PE entrepreneurs score big at awards
Two Port Elizabeth entrepreneurs showed South Africa what the city is capable of when they nabbed two of the top three spots at the SAB KickStart Boost awards on Wednesday night.
Taking the top prize was Central-based software development and telecommunications company Profecia IT, which scooped a R150,000 grant and the Most Impressive Business Award.
Ebenezer Smith, 34, who co-established Profecia IT, said he had his doubts, and two minutes before the announcement was made he thought “we might not get this”.
“We were pleasantly surprised,” Smith said.
“My business partner was sitting next to me and we were both so happy that we actually made it to the top.
“This is a massive boost for us in terms of exposure and market linkages.
“So it’s win-win all around,” he said.
“We are on such a high right now, but we know we have to keep the momentum going.
“Our business needs to move onto bigger and greater things,” Smith said.
When Profecia IT was launched, the company focused on doing basic logo designs, branding, website design and corporate imagingrelated work, Smith said.
Now, it is geared towards mobile app development.
Chumile Transport, which is owned by Violet Lupuwana, 33, took the third spot, winning the Perseverance Award and a R50,000 grant.
Lupuwana could not contain her excitement, saying that she was “blessed and highly favoured”.
She established Chumile Transport Services – a division of Chumile Holdings – in 2012.
But the organisation initially started as a training and consulting company.
“I am still basking in the glory. I feel so blessed.
“They can now officially call me award-winning Violet,” she said.
“When they announced the perseverance category, I knew it was me.
“When I initially applied for the programme, for some reason they missed my application. But I persisted with them,” she said.
“So from me almost missing the opportunity, to taking an award, it is such a joy.
“PE went to make Joburg happen and we brought these cheques back home,” Lupuwana said.
SAB KickStart, one of the longest-running and most successful youth development programmes, is aimed at creating meaningful jobs in SA by growing sustainable youthowned businesses.
The Port Elizabeth pair were selected from 21 finalists from across the country.
Enterprise Development manager at SAB and AB InBev Africa, Phumzile Chifunyise said: “The number of jobs created by this small group of entrepreneurs provides positive evidence that entrepreneurship, if given the appropriate support and guidance to grow, can make a meaningful impact on the challenge of unemployment that SA faces.
“SAB sees the potential and value that entrepreneurs, in particular youth entrepreneurs, offer to the country and a large amount of our efforts are directed at channelling them into the direction of success for their businesses.”
Five of the finalists were recognised for their success at executing their business strategy most effectively during the the programme, as well as their ability to apply methods of scaling and creating jobs...