We are proud and excited to announce that The Entrepreneur Competition has been officially LAUNCHED for 2013!
This year applicants have until June 7 to fill in their entry forms. All entrants will then be reviewed and 30 semi-finalists will be chosen. They will then have to undergo a rigorous training programme and attend sessions every Saturday for a period of eight weeks from July 6 – August 24.
The programme will include all aspects of business, including strategy, marketing and sales, operational planning, staffing, financial planning and presentation skills. A panel of judges and mentors then scrutinize each individual application and based on this rigorous process – a final 10 entrants are selected. These finalists undergo further training.
A total prizes to the value of R300 000 is up for grabs and will be shared between the winners. The capital is then held in account and carefully allocated under the guidance of a mentor. In addition to the prize money the top five receive a 12 month contract with a local business management company that provides the necessary support and advice as well as free Chamber membership for a year.
In a surprise announcement at the Entrepreneur Competition launch held at the iLembe Chamber Offices the 15th of May part owner and editor of the North Coast Courier Bruce Stephenson also announced R40 000 of free advertising space in the monthly Get-It magazine and newspaper to assist business entrepreneurs in marketing their efforts.
Click here to view photos from the Launch on our facebook page.
This year will be slightly different as the finalists will be expected to present an exhibition that showcases their business. This is where they will be expected to present their ideas in a Dragons Den situation. The South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry expressed their support for the competition to be run in other chambers in the country. The three winners from each chamber will then go forward to compete against each other at the SACCI annual convention in October at which former United Nations leader Kofi Annan is due to speak.
The competition will now be able to grow, attract the attention of government and big corporates and have far reaching effect for small business people. Like other chambers in the country, the ILembe chamber recognises that a strong local business environment encourages growth and research shows that up to 80% of all new jobs are created through stimulating the growth of existing small business.
On an academic level, a Masters student from UKZN has chosen to do his or her thesis on the programme to measure why it has been so successful. This has brought in the involvement of the top entrepreneurial academic institution in the United States – students from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology – who will now be engaging with the winners of last year’s competition to seek possible interventions for the challenges faced by business entrepreneurs.
We would like to thank the following key supporters in making this competition a success:
Airports Company South Africa
Bruce Stephenson – Northcoast Courier
Jane Wiltshire – Valtrust
Paul Naidoo – Ballito Autohaus
Bruce Rencken – Lifestyle Centre
Click here to be directed to the entry form, these are also available at Ballito Lifestyle Spar, KwaDukuza Municipal Offices, Stanger, Sangweni Tourism Office, iLembe Chamber Offices. Please do not hesitate to contact us should you have any queries.