Ten budding entrepreneurs in the Northern Cape towns of Hanover, Britstown, Philipstown and De Aar who have been working alongside trainers and business mentors for several months, have been selected as part of the Big Shake-up Accelerator enterprise stimulation programme, funded by De Aar Solar Power.
Each winner received cash funding to purchase assets to help drive their business. This is in addition to receiving further Business Development Support, to the value of over R10 000.00 and an additional six months of Business Mentoring, up to September 2020.
The announcements took place in the respective towns, coinciding with the De Aar Solar Power funded Mobile Business Unit site visits, which have become a regular feature in the rural towns of Hanover, Britstown, Philipstown and De Aar.
“We are pleased that 60% of the winners are women, a positive sign considering that women make up over 50% of the total population in the Pixley Ka Seme district,” said Hlengiwe Radebe, Economic Development Director for De Aar Solar Power.
Judges scored each contestant according to a range of criteria including the business concept, market size, sustainability potential, economic impact in addition to various other elements.
Mr. Asanda Sibeko, Pixley Ka Seme District LED Manager, was part on the panel judges and commented on the excellent business start-ups in Britstown. “They are the town with the most start-ups while other towns mostly had plans, this is an indication of being familiar with the 1st rule of business, ‘Just Start’,” he explained.
Beside Mr. Sibeko, the panel also included Ms. Beatrice Bosch, Communication Officer of Pixley Ka Seme District Municipality; Mr. Zane Mthini, Unit Manager Renosterberg of Renosterberg Municipality; and Ms. Faith Oerson, Ward Member of Mzwabantu and Proteaville Community amongst others.
“We had an amazing pitch deck session in each town. The excitement amongst the participants was palpable, alongside their nerves! It was wonderful to see the personal growth and confidence these entrepreneurs have achieved over the last few months,” concluded CEO of Angels, Lizelle Coombs.
In collaboration with Angels Resource Centres, the De Aar Solar Power is funding the Big Shake-up Accelerator programme, a rural training programme that aims to equip women and youth participants with the basic opportunities and skills of running a business, regardless of their education level.