Province’s top entrepreneurs honoured at Western Cape Entrepreneurship Awards
The winners in the Western Cape Entrepreneurship Awards, were crowned last night, with Oco Life, a holistic lifestyle business using traditional African herbs to create organic essential oils, walking away with the overall award and the award for the best women-owned business.
The awards seek to highlight the important role of entrepreneurs and small businesses in the economy, and to inspire entrepreneurial attitudes in the province.
Winners were named in the categories of women-owned, emerging, most innovative, social enterprise and township business categories, while the top businesses in the Western Cape’s key industries of agri-processing, digital technology, tourism and creative, were also named.
Minister of Economic Opportunities, Beverley Schafer said of the awards: “We wanted to create a platform that recognises and supports our most inspiring, high-potential entrepreneurs, and at the same time raise awareness around entrepreneurship and contribute to a culture where entrepreneurship is understood and valued for the role it plays in our economy and our society.
“Entrepreneurs and small businesses are the tools that are going to help us tackle unemployment in this country. But in order to contribute meaningfully towards job creation, businesses need to be able to grow and between government and the private sector, we need to create the kind of environment that encourages entrepreneurial activity and supports its growth.”
“We need to start thinking of and promoting entrepreneurship as a career choice rather than something people accidentally fall into, or are forced to do,” she added.
The five category winners received cash as well as training and mentorship prizes, while all nine winners also received a laptop computer.
The full list of winners includes:
Woman Owned and overall winner -Oco Life
Originally named Organico, Oco Life is holistic lifestyle store that uses traditional African herbs such as Imphepho to create organic essential oils. The company places emphasis on making a significant social impact, while contributing to the green economy is core to their business model. Run by the fiercely driven and enterprising Annabel Davids, the woman-owned business has created 12 permanent and 14 part-time jobs for residents in Masiphumele. Oco Life is currently prototyping a cannabis grow box for home use with the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS). They are also in negotiations with Clicks to supply their stores. They are most excited about potentially growing these uniquely African products globally, and the business is currently exploring the potential of the export market.
Beta machine and tool-emergin
Located in Zeekoevlei, Beta Machine and Tool is an engineering manufacturing business that specialises in toolmaking, welding and machine repairs. The company was founded by Thaabit Achmat, a young, passionate entrepreneur who, despite his physical disability, has put all his natural abilities and training as a mechanical engineer toward running a profitable business that also designs and manufactures performance parts for motor vehicles. The business currently employs 2 permanent staff and is on the path to growth.
Quickloc8- most innovative
Quickloc8 is an app developed for and used by taxi owners to manage their drivers, reduce on-road accidents, and improve overall safety in the taxi industry. The app runs cutting-edge technology to provide real-time updates on taxi activity with the aim of finding practical solutions to modernising the taxi industry. The Milnerton-based business, operated by Mbavhalelo Mabogo hires unemployed graduates who are upskilled to provide tech support to clients.
Social enterprise: Ma Wami
Established by Gary hopkins, Ma Wami is an NPO (Trust) which invests in people, especially the youth, living with hearing disabilities. The beneficiaries of Ma Wami are trained as baristas and chefs in a retail outlet named “I Love Coffee” in Woodstock. Employees at I Love Coffee are considerably upskilled, so that even those who were originally hired as cleaners, have been empowered to manage other, more complex operations of the business. Overflowing with the exuberance of a young, spirited staff, I Love Coffee is staffed by a young and spirited team of eleven permanent and five part-time employees. They have recently expanded into Claremont; with plans to further grow its existing staff complement. I Love Coffee shares a commitment to the green economy by manufacturing its own bio-degradable coffee pods, with 85% of those profits reinvested into the business.
Township business: Tees and Gees
Tees and Gees designs and retails t-shirts that celebrate Cape Town and Africa, having started out selling t-shirts on a busy street corner in Gugulethu township. After initially undertaking the entire production cycle internally, owner Mpho Mopai decided to outsource much of the production activity to other township enterprises. He will source the fabric himself, before having different township-based businesses, from Eerste River to Mitchells Plain, make additions to the final product. Tees and Gees employs four permanent and eight part-time staff members, while it simultaneously offers a manufacturing service to other designers. Tees and Gees currently retails its t-shirts at the Long Street Kiosks.
Sector Business winners
Fruitlips owner Liebre Jacobs makes jams, marmalades and sauces for the retail market.
Mido Technologies operated by Dale Simons intergrates digital technologies into the classroom by training teachers at disadvantaged schools
Hungry for Halaal run by Dilshad Parker is a desktop and mobile friendly platform that allows users to explore Halaal food and accommodation options, offering reviews and ratings.
Bili beadwear, operated by Lindsay Fisher sells beaded bra straps created by a team of women from Wallacedene.
Spokesperson for the Ministry of Economic Opportunities
(Responsible for the Departments of Agriculture and Economic Development and Tourism)
Tel: 021 483 3550
Cell: 072 372 7044