Reflections on the 2018 Entrepreneur of the Year Awards

Reflections on the 2018 Entrepreneur of the Year Awards

Written by Thriving Team

The Hyatt Regency Hotel was flooded with excellence on the morning of 5 September 2018. Sponsored by Sanlam and BUSINESS/PARTENERS, the Entrepreneur of the Year Awards sought to honour the most innovative minds in the South African business landscape.

Mining engineer, Samuel and Motlapele Molefi – founders and owners of Modi Mining CC – were named the overall winners of the competition. Modi Mining provides contract mining services to companies specialising in the South African mining sector.

Other 2018 category winners are:

Mjadu says the judges believe that Gumbi has the entrepreneurial attitude and determination required to go far. “Beverley’s   energy is just contagious and, while she is a female with no engineering experience or technical training, she is tackling a   traditionally male-dominated industry and making a success of it!”

As part of this year’s 30-year celebration of the annual competition, the judges also recognised the illustrious South African entrepreneur and property developer, Dr. Richard Maponya, with a Lifetime Achiever award.

“Dr Richard Maponya is an entrepreneur par excellence and his family name is synonymous with entrepreneurship in South  Africa. He did not only make a success of business in an era when black entrepreneurs faced many obstacles that prevented  them from being successful but has built a formidable business empire in the democratic South Africa which should remain for  generations to come.

Dr Maponya is a legend and excellent role model for entrepreneurs in South Africa across all genders and races. It is a true honour that he has availed himself to accept our Lifetime Achiever Award.”

The competition provides prizes worth R 2 million, which include cash prizes of R70 000 per category and R200 000 for the overall winner, towards further growing their businesses. Beyond these monetary prizes, Mjadu adds that each winner will also receive valuable mentorship support, networking opportunities and associated marketing and national media exposure to further drive their business’ success. “Past winners have also gone on to win other prominent national and international awards as a result of their success in the competition and form valuable partnerships with fellow winners and finalists.”

Now in its 30th year, this competition and others like it serve a particularly important purpose in South Africa, concludes Mjadu. “Entrepreneurial competitions of this calibre serve a dual purpose – they are a celebration of the hard-working self-starters in the country, and also act to inspire budding entrepreneurs who have the potential to create employment and economic growth at a time where the country is facing numerous challenges in this regard.”

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