LEPHALALE — Shanduka Black Umbrellas (SBU) ran an innovation competition in partnership with Exxaro Grootegeluk as part of the Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) 2016 festivities last week at Lephalale TVET College.
Brenda Matsoma from SBU explained that the purpose of the competition is to cultivate a culture of entrepreneurship by providing a platform where innovators and start-ups can pitch their business idea before potential investors with the prospect of obtaining finance to start or expand their business.
Lazarus (Moreme) Mmola from African Entrepreneurs Acute, addressed the applicants about challenges entrepreneurs face. “Entrepreneurs are the key aspect of any country’s economy. In Lephalale, research showed that a lot of entrepreneurs want grants from government, but they will not move a finger of their own, they’d rather wait” he said. “To wait for someone to give you money to start a business is a disaster waiting to happen” he said.
“A lot of companies exist because of Medupi and Exxaro and they hope to get a tender, but tenders are only temporarily. What after that?” he said. He urged the applicants not to set up a CV to apply for a job, because then you still work for someone else. “You are not made to work for someone else – be your own boss – in essence all of us are gifted with an idea – you just have to discover it” he said.
He explained the correct way to start a business is to first have a business idea and to then to sell your idea to, for example, a bank.
Erika Jordaan, Supply Chain Sustainability Specialist Grootegeluk, said that participating in the GEW competition, Exxaro shows their commitment of empowering to grow and contribute. She said the seed capital made available for this competition will hopefully assist the winner in accomplishing their business goals and objectives.
Ten businesses were presented to the judging panel of seven and the winner was selected based on the best combined scores obtained. She emphasized the fact that the nine other participants should not give up on their dream – “in my opinion, one of the key characteristics of an entrepreneur is to never give up, they are determined to succeed and be in control of their own destiny”.
Botsalanong Traders with owner Peter Senoamadi was announced as the winner of the competition and he received R20 000 seed capital. Runner-up was Puno Business and St Vincent Pizza was in the third place.
Other entrepreneurs who took part in the competition were African Transport, Enter Mixed, Global Outer Fields, Milenium Tech Hub, Silver Solution Fuel, Tapsem and Taung Construction.
Brenda Matsoma, Enterprise Development Administrator at Shanduka Black Umbrellas, thanked Exxaro for their contribution and partnership. “To me you are all winners” she said to the applicants.
Brenda concluded by thanking SBU for always being one step ahead with business development in Lephalale.