Premier Helen Zille and Economic Opportunities Minister, Alan Winde, today (15 July 2015) officially opened entries for the Western Cape’s 2015 Entrepreneurship Recognition Awards.

The province’s top entrepreneurs are invited to enter the competition, which celebrates innovative people who are driving economic growth and creating opportunities for jobs.

This year’s prize money totals just over R1.8 million, which includes a R100 000 cash prize and an international business trip.

The official launch was held this morning at the Khayelitsha Cookie Company in Ndabeni.

The company, which now employs 67 women from Khayelitsha, won the Social Enterprise award in last year’s competition. The employees own 30% of the business through a trust fund.

Speaking at the launch this morning, Premier Helen Zille said governments needed to be flexible in allowing space for entrepreneurs to innovate and enter the market. “We must do more to create the right environment for entrepreneurs. They are the engine, the wheels and the oil of our economy,” Premier Zille said.

She also encouraged entrepreneurs to make use of the support programmes provided by the Western Cape Government such as the Red Tape Reduction Unit.

“Sometimes when I hit a snag in dealing with government, I also use the Red Tape Reduction Unit where my query is processed and usually resolved swiftly,” said Premier Zille.

Minister Winde said small businesses were key job creators.

“SMME’s create the most jobs in our economy. When residents are employed, they are able to send their children to schools, they are able to provide for their families.

“Entrepreneurs are the heroes of our economy and we must celebrate and showcase their successes,” said Minister Winde.

Minister Winde said the Western Cape’s most innovative entrepreneurs were putting the province on the map.

“One of last year’s PERA finalists, the technology start-up IKubu, was recently bought by Garmin, a global GPS system. The best thing about this deal is that the intellectual property remained in South Africa. We need to make sure talented entrepreneurs like those at IKubu have the support they need to grow their businesses and create jobs.”

Since 2009, the Western Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism has given 26 000 entrepreneurs the support they need to make the economy grow, through a range of programmes. The PERA awards are also sponsored by ABSA, Deloitte, Entrepreneurship Organization, Marathon Group.

This year, the number of award categories has been expanded from five to 12.

The following categories are up for grabs:

  • Best Emerging Business: A business in its initial growth phase operating in the Western Cape for between 12 months and 2 years;
  • Best Established Business: Operating in the Western Cape for 5 years or longer  with an annual turn-over of more than R10m and less than R50m;
  • Best Social Enterprise: Operating in the Western Cape for 12 months or longer and embarking on a solution to address a social challenge through innovation;
  • Best Green Business: Operating in the Western Cape for 12 months or longer and actively using green technology/concepts in the business;           
  • Best Innovative Student Business Idea: Any full time student at a Western Cape tertiary institution including FET colleges who has developed an innovative solution to a problem or created a new service. It could be an idea or concept.
  • Most Innovative Business: Operating in the Western Cape for at least 12 months;
  • Best Job-creating Business: Operating in the Western Cape for 2 years or   longer with an annual turn-over of less than R10m and an indication of the number of permanent employees appointed over the last financial year;
  • Best Emerging Regional Business: A business in its initial growth phase to be selected from areas outside of the Cape Metropolitan area and operating in the Western Cape for between 12 months and 2 years, with an annual turn-over of more than R3m;
  • Best Emerging Tourism Business: A business in its initial growth phase operating in the Western Cape for between 12 months and 2 years;
  • Best Emerging Agro-Processing Business: A business in its initial growth phase operating in the Western Cape for between 12 months and 2 years;
  • Best School Business Idea: Any high school in the Western Cape (Grade 8 to 12 learners or equivalent). Learners could also apply on behalf of the school; and
  • Business with Global Reach: Operating in the Western Cape for 5 years or longer with a turn-over of less than R50m per annum.

For more information on the qualifying criteria or to enter, entrepreneurs can visit www.wcpremierawards.co.za

The closing date for entries is 14 September 2015.


Media Enquiries:

Michael Mpofu
Spokesperson for Premier Helen Zille
071 564 5427
021 483 4584
Michael.Mpofu@westerncape.gov.za

 

Bronwynne Jooste
Spokesperson: Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities
060 970 4301
021 483 3550
bronwynne.jooste@westerncape.gov.za