THE common thread among entrepreneurs is that they are big dreamers who see a gap in society and proceed to act on their dreams with the determination to find solutions to life’s challenges.
And, the Gauteng Province sees the growth of entrepreneurship and support for grassroots business start-ups as an important catalyst for economic growth and formidable weapon in the fight against the triple challenge of poverty, unemployment and inequality.
To that end, the province has pulled all stops to ensure the success of the second annual Gauteng Township Entrepreneurship Awards (TEA) which have begun in earnest, with the announcement of nominees.
This is an initiative of the Gauteng Department of Economic Development (GDED) implemented through the Gauteng Enterprise Propeller (GEP) in partnership with Independent Media and Nedbank.
The awards cater for South African citizens who have a business registered and operating in Gauteng, have been operating for at least two years by 31st March 2016 with an annual turnover not exceeding R2 million.
TEA honours and celebrates the extra-ordinary work of entrepreneurs in advancing inclusive development.
The TEA competition offers these creative thinkers a platform from which to launch their ideas, including mentors to help them get started or take them to the next level.
Nominees participate in a two-week reality television series that will see the entrepreneurs going through a series of real and practical business experiences intended to sharpen and enhance their business skills.
Not only does the event present a milestone in the entrepreneurship ecosystem, but also it represents an opportunity for young people to share ideas, and explore international best practice in business development.
The initiative also cements the revitalisation of the township economy programme as part of Gauteng’s development agenda.
The Gauteng government will inject more than R1 billion in the next five years to improve infrastructure for township businesses to flourish.
“Gauteng township entrepreneurs and cooperatives are an important part in our strategy to facilitate meaningful and viable businesses in the communities we serve. Entrepreneurship plays a critical role in any economy’s wellbeing and our TEA initiative seeks to encourage and support entrepreneurs achieve global competencies,” says Gauteng MEC for Economic Development, Environment, Agriculture and Rural Development, Lebogang Maile.
“Through TEA we want to showcase the immense and inspirational talent we have in our townships and to instill a spirit of purpose and excellence among our people; so that they may know that a person can achieve anything as long as they put their mind to it.”
Meanwhile, the co-sponsors hailed TEA as a catalyst for inclusive development and structural transformation of the South African economy.
Mike Ntsasa, Group Executive Independent Media had this to say: “At Independent Media we strongly believe that journalism is the first draft of history. What we will document here is what will set the chapter [pace] for our young entrepreneurs that will transform the economy of the township. They will create wealth for generations to come. Success is all in our hands. Opportunity for growth and to make a difference is in our hands. I think what has come out here is very important.”
Ntsasa adds that government, business and all social partners should step up to the plate to support young entrepreneurs.
The TEA also go a long way in changing negative perceptions about township based businesses as well as encourage and inspire township entrepreneurs to realise the conceivable economic gains for communities within which they operate.
One of the judges, Millicent Maroga a board member at Old Mutual Foundation and GEP says the initiative was a step in the right direction for the province.
“We are involved in assessing and reviewing the applications. We are looking out for entities that are innovative, have a huge potential for job creation or are already creating jobs and are bringing new services that are needed in the townships and indeed the county,” Maroga says.
Tebogo Seleka who represents Seleka Xabiso, a leading and black owned audit firm, says they were honoured to be part of the initiative.
“We are the auditors and our role is to ensure that the processes are fair and no one is disadvantaged throughout the evaluation process,” she says.
Regina Gounden, Nedbank Regional Manager for Small Business Services, says the entries display a high level of innovation, fantastic ideas and business acumen capable of taking the township economy to the next level.
On 12th February 2017, judges will make their final decision and winners will be announced at an awards ceremony on 11th March 2017.
Briefly about the Companies:
Bright Future Agricultural: The company is based in Soshanguve, Tshwane and deals mainly in organic crops and vegetables.
Krout Sprout: Grows vegetables which it supplies fresh or processed. The company is based in Elandsfontein, Johannesburg.
Hlubuko Farm Primary Co-Operative: This co-op is based in Thinasonke Ext. 3 near Alberton, Ekurhuleni. It is involved in growing vegetables, a variety of crops and chicken farming.
Katlego Movement KMC: This is a co-operative in the recycling spaces which specialises in plastic material. It is based in Daveyton, Ekurhuleni.
Nambitha Nutritional Products: This is a food and beverage manufacturing company, which specializes in manufacturing of soy processing. It is based in Orange Farm, Johannesburg.
Hydrangea Trading and Farming: It specialises in health and beauty products and is based in Atteridgeville, Tshwane.
Construction, Building and Real Estate:
TM Group/Teboho Mofamadi Trading and Construction: It specialises in green technologies and provides tailor made solutions to housing. It is based in Springs, Ekurhuleni.
Shirinda Trading and Projects (Pty) Ltd: The company specializes in renovations to buildings including painting, plumbing, carpentry and civil works. It is based in Hammanskraal, Tshwane.
Linky Building and Civil Contractors: Based in Diepsloot, Johannesburg, the company specializes in general building works, light civil works and electrical work.
Bala Books Creations: This company specialises in cutting-edge book and artwork creations and is based in Soweto, Johannesburg.
Malesela Samuel Mogale Business Enterprise: Specialises in the development of Apps for iPhones, iPads, iPods, iPodTouch, Windows Phones, Blackberry and Android. It is based in Woodmead, Johannesburg.
Rare Zolution Design and Craft: The company uses recycled material to produce art. It is also an arts and culture consultancy that services craft exhibitions (local and international) and training. It is based in Newtown Precinct, Johannesburg.
Food and Beverage
Glopale Trading Enterprise: The business is in the catering space and is based in Mogale City, West Rand.
Mawele Empire: The business specialises in food services and is based in kwaThema, Ekurhuleni.
Goapele Bakery: Specialises in confectionery services and is based in Kagiso, in the West Rand.
Ama X-Rays (Pty) Ltd: The company is in the medical supplies and services industry. It is based in Randfontein, West Rand.
Makhabisi Recycling and Trading CC: The company is in the waste management services area. It is based in Reigerpark, Ekurhuleni.
Cosmo Assure Services T/A Cosmo Funeral: The company specialises in funeral and tombstone supply services. It is based in Cosmo City, Johannesburg.
DV Nhlapo Productions: This is a Film, Video, Television, Theatre and Arts Company based in Tsakane, Ekurhuleni.
Kwa Jerry Fast Food: This is a restaurant based in Kagiso, West Rand.
Vanwamati Business Investments: This business is based in Soweto Johannesburg. It is into house construction, marketing and sales.
SN Emthunzini Management CC: Specialises in school tours around the country. It is based in Ormonde View, Johannesburg.
Zazas Guesthouse and Spa: It specialises in luxury accommodation and services and is based in Soweto, Johannesburg.
Suzy’s Nice Palace and Tours: it operates in the hospitality, conferencing and team building services space. It is based in Ga-Rankuwa, Tshwane.
Transport, Automotive and Components
Kgabo Cras Training Centre CC: The company specialises in the repair, maintenance and service vehicles. It is based in Soshanguve, Tshwane.
Nyembe Waste Management (Pty) Ltd: It deals with high-risk waste management and disposal. It is based in Ga-Rankuwa, Tshwane.
Yellow Taxi Primary Co-operative: It specialises in transport services and is based in Soweto, Johannesburg.
Retail and Finance
Fountain of Beauty (F.O.B): It offers a full spectrum of beauty products and services. The company is based in Sebokeng Township, Sedibeng.
Cool Apple Dude Buddy (PTY) LTD: This is an ICT supplies and repair company specialising in Apple products. It is based in Soweto, Johannesburg.
X-Haulted Trading and Projects CC: The company specialises in ice cream distribution and sales and is based in Ga-Rankuwa, Tshwane.
Social and Community
Itireleng Development Projects: This is a drop-in centre in Swaneville, West Rand
Ditshiamiso Business Enterprise: The company provides training programmes and is based in Alexandria Township, Johannesburg.
Thinasonke Day Care and Creche: This is a partial care facility based in Thinasonke Ext.3 near Alberton, Ekurhuleni.