Innovative entrepreneur, Tebogo Mathe from Pretoria, was announced as the national winner of the 2019 SME Toolkit BUSINESS/PARTNERS Business Plan Competition for Aspiring Young Entrepreneurs. The competition saw over 1 000 entries from innovative, young South African entrepreneurs across the country, all vying for the prestigious title.
The free-to-enter competition, now in its 10th year, aims to encourage, assist and inspire South Africa’s youth to start their own businesses as a means to reduce the country’s high unemployment rate by promoting entrepreneurship as a viable career choice.
David Morobe, Executive General Manager at Business Partners Limited (BUSINESS/PARTNERS), who was speaking at the awards ceremony held this morning in Johannesburg, said that, in order to ensure the success of these businesses, it is crucial that aspiring entrepreneurs be taught the essentials of starting a business, such as developing a business plan. “For aspiring business owners, a business plan is a key starting point because it lays the foundation of a business, by outlining key building blocks such as sources of funding, strategic vision and growth planning, among others.”
Mathe was awarded the national prize for his business plan for his egg distribution business, clearly demonstrating his ability to be exceptionally entrepreneurial with very little money or resources, explains Morobe. “Mathe has already started implementing measurable business activities on a small-scale and his passion for his venture also came through clearly in his business plan.
“Despite all the challenges, he uses every opportunity, especially those that exist within his own community such as using part-time sellers to distribute eggs and paying them a commission. In doing so, Mathe has created regular income for 23 members of his community.”
When selecting a national winner, the judges consider the quality of the business plan, the level of innovation, viability of the business concept, as well as overall entrepreneurial ability.
For being crowned the national winner of the 2019 SME Toolkit BUSINESS/PARTNERS Business Plan Competition for Aspiring Young Entrepreneurs, Mathe will receive a R20 000 mentorship voucher, R30 000 in seed capital for his business, as well as additional sponsored prizes to aid his business.
Celebrating a decade-long milestone, Morobe says that the competition continues to be a great journey and that he looks forward to working with South Africa’s talented youth every year.
Below is the list of the 2019 regional winners; each receiving a mentorship voucher of R10 000, as well as access to an expanded business network:
Sinethemba Javu (Western Cape)
After seeing the opportunity in his community of Browns Farm in Phillipi, Javu plans to use a space in his home to provide internet and printing services. He holds a National Diploma in Business Management and has his sights on setting up an additional office closer to the city centre once the business grows.
Siphosihle Nzewuza and Lunika Dlamini (East London)
Nzewuza and Dlamini dream of owning and running a hydroponic strawberry farm together. While Nzewuza has experience and knowledge in both the retail and forestry industries, Dlamini is a qualified Civil Engineer with business administration exposure. Within the next six years, the pair intend to grow their business to include agro-tourism as an additional offering.
Olebogeng Mashune (Free State)
Mashune is passionate about farming and agro-processing, and plans to start an agro processing business called Mashune Agrico Trade. She learnt everything she knows about the industry from her grandfather, and has since inherited some agricultural land from him. Her hope is to become full-time employed by her own business so that she can ensure its growth, with the long-term goal to expand into the continent of Africa.
Keshia Mecuur (Johannesburg)
Hailing from the west of Johannesburg, Mecuur plans to open a travel agency through which she will arrange national and international trips for clients. She holds a National Diploma in Tourism Management, has experience as a Products and Itinerary intern at South Africa Tourism and currently teaches tourism as a subject at Randfontein High School.
Xolane Hlongwane and Takalani Hlongwane (Limpopo)
Using a special formula, the Hlongwane duo plan to produce, and sell, cement products and bricks. While Xolane holds a B.com Degree at the University of Free State and has been working in the financial and banking sector for over 15 years, Takalani has worked in the cement and brick manufacturing industry since 2006 and is currently pursuing a Degree in Business Management and Entrepreneurship.
Tshepo Gaerupe (Northern Cape)
Gaerupe has a passion for radio and social affairs, and he plans to start a radio station for his area called “Voice of Northern Cape”. With knowledge in the fields of Public Relations, Communication Sciences and Project Management, Gaerupe has previously worked as a News Reader, Radio Presenter, Programmes Manager, Events Organiser, and Sales and Marketing Manager.
Londiwe Mthembu (KwaZulu-Natal)
Mthembu currently lives in KZN, but her business plan is to start a poultry farm in the Eastern Cape; an idea that was born when she observed a neighbour in her village in Mhlanga traveling far distances to purchase eggs and chicken. She holds a Diploma in Public Relations and her previous experience includes project management for youth projects in the area.
Shaun Ridgway (Port Elizabeth)
Ridgway’s business plan is to use UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle also known as drones) technology to collect Aerial visual data for the agriculture sector. Currently working as a Chartered Accountant, Ridgway aims to work specifically with citrus farmers in the Eastern Cape to help them collect data required for their businesses.
Thando Mashego (Mpumalanga)
Mashego intends to build an Aerial data capturing services business using innovative technology for various industries in the Mpumalanga area. He holds a Web Design certificate from Boston Business College, which he completed in 2010.
About SME Toolkit:
The SME Toolkit, under whose banner the competition is held, is available free of charge to all entrepreneurs in South Africa. It consists of a growing collection of more than 5 000 advice articles. BUSINESS/PARTNERS, owner of the SME Toolkit, is always busy reviewing and updating the articles to ensure that they remain relevant.
About Business Partners Limited:
Business Partners Limited (BUSINESS/PARTNERS) is a specialist risk finance company for formal small and medium owner-managed businesses in South Africa, and selected African countries. The company actively supports entrepreneurial growth by providing financing from R500, 000 to R50 million, specialist sectoral knowledge, business premises and added-value services for viable small and medium businesses. Since establishment in 1981, BUSINESS/PARTNERS has provided business finance worth over R19.5 billion in over 71 600 transactions facilitating over 648 200 jobs. Visit www.businesspartners.co.za for more information.