Siyabonga Ndlela, founder of a local agricultural business Ndlela Agri Group, emerged as the Firstwatch Entrepreneurs Challenge grand prize winner, walking away with R100,000 cash prize.
Zethu Nyali, founder of Zee Organics, claimed the second, while Phumzile Mthembu, founder of Ingcweti Pty Ltd, was announced as the third prize winner. The second and third place winners were awarded R50,000 and R 25,000 in cash prizes respectively.
In addition to the cash prizes, all winners will receive business support and mentorship from social development enterprise Over the Rainbow for six months.
The Firstwatch Entrepreneur’s Challenge saw 160 candidates invited to attend a two-day workshop hosted in Johannesburg and Cape Town and facilitated by established local entrepreneurs who provided skills training.
In the next phase, candidates pitched their ideas to a panel of judges to earn a spot in the top 10, who competed for the main prize at the Johannesburg final. The final event took place on 20 February at Disoufeng Pub in Soweto, with contestants being treated to a musical performance from local artist Terrence McKay.
Lauren Justus, portfolio head for Edward Snell & Co. Brown & White Spirits commented: “I am blown away by the quality and commitment of the entrepreneurs in this beautiful country and by the hunger and passion that every single contestant showed throughout the 2022 Firstwatch Entrepreneurs Challenge.”