The Entrepreneur Competition
The Entrepreneur Launch
Between our sponsors and the response from our chamber members this was truly a great evening. Fab Function arranged this launch with such ease and excellence – as always.
We would like to thank, ACSA, North Coast Courier and Enterprise iLembe for your continued sponsorship. Our guest speaker was Thee Alfie Cox ( 9 x Winner of the Roof of Africa, MSC lifetime achievement award as well as receiving his Springbok colors for motor sports, to name but a few achievements). He brought the comparison between sport and business, as they are very similarly motivated. You have to be goal orientated, driven and persistent, and prepared to put the work in to succeed and derive the benefit.
The iLembe Chamber model of our Entrepreneur Competition, is being used through out the province by all the other Chambers. Well done to our steering committee; Chris Voycey, Mickey Duncan, Dave Jarrett & Jane Wilshire you are most definitely making this competition one for the books. A big thank you to all those mentors ‘grey beards’ that put in many hours and have a heart to see these young business people grow and develop our local economy.
Good luck to all !!!
Ithemba Labasha Christmas Concert
I got to spend the morning with some beautiful children at their Christmas concert today. What an honor to see so many happy little faces, and my word, can they dance. Through the Street Heroes fundraising this year R100k was donated towards this school. A big thank you to KDM, Hotel iZulu and SMD that made this possible.
CANDIDATES for The Entrepreneur competition started their training at the iLembe Chamber of Commerce premises at the Quarter centre on Saturday.
The Entrepreneur 2014 has even bigger prizes than previous years and will provide an even more invaluable training programme.
Contestants will be taken through four months of intensive business modelling training endorsed by the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) and USA-based Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). This includes group and one-on-one mentorship with chamber accredited mentors with invaluable business experience.
At the end of the programme, the contestants will be equipped with a business plan to grow their business sustainably as well as a certificate of completion for a UKZN-endorsed program. Each contestant will also receive money towards their business’ marketing and CI and will get to showcase their businesses at our annual Entrepreneur Exhibition to funders and the public at large.
“I am really excited about this year’s programme and the new recruits look like a very nice bunch. They are very interactive and eager to learn. They come from diverse backgrounds from hydroponic cucumber farming to shoe and fashion designers, health and safety consultants and more,” said Chamber business support manager Nobuhle Funda.
Last year the Competition received nationwide recognition. This year with the help of provincial government The Entrepreneur 2014 will be rolled out provincially through four additional chambers that are part of the KwaZulu-Natal Natal Business Chambers Council (KBCC).
Participating Chambers include the Ilembe Chamber of Commerce, Durban Chamber of Commerce, Pietermaritzburg Chamber of Business, the Zululand Chamber and the KZN Youth Chamber.
Courtesy of the Ballito Fever
The 19 budding entrepreneurs finalists and some of their mentors at the Ilembe Chamber offices on Saturday 10 May
The finalists of the much anticipated annual Entrepreneur competition attended their first business traning session on Saturday morning.
From hydroponic cucmber farmers to fashion designers the 19 entrepreneurs selected by the Ilembe Chamber of Commerce, Industry & Tourism, will undergo four months of training and mentorship before the winners are chosen. The intensive business modelling training is endorsed by the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) and USA-based Massachusetts Institute (MIT), which includes group and one-on-one mentorship with chamber accredited mentors with invaluable business experience.
The finalists were selected from over a hundred entries and represent some of the most promising businesses on the Dolphin Coast.
This year, with the help of provincial government, The Entrepreneur 2014 will be rolled out provincially through four additional KZN chambers in Durban, Pietermaritzburg, Zululand and KZN Youth Chamber.
The winners from each chamber will then compete for the provincial title.
Finalists Duduzile Ncanana from Mandeni said she was very grateful for the incredible opportunity .
"I cannot wait for next week's training," said Ncanana.
Business mentor Chris Voysey said the programme is important for the economy of this country.
"We need small businesses to solve the problem of unemployment," said Voysey.
University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) lecturer Vikani Funda said he was pleased by the entrepreneurs passion towards the programme.
"It is always a pleasure to meet with entrepreneurs because this programme is not for me or the mentors, but for entrepreneurs. So the future of transmission is for the whole country," said Funda.
Funda lectured the finalists on the importance of self awareness in a business world.
Organisational psychologist and mentor Nirasha Dhaniram said entrepreneurship is the key to sustainable community and economic development.
"It moves people out of hardship and creates a better future," said Dhanira.
Chamber CEO Cobus Oelofse said the entrepreneur competition is the region's flagship in support of entrepreneurial development.
"The scope of the programme assists the participants not only with their business proposition but will also contribute to sustainable personal growth and development.
"It is a privilege for me to experience the buzz among the participants year after year," said Oelofse.
The entrepreneurs were eager to learn and after their first session they were already networksing and sharing ideas.
Fantastic prizes are up for grabs and each contestant will also receive money towards marketing their business.
Enterpise Ilembe, King Shaka International Airport, North Coast Courier, and the Department o Economic Development and Tourism are sponsoring the programme.
Courtesy of the North Coast Courier
Chantelle Sharples’ smile can disarm any angry customer.
It is no wonder she managed to warm the hearts of Ilembe Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Tourism’s 2013 Entrepreneur Competition judges to walk away with second prize.
With her prizes and the invaluable knowledge she gained from the competition Chantelle has managed to take her business to a new level.
Chantelle’s business, Etiquette, provides waiter training and hospitality services.
“My greatest intention is that the staff that I provide will become an extension of my customers’ business as they will be able to promote and be ambassadors for their brands,” she said.
Originally from Johannesburg, Chantelle started her business there but later moved to the North Coast in search of a better lifestyle.
Being part of the Entrepreneur competition was not quite as easy as Chantelle had thought it would be.
“You receive tremendous support – exposure, mentorship, focus for your business, back-up support – but it is not for free, you have to work for it. What you put in is what you get,” she said.
Following the competition, the exposure received from the Entrepreneur program coupled with the advertising sponsorship from the North Coast Courier certainly got Chantelle’s business noticed.
Apart from being a hospitality ninja, Chantelle is a qualified textile designer, wife and the mother of two lovely children.
She had these words to offer to aspiring entrepreneurs: “Do not be afraid to follow your dreams. Don’t be afraid to put in the commitment. Because without the commitment you don’t get the rewards.”
Courtesy of the North Coast Courier
Leah Shone / 22 April 2014
Twenty-three-year-old Ilembe Chamber of Commerce Entrepreneur competition winner Sphesihle Gumede believes focus is the one thing you need to make a true success of your dreams. And he is dreaming big.
Ambitious, grateful and humble, Groutville-based Sphe has turned his small carpentry business into a successful cupboard installation enterprise and one day he dreams of turning it into an international franchise.
Sphe, who entered and won the Ilembe Chamber of Commerce Entrepreneur competition at the end of last year, attributes his success to the fact that he is putting into practice the training and mentoring he has received thus far.
The competition, now in its fourth year, offers prizes to the value of R500 000 and is sponsored by ACSA, the North Coast Courier, Enterprise Ilembe, and the provincial Department of Economic Development and Tourism (DEDT).
Having grown up in Stanger, Sphe says there was no money for him to study further once he finished high school. Everything he learned about the carpentry trade he learnt while working for his uncle, before he passed away in 2008. Sphe then took over the business and grew it slowly over the next few years. When he saw the entry forms for the Entrepreneur competition at The Ballito Lifestyle Centre last year, Sphe decided to give it a go.
He and 29 other semi-finalists went through an eight-week mentoring and training course where they were taught the ins and outs of running a business. After being cut down to the top 10 they went through another four weeks of training and Sphe was announced the winner in October.
His prize included R25 000 towards his business, an on-going mentorship programme, advertising in the North Coast Courier newspaper and a trip to the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry convention in Johanesburg where he attended a gala dinner with the president Jacob Zuma – a big highlight for Sphe!
Sphe says much of his clientele fall into the middle-income bracket and he believes there is a lot of room for growth here. He is currently working on jobs at the Umhlali Country Club and says the value of his business has grown dramatically over the past 6 months.
Offering fully fitted kitchen, wardrobes and bathroom cupboards, Sphe says he thrives on being constantly challenged to improve his quality and service.
“I love walking into a space and coming up with ideas and suggestions. I am always challenging myself to do better.“
When he’s not at work Sphe says he spends almost every waking hour at his church, the Life Renewal Centre in Groutville where he says he is inspired to do better in every aspect of his life. Asked what advice he has for aspiring business owners, Sphe says, “So many people have ideas but they give up along the way because they don’t have money. I started with nothing. I believe that if you have a dream you have to believe in yourself. You need to focus and remember that knowledge is power. I am using the knowledge that I receive from my mentor to move forward.”
Get In Touch
Superior Kitchens – 072 598 8098, firstname.lastname@example.org
Courtesy of Get It magazine
We are proud to announce that entries to The Entrepreneur 2014 are now open! The 2013 Entrepreneur winners have already begun enjoying their spoils and implementing their business plans and the training they received through the Entrepreneur program with their assigned chamber accredited mentors. Do not miss the chance to be part of The Entrepreneur 2014 to win even bigger prizes and be part of an even more invaluable training program.
In 2014 the contestants will be taken through 19 weeks of invaluable business modelling training endorsed by the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) and USA-based Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) which includes group and one-on-one mentorship with chamber accredited mentors with invaluable business experience. At the end of the program the contestants will be equipped with a business plan to grow their business sustainably as well as a certificate of completion for a UKZN-endorsed program. Each contestant will also receive money towards their business’ marketing and CI and will get to showcase their businesses at our annual Entrepreneur Exhibition to funders and the public at large.
The Entrepreneur 2014 will 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 also need to have an existing business with a turnover of less than R1million, which they have been operating on a full time basis for at least 12 months prior to application.
If this sounds like you, apply now and don’t miss the chance to win prizes to the value of more than R500 000 for you and your business! If this sounds like someone you know, don’t let them miss the opportunity!
Entry forms are available at Ballito Lifestyle Centre, Stanger Library, KwaDukuza Youth Centre, Sangweni Tourism Office, the Ilembe Chamber Office, or online at www.ilembechamber.co.za. Entries close on the 14th of March 2014.
Click here for The Entrepreneur 2014 application form
Thank You to The Entrepreneur 2014 sponsors
The 30th of January marked the launch of the Ilembe Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Tourism’s (ICCIT) 2014 The Entrepreneur competition with total prizes to the value of R500 000. The competition is in its fourth year, this year sponsored by ACSA, the North Coast Courier, Enterprise Ilembe, and the provincial Department of Economic Development and Tourism (DEDT).
Later this quarter the programme will launch provincially at five other chambers that are members the KwaZulu-Natal Business Chambers Council (KBCC) – the Pietermaritzburg Chamber of Business (PCB), Durban Chamber, Zululand Chamber, KZN Youth Chamber, and NAFCOC. The KZN Department of Economic Development and Tourism has pledged R2million to get this roll out off the ground as part of their youth development initiatives.
The competition has grown from strength to strength, each year bigger and better and attracting recognition near and far – from local chambers replicating the program, to endorsement by the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the United States of America, to the Swedish Government expressing interest in sponsoring the program.
Let’s go on a journey in the life of the Entrepreneur Competition. The pilot competition in 2011 began with 10 semi-finalists undergoing five weeks of training and in a Dragon’s Den setup, facing a panel of judges and a live audience at the Pumpkin Theatre for the final event. There were a number of lessons learnt, but the competition was very successful in meeting its objectives. Not only did it provide entrepreneurs with media exposure and assistance to get their business operating at a sustainable level, it also provided the sponsors with good exposure and contributed towards local economic development in the region.
In 2012 the final event was filmed on live television! KZN TV agreed to screen the final event at the Pumpkin Theatre and the programme went onto DSTV for three weeks. But to top it off The Entrepreneur 2012 outshone its predecessor by far.
Consider these statistics - out of the 30 semi-finalists, the ICCIT is still in contact with 26. Before ‘The Entrepreneur’ they employed 66 employees 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!
Interestingly when asked to describe their experience the winners said they were intensely grateful not so much for the prize money but for the education they gained during the process. They recognised the need for a solid foundation for their businesses to prosper.
Jump to ‘The Entrepreneur’ in 2013 and the competition traded the Pumpkin Theatre for an exhibition that allowed participants to showcase their products and create linkages with other partners. Those who were there said it was the best finale the competition had had to date and did not want to change a thing. It was clear this element of the Competition is here to stay.
The Entrepreneur 2014 will 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” said Nobuhle Funda of the Ilembe Chamber. Applicants also need to have an existing business with a turnover of less than R1million, which they have been operating on a full time basis for at least 12 months prior to 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 .
Please click here for photos from the launch on our facebook page
Click here for the North Coast Courier article for the launch
Click here the Entrepreneur 2014 application form
Thank You to The Entrepreneur 2014 sponsors
CARPENTER WINS ILEMBE CHAMBER ENTREPRENEUR COMPETITION
A self-employed and self- taught carpenter from Groutville, Siphesihle Gumede – owner of Superior Kitchens - was named Entrepreneur of the Year and walked away with R25 000 in prize money at the final ceremony held at the Umhlali Country Club last week.
The eldest of four children, Siphesihle learnt everything about the trade from his uncle Bheki. When he passed away in 2008 Siphesihle took over the reins of the operation and has not looked back. Today he employs five people on a part time basis and has one other full time employee in addition to himself.
Announcing the winner judge Jane Wiltshire said, “Many things impressed us about Siphesihle – his youth and the fact that this enterprise creates jobs. More importantly though is his clear identification of an underserviced niche of black, middle income home owners in Groutville and his absolute commitment to quality.”
Now in its third year, ‘The Entrepreneur’ competition aims at addressing the problem of unemployment in the country by providing much needed mentorship and guidance to aspiring North Coast small business owners. It is run and organised by the Ilembe Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Tourism.
The competition begins around May when a call goes out for interested parties to apply. A batch of 30 successful candidates is picked to receive training and mentorship to the value of R12 000 each. There after ten finalists are selected for a further intensive four weeks of training. Each is given an additional R3 000 towards marketing their skills - all of which culminates in an exhibition and presentation grand finale.
“I am really excited about the way this competition has grown. Next year we will invite the premier to see what has been achieved,” said Ilembe District Mayor Welcome Mdabe.
Ilembe Chamber chief executive officer Trenley Tilbrook thanked the sponsors African Bank, the Airports Company of South Africa, Enterprise Ilembe, a Dutch engineering company called Royal Haskoning DHV, King Shaka International Airport, the North Coast Courier and the University of KwaZulu-Natal for all their support.
“Part of our recipe for success is the role played by the team of mentors. I want to thank them for all the hard work they have put in and for making this competition a success. And last but not least I want to thank my staff,” said Tilbrook.
In second place was Chantelle Sharples of Etiquette – a small business providing waiter training and quality staff for the catering and hospitality sector. Chantelle won R20 000 in prize money and free advertising.
‘Shoot 4 Change’ business owners Sandi Nzungane and Wise came third, Innocent Zulu owner of ‘Phindomunye Construction’ came fourth and Megan Allan from ‘Brides and Ball gowns’ came fifth.
A special prize was awarded to Craig Heafield for his innovative business ‘Omni Sense’.
“We were not able to award Craig with an official prize as the rules of the competition require that the business actually has some sales. However we felt that this entrepreneur and the idea to turn your water and electricity off using your cell phone or iPad deserved recognition,” said Wiltshire.
Craig was given a special innovation award of R10 000.
“This year will be slightly different from the other years because the top three winners will travel to Gauteng to compete against others from other chambers in the country at a national final in Gauteng. All the travel and accommodation costs have been covered,” said Tilbrook.
The Entrepreneur Final and Exhibition was held at The Umhali Country Club with catering done by ET Voila, huge credit goes to such a stunning venue, excellent service and lovely snacks.
For More photos, comments and note of thanks from the evening please click here to be diverted to the iLembe Chamber Facebook page.