideas pre or post proof of concept phase.

To submit a proposed solution and for more information on Innovation Edge visit http://innovationedge.org.za/opportunity-hub/.

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Entrepreneur Today

Bonang Matheba Announced As 2018 AWIEF Awards MC

AWIEF has announced multi –award winning radio host, TV presenter and style icon, Bonang Matheba as the 2018 AWIEF Awards MC and host.

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Bonang Matheba, affectionately referred to by fans as Queen B, has firmly positioned herself as Africa’s most sought after entertainment personality and SA’s number one social media darling.

With just three weeks from recognising, honouring and celebrating women entrepreneurs and business-owners in Africa for their innovation, excellence and contribution towards economic growth and social development, AWIEF has also announced songstress, BUCIE as the music entertainer for the night.

40 Finalists out of more than 1350 nominations were revealed for the AWIEF Awards last month. Winners will be announced at The Westin Hotel in a five-star gala dinner on 9th November 2018.

Tickets to the awards evening are selling fast. To secure your seat, please click here.

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