After accidentally stumbling on a local business plan competition, a Western Cape business owner has won the regional title and was flown to Johannesburg for the national rounds where she clinched that title as well.
Janine Williams, owner of ACCTO-Outsourcing Accounting, is the Western Cape’s inaugural winner of Business Plan for Aspiring Young Entrepreneurs.
The competition is an initiative of Business Partners Limited and the SME Toolkit – a project of the Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) Department of the World Bank Group.
“I was surprised to win but I also put a lot of work and effort into my business plan. I am super-excited about this opportunity and it will be my first time on a plane and my first time out of Cape Town,” says Williams.
Googling for tips on a business plan led Williams to enter the competition, only two days prior to the closing date.
She says the questions were easy and she had to attend a workshop on business advice.
“I always had this business idea. For a while I have only been freelancing as an accountant, but then I wanted a business plan which I could use to plan my business and which would keep me focused,” says Williams.
All it took was two weeks in which Williams put her business plan together using information from the SME toolkit website.
“I just put everything into it. My ideas and I also made notes on what the other business owners were saying in the session. I was a bit surprised when I won but I put a lot of work and effort into my business plan,” says Williams.
She received a mentorship voucher worth R5 000 which she will use to assist her in acquiring marketing skills she believes will help her business grow.
Nikita Mfenyane, regional consulting manager at Business Partners, says the competition is the brainchild of Business Partners.
“This is the first year the Western Cape has been included in the competition and we had 50 business owners participate in a workshop by Business Partner mentors.
Each applicant had to draw up a business plan. We looked at the completeness of the plans and whether what was taught in the workshops were included in them,” says Mfenyane.
Each regional winner was called up before being flown to Johannesburg where the national winner was announced.