Entrepreneur contest prize money grows

Supporting the launch of the Ilembe chamber of commerce’s Entrepreneur 2014 contest were sponsor Colin Naidoo of the Airports Company of South Africa, contest organizer Nobuhle Funda, ILembe CEO Trenley Tilbrook, Melanie Veness of the Pietermaritzburg chamber and Thula Mkhwanazi of the Zululand chamber.

For proof of the success of the Ilembe chamber of commerce’s Entrepreneur competition, look no further than the fact that five other chambers will be copying it this year.
Last year’s competition created 58 jobs in six months and 26 of the 30 finalists are known to still be in business – testament to the business skills passed on by the chamber’s panel of business mentors, who helped the finalists strengthen their businesses.
Launching the fourth Entrepreneur 2014 competition in Ballito last week, chamber business support manager Nobuhle Funda said this year the event had been improved in several areas and prizes would be increased to the value of R500 000.
Later this year the programme will launch at five other chambers that are members including the KwaZulu-Natal Business Chambers Council (KBCC); the Pietermaritzburg Chamber of Business, Durban Chamber, Zululand Chamber, KZN Youth Chamber, and the National African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NAFCOC). The KZN Department of Economic Development and Tourism has pledged R2 million to get this rollout off the ground as part of their youth development initiatives.
Entrepreneur 2014 is sponsored by the Airports Company of South Africa (ACSA), the North Coast Courier, Enterprise Ilembe and the provincial Department of Economic Development and Tourism (DEDT).
Funda said the chamber was extremely encouraged by the fact that out of the 30 semi-finalists last year, they were still in contact with 26.
“Before ‘The Entrepreneur’ they (the entrants) employed 66 people including themselves.
After the competition an additional 20 full-time and 38 part-time employees were taken on board – a total 58 new jobs created!” she said.
Funda explained that The Entrepreneur 2014 would focus on innovation, resourcefulness, and integrated mentoring.
“We are looking for creative minds who are passionate, hardworking and determined and have a business that exhibits innovation, growth potential, uniqueness, and sustainability.”
Applicants need to have an existing business with a turnover of less than R1 million, which they have been operating on a full time basis for at least 12 months before application. Entry forms are available at Ballito Lifestyle Spar, Stanger Library, KwaDukuza Youth Centre, Sangweni Tourism Office, the Ilembe Chamber Office, or online at www.ilembechamber.co.za.


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