Five PE entrepreneurs honoured

Small-to-medium business owners recognised for having right ingredients for success

At the Santam breakfast during Global Entrepreneurship Week are, from left, Niel Esterhuyse of Santam, NMU’s Dr Paul Tai-Hing, Simon Clark of Simon Clark Hairdressing, Suzanne Wylde of Micropigmentation Clinic, and Santam’s Gerhard van Staden and Shehnaz Somers
At the Santam breakfast during Global Entrepreneurship Week are, from left, Niel Esterhuyse of Santam, NMU’s Dr Paul Tai-Hing, Simon Clark of Simon Clark Hairdressing, Suzanne Wylde of Micropigmentation Clinic, and Santam’s Gerhard van Staden and Shehnaz Somers
Image: Supplied

Being obsessed with business, offering something special and loving their communities.

This is why five small-to-medium business owners in Port Elizabeth were honoured on Wednesday at a Santam breakfast during Global Entrepreneurship Week.

The breakfast, held at Running Waters, focused on building the longevity of small-tomedium enterprises (SMEs) in the Port Elizabeth area, as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week which is celebrated across the world.

Santam head of commercial underwriting Shehnaz Somers said the week was an important opportunity to shine a spotlight on creating an enabling environment to assist SMEs to thrive.

“Our goal is to help SMEs reach their 1,001-days-in-operation milestone by assisting them to navigate what is widely seen as the toughest part of the journey for any new business – the first 1,000 days.

“Part of this means fostering reciprocal relationships with communities,” Somers said.

“The more of a fan base an entrepreneur can build, the better his or her chances of creating a business that lasts.”

Five Bay businesses were selected after being nominated by residents, and received certificates of commendation.

The businesses were West End Pharmacy, Simon Clark Hairdressing, Glendore Sand & Stone, Micropigmentation Clinic and Carbonology Sport.

West End Pharmacy owner Nazir Khan, 52, said despite the high level of unemployment and gang-related crime in Bethelsdorp, he believed he always offered the best service for the community.

“I’ve been in this community for 23 years and being a health professional I’m able to see the needs of the community,” Khan said.

“Because of the challenges our people face, we offer affordable, cheap services.”

And this is why resident Soraya Lee nominated Khan.

“I can’t live without my pharmacist, as I know I can count on him,” Lee said.

“The pharmacy also stocks medicine at prices that our local community can afford, as the unemployment rate in our community is very high.”

Simon Clark, of Simon Clark Hairdressing in Central, said it was all about making a difference in communities.

“We love what we do – the worst challenge for small businesses is to find the right staff to work with and grow the business.”

Clark said working hard with a good team helped grow the business.

He was nominated by Delene Botha for his charitable work.

Also selected was Carbonology Sport owner Hein Van Rooyen, 39.

Van Rooyen also said that adding value to his community was what made his business shine.

“We work with people and in our business it is not only about selling a product but about being more involved with our clients,” he said.

Nelson Mandela University lecturer and the keynote speaker Dr Paul Tai-Hing said the key to building love for a brand in a community is to be passionate about it.

“If you look at the nominations for PE’s most-loved local businesses, certain things stand out,” Tai-Hing said.

“The entrepreneurs behind these SMEs are all obsessed with what they do, they all offer something extra in terms of customer experience, they often benefit the community in a bigger way through CSI [corporate social investment], and they’re frequently very active in the social media space.

“Remember, the amplification power of social media means one happy customer could turn into 100 more.”

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