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Sanlam, in conjunction with Business/Partners, has announced the 15 finalists in the 2016 Entrepreneur of the Year competition. The winners will be announced on 1 September at an awards breakfast in Johannesburg.
The finalists will be competing for a chance to win prizes worth R2-million, along with cash prizes of R425 000.
“Beyond monetary prices, previous finalists have benefitted greatly from the various networking opportunities and associated media exposure that the competition offers. Past winners have also gone on to win international awards and form valuable partnerships as a result of their success in the competition,” writes spokesperson for the 2016 Entrepreneur of the Year competition, Gugu Mjadu, in a press release to Ventureburn.
Apart from the overall victor, winners will also be chosen for the emerging, small business, medium business, job creator and innovator categories.
The contestants hail from a range of industries, such as manufacturing and service, and from various provinces in SA.
According to Mjadu, the competition received a record 213 entries this year, which is a 40% increase over last year. There has also been an overall increase in female entrepreneurs, which was up 38% from 29% in 2015.
“Female entrepreneurs are also particularly well represented in the group of finalists, making up 60% of the entries that are through to the final round,” adds Mjadu.
The contestants are:
- Cara Nortman, SSQ Exhibitions
- Lucas van Wyk and Eben Rootman, Advance Fenestration
- Stacey Brewer and Ryan Harrison, SPARK Schools
- Corrie van der Wath, Matleng Energy Solutions
- Michael Roberts, Khonology
- Johan Eksteen, Agricon
- Carl Pretorius of Just Trees
- Dillon Jearey of Killowatt Audio Visual
- Nerina Smith of Smithland Guest Apartments
- Mishje Cooper of ZooZooland Daycare
- Gali Gaon Segallis of the Yemaya Group
- Chanette & Jonathan Goosen of Rush Extreme Sports
- Vanessa Jacobs of Sow Delicious
- Barry Nigel Gould, CAPCO
- Meisie Nkosi, Bella Boni Guest House
“The judging process is completely independent. The evaluation process runs through three different filtering stages, which ensures that everything is checked multiple times to remove any human error or preference which may have otherwise crept in.”