The Gauteng provincial government is turning its attention towards entrepreneurs in the townships after recently announcing the first Township Entrepreneurship Awards, where finalists stand the chance to receive a share of R1 million in business investments.
Government said it created the awards after holding various talks and engaging with more than 50 000 entrepreneurs across 65 townships in Gauteng to find a way to reward and build confidence among township business owners.
“We need a new generation of successful township business people who are engaged in various sectors of the economy, producing the very goods that our households consume on a daily basis. We have to break the paradigm of townships only being consumer-driven service economies to townships as productive sites and thriving commercial centres,” said Gauteng MEC for Economic Development, Environment, Agriculture and Rural Development, Lebogang Maile.
The awards consist of 16 categories in total. Thirteen of those categories will require people to submit an entry form before they can even be considered for entry, and three categories have been specially reserved for youths, women and people with disabilities.
Up for grabs are a share of R1 million in investment for your business, an all-expenses-paid trip to places with some of the world’s most innovative entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship cultures, mentorship and incubation from various businesses in your relevant sector and tools to improve your business’s performance.
You can nominate yourself or any other other entrepreneur you may know by downloading a form from the Township Entrepreneurs Awards website and emailing it to [email protected]. Submissions close on the 2nd of November. You can also find more information on the entry criteria on the awards’ website.
“Townships are no longer just offering services but there is a shift to a greater focus on productive economic activities, manufacturing, product development and innovation. These awards will encourage and boost the confidence of entrepreneurs who are already in the business of producing and manufacturing,” added Moipone Molotsi from the University of Johannesburg’s Centre for Small Business Development.
The Township Entrepreneurs Awards will take place on the 20th February 2016.
[Source – South African Government, image – CC 2.0 by Kieran Lamb]