EWC Annual CEO Business Plan Competition 2017

November 2017

Aspiring Entrepreneurs Dared To Break Away From Norms

Ekurhuleni West TVET Collegeís aspiring entrepreneurs were dared to break the chains of norms set out within the business fraternity. This was guidance offered by the keynote speaker, Phaswane Motshana, at the third Annual CEO Business Plan Competition Awards held in Germiston on November the 10th. Phaswane, is a self-made millionaire from Ga-Mabintane in Limpopo Province, trading in car rentals amongst other business ventures. The speaker dismissed the notion that entrepreneurs donít sleep while acknowledging the field is about exploring opportunities and believing in oneís own ideas. He said most businesses do not fail because the idea was not right, but usually because the timing was not right. One of the norms he discouraged was the trend of quitting businesses due to lack of funding and the non-flexibility displayed by most budding entrepreneurs.

Tumelo Ngoepe of Tumelo Ratala (Pty) Ltd marched on with the coveted R50 000 seed capital, the awarded given to the overall winner of the 2017 edition of the competition. Tumeloís company is in the business of manufacturing concrete paving bricks. For the very first time in this feature, a partnership business was awarded a prize, as Nompumelelo Manyoni and Katleho Phiriís Corporate Events Company was awarded a runner up spot. The duo impressed guests in their green and black corporate attire when they ascended to the stage to collect their trophy.

Sponsors of the competition, Nedbank Foundation, had through their representative, Lindiwe Temba, accentuated that their corporation believes in development of SMMEs to such an extent that 17% of the procurement spent in the 2016 financial year was with Small Businesses. She said their sponsorship of the concept of entrepreneurship is in line with the National Development Plan which seeks to transform the countryís economic profile through extending support to SMMEs, as they contribute close to 50% of South Africaís total GDP and also that they are responsible for approximately 60% of the current labour force.

"Ladies and gentlemen, what Iím ultimately getting at with all of this is that the young people who are here today as finalists in this business plan competition are not merely here to compete for cash prizes. They are here because they are the entrepreneurs, business owners and, in all probability, employers of the future - who are essential to the recovery of the South African economy and have a vital role in its ability to create the employment opportunities our young people so desperately need," said Ms Temba.

The college principal and CEO, Ms Hellen M Ntlatleng, recognised all participants as winners for the enthusiasm displayed throughout the process of reaching the final stages (top 20). She stressed that the college is making inroads in surrounding communities through the Centre for Entrepreneurship, and has also seen how the Business Plan Competition has unleashed underlying talents within our students.

While showing gratitude to sponsors of the competition, Nedbank, the principal reiterated that government and its institutions cannot create business and job opportunities for graduates alone.

"Ladies and gentlemen, as a TVET college our mandate is described by poverty, unemployment and inequality. Our function is to produce a skilled workforce for the country and if possible, to flood the country with artisans. We are proud of the progress made over the years both in quality and quantity. It has now become imperative that we can no longer train job-seekers, but job-creators," said Ms Ntlatleng.

The principal used the opportunity to announce a newly built R11m Entreprise Hub, situated at Kathorus campus in Katlehong. The hub will incubate budding entrepreneurs trading in various fields.

The Competition was crafted to promote entrepreneurship among students, and to also assist in fostering studentís innovative and bankable ideas. One of the 2016 finalists, Linathi Nkani, has already scored a contract with Nedbank, and was also entrusted by the Centre for Entrepreneurship to render video production services during this yearís awards ceremony.

Category winners, excluding the overall winner, walked away with a share of R100 000. Kempton Campus has once again retained the award for an Entrepreneurial Campus.

1. Nthabiseng Ngoepe Boksburg Concrete paving bricks Overall winner
2. Nompumelelo Manyoni, Katleho Phiri Germiston Corporate events 1st runner up
3. Thamsanqa Tabetlaa Tembisa Timber products designs 2nd runner up
4. Lobohang Mphela Kathorus Chess development academy 3rd runner up
5. Christabell Mukonowatsauka Boksburg Jewellery 4th runner up
6. Thabang Koki Alberton Logistics Best oral presentation
7. Teboho Tsotetsi Kathorus Information technology Best written business plan
8. Mpho Kekana Kempton Design manufacturing Best innovative concept

Competition Gallery

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