With some R1.34 million up for grabs, entries for the Sanlam/Business Partners Entrepreneur of the Year Awards are now open for 2014.
Last month, Sanlam and Business Partners held a series of launch events across the country to create awareness around the awards.
The awards, now in their 26th year, seek to develop and promote entrepreneurship in South Africa and to ensure that a healthy environment is created for entrepreneurs to operate in.
Speaking at the Cape Town launch at Kelvin Grove last month, Gerrie Van Biljon, executive director at Business Partners, stressed the importance of small businesses, saying that they contributed some 42% to South Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP).
“The period leading up to 2007/8 was one of exceptional growth, with new businesses popping up all over the place. People just made a lot of money,” says Van Biljon.
“However, things have since changed dramatically, and small businesses have encountered very, very difficult years recently.”
It is in the more difficult economic conditions that entrepreneurs face many tests, with successes being well deserved. The awards honour these entrepreneurs.
The judging process is independent and consists of a panel of five judges. As part of the application process, business owners must provide a business plan, do an interview, and undergo on-site visits by the judges.
There are eight categories: Emerging Entrepreneur, Small Business Entrepreneur, Medium Business Entrepreneur, Job Creator of the Year, Lifetime Achiever of the Year, Innovator of the Year, and the overall winner – Entrepreneur of the Year.
Previous winners include Tommy Makgatho, owner of Bibi Cash and Carry, and Andrew Brown, co-owner of The Daily Buzz. Both have been featured in previous editions of Small Business Connect.
- Go to www.eoy.co.za for more information.