TWO Eastern Cape hopefuls are eyeing the title of top entrepreneur in South Africa.
After Port Elizabeth businessman Anda Maqanda won the SAB Kickstart youth entrepreneurship programme last year, two Eastern Cape men this week heard they were among the top 18 finalists for the SAB KickStart 2014 national competition.
The two, from Motherwell in Port Elizabeth and East London, will receive a business grant as well as business development support for a year as part of their prize for being selected finalists. They also took part in a two-week business course.
Siphamandla Javu, 29, runs Mzansi Telecoms and Projects in Port Elizabeth. It specialises in internet and networking solutions for a range of clients in the Eastern Cape. Javu said he was motivated by his friend Maqanda’s win last year to do his best in the competition this year.
He would invest his R150000 finalist’s prize money into buying a vehicle for the company, paying for advertising and starting an internet cafe in Njoli Square. He started the company in 2011 and employs five people.
East London finalist Wanni Toyana, 32, runs bulk vegetation management company Otjiwarongo Projects.
He would use his R130000 from SAB to buy grass cutters for his 10 temporary employees, increasing their chances of being employed full-time.
With three full-time staff, he also planned to use some of the money for chainsaw operator training in order to diversify the grass-cutting business into tree felling and bush clearing.
“It’s great that last year’s winner was from the Eastern Cape. It shows we have the potential in the province. Sometimes we overlook the opportunities out there,” Toyana said.
SAB KickStart started in 1995 and is focused on developing and supporting sustainable youth-owned businesses, as well as high-impact entrepreneurs who are able to create jobs.
SAB acting head of enterprise development and community partnerships Boipelo Nkadimeng said: “It is important that big business in South Africa use their resources, experience and knowledge to help small businesses become sustainable and strong contributors towards the economy.”
The top three winners of the national finals will receive additional business funding later this year during Global Entrepreneurship Week.