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Call to enter 2015 Entrepreneur of the Year competition

South African entrepreneurs rarely receive the acknowledgement they truly deserve and should be praised for the role they play in the creation of jobs and economic development in the country, according to Nazeem Martin, MD of Business Partners, who was speaking at the launch of the 2015 Sanlam/Business Partners Entrepreneur of the Year competition.
Call to enter 2015 Entrepreneur of the Year competitionNow in its 27th year, the entrepreneurial platform continues to pay tribute to the fearless entrepreneurs who remain dedicated not only to fostering a culture of entrepreneurship in the country, but also to their business and staff.

Martin said that considering South Africa's unemployment rate is at 25% and that it was recently announced that South Africa will have the eighth-highest unemployment rate* globally in 2015, the role that entrepreneurs play in aiding job creation is evident. "The six 2014 Entrepreneur of the Year competition winners collectively created over 400 jobs, while our overall 2013 Entrepreneur of the Year winner generated over 800 jobs in the rural area of Qwaqwa. These figures confirm the pivotal role entrepreneurs play in job creation, as well as the more prominent role they could play in this space with additional support.

"By embracing local entrepreneurship, the competition provides entrepreneurs with an opportunity to showcase their achievements and elevate the business's profile."

Prizes up to the value of R2 million


The competition provides entrepreneurs with the chance to win prizes up to the value of R2 million, which includes cash prizes to the value of R350,000. Competition winners will also receive valuable mentorship support, networking opportunities and national media exposure.

Martin said that apart from the prizes offered, a key takeaway for past finalists is the opportunity to take a step back and analyse their business, both by themselves, and along with an independent judging panel. "Often, entrepreneurs don't fully comprehend how far their business has developed and grown over the years, and the networking opportunities with other entrepreneurs and judges allow these individuals to fully appreciate their achievements and the hard work and dedication that has gone into building their business."

The competition also provides finalists and winners with the opportunity to obtain valuable regional and national publicity. "This exposure should not be underestimated as it has the potential to attract new customers, as well as increase a business' reputation amongst existing clients."

Entrepreneurs interested in entering the competition can download entry forms online at www.eoy.co.za as well as interact with fellow entrepreneurs and entrants on the Sanlam/Business Partners Entrepreneur of the Year competition social media platforms AS_YOE@/moc.rettiwt.www and www.facebook.com/EOY.SA. The closing date for the competition is 16 June 2015.

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