The City of Ekurhuleni recently played host to the glittering Township Entrepreneurship Awards (TEA18) at the majestic Carnival City casino. The Township Awards are a flagship of the Gauteng provincial government. They were launched in 2015 by the Gauteng Department of Economic Development (GDED) as part of its strategy to revitalise the province’s township economy.
“The Awards have demonstrated Gauteng government's bold commitment to recognise and reward entrepreneurial talent while building and cementing confidence in township-based businesses,” said member of the executive council (MEC) Lebogang Maile.
Gauteng’s entrepreneurs gathered to compete in different sectors, such as food and beverages, creative industries, tourism, retail and finance, services, manufacturing, agri-business, transport, automotive and components, construction, building and real estate, social and community and new and start-up enterprises. Across all sectors, the following categories were then selected: entrepreneurs with a disability, youth entrepreneur of the year; woman entrepreneur of the year, entrepreneur of the year, and the lifetime achievement award.
The Stoelbag Foundation, which developed the groundbreaking medical circumcision device the "Circumfort", was crowned the 2018 entrepreneur of the year.
“Our two decorated centennials, Mama Albertina Sisulu and President Nelson Mandela, are a collective expression of our efforts of radically transforming the economy to benefit those previously excluded, since this will significantly contribute towards nation-building and consolidation of building equal economic opportunities”, said MEC Maile.
The crowning moment
The Stoelbag Foundation, which developed the groundbreaking medical circumcision device the "Circumfort", was crowned the 2018 entrepreneur of the year. The three social entrepreneurs’ mission is to create ease, peace of mind and healing for South African men when they get circumcised. "Through our innovative Circumfort device we do much more than just sell a product. We promote healthy living, empower, employ and contribute towards the township economy," explained founding member Nokubonga Dlamini. "We strive to make more than just a profit – we make a difference." The Soweto-based trio, Nokubonga Dlamini, Musa Morgan and Siqiniseko Ntshangase, were also named the winners of the manufacturing category for their medical device designed to optimise wound care after circumcisions.
Dr Anna T Mokgokong was honoured with the lifetime achievement award for her contribution towards the township economy and the development of business in the health sector.
This year’s finalists, a total of 33 businesses across the sixteen categories, continue to demonstrate beyond doubt that township enterprises offer smart, innovative and relevant solutions to the communities they operate in. “As the Gauteng government, we would like to applaud all finalists and winners for their continuous contribution towards our economy and their passion and zest for pushing boundaries,” said Maile.
Entrepreneur of the Year The Stoelbag Foundation
Lifetime Achievement Dr Anna T Mokgokong
Food & Beverage Motheo Watlholo Trading
Transport & Automotive Ditsibi Motor Engineering
Social & Community Angela Day Care
Creative Industries Shova Lifestyle Origin
Agriculture Business You Reap what You Sow
Retail & Finance I am Emerge
Construction Ronewa Projects and Trading
Tourism Fly SA Wise
Manufacturing The Stoelbag Foundation
Services Lemok Group
Start-Up Borotho Bakery Enterprise
Youth Entrepreneur I am Emerge and Borotho Bakery Enterprise
Entrepreneurs with a Disability Azishenism Culture
Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Tuming Lee Media
About the Township Entrepreneurship Awards:
The Gauteng Department of Economic Development launched the Township Entrepreneurship Awards in 2015 as part of its strategic intervention aimed to revitalise the Gauteng City Region townships’ economy. The main objective of the awards is to recognise and reward entrepreneurial talent in townships while building and cementing confidence in township-based businesses. Equally important is the impact that the awards have in changing negative perceptions about township-based businesses as well as encouraging and inspiring township entrepreneurs to realise the conceivable economic gains for the communities within which they operate.
Since the inception of the awards, more than 257 new jobs were created, new markets accessed, and new technologies invested in, that have seen township businesses excel.