PRESS RELEASE: South Africa’s young entrepreneurs honoured at Young Business Achiever Awards
Promoting entrepreneurship among young people is the antidote to poverty in South Africa. This is the belief underpinning Roshgold Investments’ Young Business Achiever Awards (YBAA). Last week, Roshgold announced the winners of the 2019 competition at a glittering gala dinner in Johannesburg. Now in its third year, YBAA aims to recognize, reward and promote young entrepreneurs and creative small businesses in South Africa.
Out of 125 diverse entries, Moosa Bux’s concept of Pedro’s Flame-Grilled Chicken took top honours, while Utyala Stem Institute came in second and Ammaarah Peterson’s Hot Chefs grabbed third place. Rounding off the top five were Hassan Suleman’s Form Force Scaffolding and Lutfiya Ally’s Skinsation.
The general consensus among contestants, however, was that they had won regardless of their placing, and were already reaping the benefits of participating in the competition.
Sponsored and partnered by various business and investment groups, NGO’s, leading financial service providers and a network of seasoned business leaders and professionals, YBAA has provided participants with valuable opportunities to network, engage and establish relationships with business mentors, potential funders, partners, and opportunities for their products and services.
“Through the competition, we have had increased media exposure and this is definitely helping us to grow,” says Safiyya Dawood-Esakjee of the Utyala Stem Institute which equips children with problem-solving skills. Ammaarah Peterson reports a massive spike in Hot Chef’s social media following, and has received numerous queries about her services. This, says Peterson, is due to her participation in YBAA. Lutfiya Ally of Skinsation agrees.
Participating in YBAA has also forced contestants to up their game in several areas. Winner, Moosa Bux, says that being stuck in the daily grind of the business, lead to neglect of his vision, mission and management structures. “YBBA forced me to take a step back and pay more attention to these critical aspects of the business,” says Bux. Other contestants said that the competition forced them to improve their online and social media presence – areas they had previously ignored.
From virtual reality simulation to artisanal confectionery and environmental consulting, YBAA attracted diverse entrepreneurs in terms of backgrounds and industries. The panel of judges were impressed by the diversity, quality and depth of the entries received.
“The main criterion in judging was original, sustainable business ideas that would add value to the individual, to the community and to the economy as a whole – and entrants delivered on this,” said judge, Nazir Osman.
“I found ambition in the entrants, and a real desire to grow,” say Shiraz Gani of Awqaf SA. This can-do attitude, Gani says, is critical to the success of any business.
Shabir Chohan, head of financial services provider, Al-Baraka Bank, has a long-standing strategic relationship with YBAA. “The objective is to recognise excellence in entrepreneurship and we are proud of the high-quality entries that were received,” says Chohan.
“We were looking for committed, innovative businesses and job-creators with leaders who have clear aspirations, an appetite for learning, adopting technology and growing their businesses and communities. That is exactly what we got,” says Roshgold chairperson, Ebrahim Sujee.
Sujee says that Roshgold is focussing specifically on young businesses who find it difficult to grow as they have limited support, experience and resources. “We want to empower and stimulate the personal and business development and growth of young entrepreneurs. Their success would facilitate much needed job creation in South Africa. Ultimately, their success is the country’s success.”
Launched in 2017 by Roshgold Investment Holdings, YBAA is open to South African job creators and entrepreneurs under the age of 37. Over R500 000 worth of prizes, along with exposure to cutting-edge technology, expertise, mentorship, coaching and platforms to promote their businesses were on offer to contestants.
To arrange an interview with the winners, contact the Roshgold YBAA on 0164222570 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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