The 11th annual SME Toolkit Business Partners Limited competition is now open for entries for aspiring entrepreneurs. The competition offers a great opportunity for people to become equipped with the skills and knowledge to start and run their own small businesses.
According to David Morobe, Executive GM for impact investing at Business Partners Limited, future entrepreneurs needs both opportunity and training. He says building entrepreneurs is critical at a time when Covid-19 has seen jobs being lost and the SA Reserve Bank forecasts a 40.1% economic contraction, the worst since at least 1990.
“Having successfully jump-started hundreds of young entrepreneurs over the past decade, this competition will once again assist ambitious individuals who want to start their own businesses by providing free business training,” said Morobe.
This year’s competition will be held online, from training material on how to develop a business plan, marketing and a cash flow forecast, to participation in online workshops and group discussions, all leading up to producing a business plan.
10 regional winners will be selected at the end of October and will receive mentorship assistance from leading business experts to the value of R10,000. The overall winner will be announced in November and will earn a further mentorship voucher worth R20,000, as well as a cash prize of R30,000. After submitting an online entry, training material is provided to each participant and they get access to selected mentors to assist with questions.
Mthatha-born Yamkela Njingolo shared her first-hand experience of the challenges facing young people wanting to become business owners.“For as long as I can remember my ambition was to start my own business. So once I completed matric in 2013, I studied events management and business administration, and simultaneously registered my first business, Yuanji Occasions,” said Njingolo.
Her activities as an activist and advocate for women and youth empowerment resulted in her launching the Boss Babes Movement SA in 2016, which focused on women getting equal treatment to men in business.
Njingolo’s big break came in July when her company was appointed in a new role as a Play Your Part (PYP) Ambassador for Brand SA. Her first PYP campaign was focused on Eastern Cape youth and women small business entrepreneurs.
The closing date for entries is September 30.