Mpumalanga-based entrepreneur, Freddy Sibuyi, has been crowned the national winner in the 2017 Business/Partners/ SME Toolkit Global Entrepreneurship Week’s Business Plan Competition for Aspiring Young Entrepreneurs – a competition that saw hundreds of young aspiring entrepreneurs attend business planning workshops aimed at equipping them with the necessary skills and tools to turn their business idea into a reality.
This year the competition – aimed at individuals between the ages of 18 and 35 – received 700 entries, and over the course of five months, 18 regional workshops focused on teaching the complexities of compiling a business plan, as well as the basics of how to run a business efficiently, were held across the country. Following each workshop, individuals were encouraged to submit their business plans for judging, and from the 120 business plans received, eight regional winners were selected to be finalists in the national awards and compete for the overall winner title.
The 2017 winner, Freddy Sibuyi is the brain behind Freddy and Sons Maintenance Engineering (Pty) Ltd, which is based and managed from Lephong, Thulamahashe, Mpumalanga. The business will service the local municipality and the Department of Public Works, private businesses and residential clients and aims to cater to all their electrical needs ranging from electrical and mechanical engineering consultation, commercial and industrial electrical contracting, project management, or electrical wiring and air-conditioning services.
Speaking at the awards ceremony, held this morning in Johannesburg, Petro Bothma, Enterprise Development Manager at Business Partners Limited (BUSINESS/PARTNERS), says that while the quality of this year’s finalists made it difficult for the judges to select an overall winner, the passion and enthusiasm that Sibuyi exuded, coupled with a business plan that ticketed all the right boxes, he had the edge over his fellow finalists.
“The information presented in his business plan was well thought through, presentable and made financial sense. But most importantly, it was reliable, implementable and his business has the potential to be viable,” says Bothma.
When selecting the national winner, the judges consider the quality of the business plan, the level of innovation, viability of the business concept, entrepreneurial ability and whether the aspiring entrepreneur is in fact ready to become a business owner in terms of leadership skills and suitability to mentorship.
Bothma adds that above these considerations, the judges also look for the undefinable ‘wow’, and Sibuyi ticked all these boxes.
For clinching the national title, 2017 Business/Partners/ SME Toolkit Global Entrepreneurship Week’s Business Plan Competition for Aspiring Young Entrepreneurs will provide Sibuyi with R25 000 in seed capital for his business, a mentorship voucher, a smart tablet and goodie bag. General Electric, a digital industrial company that operates in power, transportation, healthcare, energy connections and aviation will also sponsor a 12-month incubation and training programme for Sibuyi in order to grow his business.
This is in addition to the eLearning course that SA Businesshub provided to the aspiring entrepreneurs who submitted their business plans. For the individuals attending the KwaZulu-Natal regional workshop BizFarm provided online courses and short-term incubation programmes.
Now in its 8th year, Bothma says that the competition is not only increasingly gaining attraction amongst young entrepreneurs, but that the quality of business plans submitted year-on-year is improving, as well as the diversity of the business plans across various industries.
“We have also noticed a trend where these aspiring entrepreneurs come back to attend workshops even if they have entered in previous years – showing the grit and tenacity to succeed. In a country where youth unemployment is reported at over 65%, this is the most encouraging trend.”
The other 2017 regional winners this year included:
Promise Zama - D’Urban Glam Boutique
Operating in the main cities across KwaZulu-Natal, D’Urban Glam Boutique provides not only the latest fashion but also offers an exclusive personal stylist’s service, inclusive of a detailed style assessment, to ensure that customers leave feeling confident and elegant. The boutique will also make use of its mobile Fashion Truck to feature at special events across the region and at the start of each year, will also extend its territory by identifying schools in rural areas to which school uniform and sports gear will be supplied.
Lwandile Ketile – Smart Loans
Smart Loans is a business that seeks to alleviate poverty through micro-lending and job creation. Ketile submitted a business plan for his unique business idea of starting a grass-cutting business with the ultimate goal to use the profits from this business to develop a micro-lending business, Smart Loans.
Jo-Anne Combrink - We Go Green Packaging and Courier Services
Combrink aims to positively impact the environment with her recycling and packaging business through its mobile offering. We Go Green Packaging and Courier Services seeks to turn the industry green by bringing the packaging material to the client and making use of a hand held device to log sender and recipient details electronically thereby saving clients both time and reducing the use of paper.
Mosa Hope Mapheto – My Tomorrow Academy
Mapheto submitted a business plan for her emerging business, My Tomorrow Academy - a smallholder farming enterprise that specialises in primary production of fresh produce, and in particularly vegetables, in an effort to uplift the region’s rural unemployed youth, with the ultimate intention of empowering the youth to consider entrepreneurship opportunities rather than relying on government.
Sibusiso David Mvulane – Leratong Tourism
Mvulane submitted a business plan for his start-up company, Leratong Tourism – an adventure company based in Leratong Village, found on the foothills of the Maloti-Drakensberg mountains – and offers horse riding trails between Lesotho and South Africa, as well as overnight cave treks into the Golden Gate National Park in Free State on the Lesotho border during which guests can view indigenous flowers and watch game in their natural habitat by horseback.
Lefu William Ngake - Williamson Home
Williamson Home is a start-up company that seeks to provide modern and urban home décor, homeware, bedding and an eclectic accessory range to customers that are seeking to create a personalised, but elegant ambiance, whilst still conserving a “home-sweet-home” feeling.
Kenny Khalenga – De Guru Cyber Café
De Guru Cyber Café is a business that provides full access to email, the internet and other internet applications, such as Telnet and Gopher, in an innovative setting, one that is complete with a food and beverage offering, seeking to create an educational and entertaining atmosphere for the Mpumalanga community.
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