The 2014 Sanlam/Business Partners Entrepreneur of the Year aims to honour, benefit and uplift SME’s and their entrepreneurs. Now in its 26th year, this competition celebrates excellence in entrepreneurs, serving as an inspiration to others to succeed in the world of business.
Anton Rossouw, Regional General Manager of Business Partners and one of the judges for the 2014 competition, said, “There’s nothing more rewarding than to see success in people that put everything on the line for their business, and made it work. We want to acknowledge the selflessness of entrepreneurs. They are vital to the success of South Africa’s economy and play a major part in contributing to the GDP throughout the country – close to 40%. The phrase ‘can’t do’ is not a phrase that entrepreneurs use.”
The competition recognises and empowers South Africa’s successful entrepreneurs by arming them with the correct type of knowledge, education and support. It is widely considered to be the pre-eminent competition of its kind in South Africa and has served as a business growth springboard for past finalists and winners. The competition also plays an important role in the entrepreneurial industry, which needs to improve and evolve in order to continue contributing towards the economy.
Gerrie van Biljon, executive director of Business Partners, said, “Due to the recession, SME’s have encountered five very difficult years – both in business, and as the man on the street. We should give full credit to the SME’s that have survived these tough times. They’ve adapted to a changing landscape to ensure their existence today and those who have braved and entered this environment for the first time.”
Entrepreneurs who enter may be considered for the following categories in the 2014 Sanlam/Business Partners Entrepreneur of the Year competition:
- Emerging Entrepreneur – An entrepreneur who has been in their present business for a maximum of five years and with a turnover not exceeding R5m on the date the entry form is received by the steering committee.
- Small Business Entrepreneur – An entrepreneur who runs a business, irrespective of length of time during which it has been active, with a turnover of between R5m and R20m in the tax year immediately preceding the date of entering the competition.
- Medium Business Entrepreneur – An entrepreneur who runs a business, irrespective of length of time during which it has been active, with a turnover of R20m or more in the tax year immediately preceding the date of entering the competition. Controlling owner must be stated.
- Job Creator of the Year – An entrepreneur who not only employs a significant number of employees, but also plays a key role in uplifting, up-skilling and training them. They help towards making a dent in the unemployment rate of the community, area province and country where the business is situated.
- Lifetime Achiever Award – An entrepreneur who has, over the years, shown fortitude and strength in the entrepreneurial arena, and developed a business that has size, longevity and profitability.
- Innovator of the Year – An entrepreneur who has the ability to:
- Reinvent the way business is done in his/her industry
- Be innovative in the product or service being offered to the market
- Finds a way of drawing the best qualified and technical people in the industry and keeping them because of creating a special environment where employees can flourish.
Finalists stand the chance to win prizes worth a total of R1 345,000 which includes cash prizes of R300,000. Finalists and winners are able to expand their networks and receive invaluable exposure for their business as a result of the competition.
“Because starting and running a business is a huge amount of hard work, requiring a great deal of time, you better enjoy it”, van Biljon said, “You need that passion and the drive to succeed.”
To enter the 2014 Sanlam/Business Partners Entrepreneur of the Year competition, visit http://www.eoy.co.za/