iLembe Chamber welcomes its newest entrepreneurs
Five lucky contestants in the Ilembe Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Tourism's (ICCIT) Entrepreneur competition are now the Ilembe District's newest entrepreneurs. Besides winning their share in R220 000 in seed capital donated by African Bank and Enterprise Ilembe, the contestants also won a year's membership at the chamber and a year of valuable business mentoring from a chamber mentor.
Each contestant was required to pitch for the least amount of money required to get their business up and running. The competition reached boiling point this month when they were groomed and grilled by their mentors on the nuts and bolts of business. They had to present their business plans to a panel of four judges and a live audience in an Idols-style event held at Ballito's Pumpkin Theatre on October 27. The judges were Dube Tradeport's Mel Clark, Enterprise iLembe's Kanyi Gasa, African Bank's Tami Sokutu and Jane Wiltshire from Valbridge Trust.
The judges decided to share the seed capital between 5 winners. The winners, in no particular order were:
Kyle Wetherill and Josh Chaplin from Charlie's Chilli Chicken
Lindiwe Mbonambi from Kalula Parcel Storage Facility
Vincent Makhosonke from the Best of The Best Dec Photos
Nothando Sibisi and Vicki Millican from Bee Positive
Njabulo Zondi from the Mystery Shopper Business Survey.
The audience's vote for the most popular idea, went to Celia Tabb from Zula Zula North Coast Meander Development for which she received a cash prize of R10 000.
Nomovla Majola and Michael from Edu-Tainment Puppet Manufacture received a judges' prize of R10 000 for most innovative idea.
The competition was run by ICCIT's dynamic Mentorship Program. It was launched in July this year and contestants were paired with a chamber mentor with a proven business or commercial background.
ICCIT CEO Trenley Tilbrook said the competition aimed to source budding entrepreneurs from the community and help them make their dream a reality through the chamber's mentorship program and funding. He said, "Not only have we done this successfully, but we have also managed to inspire others to enter next year."