Western Cape Economic Development on top entrepreneurs

Western Cape's top entrepreneurs announced

The Western Cape's business trailblazers have been honoured at the province's most prestigious entrepreneurship awards.

Last night (23 November 2016), Premier Helen Zille announced the winners of the Western Cape Premier's Entrepreneurship Recognition Awards (PERA).

Winners were announced in 11 categories at a ceremony at the Century City Conference Centre.

Auto Magneto, represented by Lamees Ismail, was announced as the overall winner, after also scooping first place in the Established Business category.

Auto Magneto is a family-owned and managed business that specialises in the wholesale and retail supply of quality auto-electrical products and accessories throughout Africa. They are based in Ndabeni, Cape Town.

Alan Winde, MEC of Economic Opportunities, said: Lamees is one of the heroes of our economy, generating economic activity in Ndabeni, and creating jobs for local residents. She has a clear passion for her line of work, and an entrepreneurial drive which has ensured her growing success.

The creation of opportunities for jobs and growth is our number one priority. That is why we implemented our Project Khulisa economic strategy. Apart from a focus on specific sectors, we've prioritised stabilising our energy supply, matching the demand for skills with a ready supply, and reducing red tape. As government, we are committed to creating the right environment for entrepreneurs to thrive.

MEC Winde gave a special mention to, Khadija Mohamed, the winner of the Best School Business Idea.

Khadija is a Grade 11 learner at Al Azhar High School in Athlone, and her business idea is named Shop-in-a-box. The concept is a foldable and mobile 125 litre box with a total display area of 12,5 m�. It can be either transported as a cart or mounted on a trailer.

It is aimed at street vendors and market sellers across Cape Town at all the daily market and vendor areas. The boxes allow vendors to store and transport their goods safely and can also be used for marketing purposes.

The boxes can be manufactured from lightweight steel or aluminium, industrial waterproof tarpaulins and plastic moulding to keep it as lightweight as possible. It can be purchased at selected stores and online.

Khadija spotted a challenge, and decided to design an innovative solution. Young innovators like Khadija serve as an inspiration, and we need to ensure they have the tools to take their ideas to action, said MEC Winde.

Premier Helen Zille said: Entrepreneurs are the engine room of our economy. They employ 500 000 people in this province. That is why since 2009, we have supported over 35 000 small businesses to grow.

Through PERA, we acknowledge and celebrate the important role entrepreneurs play in creating opportunities in our economy for others to uplift themselves. The Western Cape already has by far the lowest unemployment rate in South Africa, and we are determined to decrease it even further.

Launched in 2013, PERA is an initiative of the Department of Economic Development and Tourism which seeks to honour excellence in entrepreneurship. The event is co-sponsored by ABSA, Deloitte, Business Partners and Ackerman Pick n Pay Foundation.

This year 333 businesses entered the competition. Since its launch in 2013, 1 041 entries have been received.

A panel of ten judges scored this year's finalists on a set of criteria including growth, job creation, innovation, industry relevance, sustainability, creativity and socio-economic impact.

Winners were drawn from a pool of 33 finalists.

The total prize money this year was just over R2 million. The overall winner received a cash prize and an overseas trip to pursue their further development in their field of expertise.

Source: Government of South Africa

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