Jacky Goliath from Simondium in the Western Cape scooped the coveted National Female Entrepreneur of the Year Award in the category, Commercial, at a gala event held on Friday, 23 March, at the Mittah Seperepere Convention Centre in Kimberley by the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF).
Goliath was awarded for the excellent way in which she runs the De Fynne Nursery, which focuses on the growing and selling of mostly indigenous plants. She started in 2001 with 1 000 plants and has since expanded the business to a total production of 600 000 plants.
"I'm so proud that such a small business like mine can win such a prestigious award and it just shows that hard work and perseverance do pay off," said Jacky at the awards ceremony. Her advice to all female entrepreneurs is to turn passion into a profit-driven business and to persevere, especially when times are difficult.
This was the 12th annual DAFF Female Entrepreneur awards, which seeks to acknowledge and encourage excellence of women, the youth and those with disabilities in the agriculture, forestry and fisheries sectors.
Western Cape Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Gerrit van Rensburg, congratulated Jacky, and said she is an example of what can be done through hard work and commitment. "Jackie built this business without any state support. We would love to assist her in the future if there is an opportunity to do so," van Rensburg said.
Van Rensburg said economic growth is the driver behind development, and businesses such as Jacky's are creating employment and opportunities for other people.