South African province Gauteng is to offer local township entrepreneurs the chance to receive cash injections of up to ZAR1 million (US$73,000), mentorship and incubation in the province’s first Township Entrepreneur Awards.
The launch of the initiative follows consultations between the Gauteng provincial government and over 50,000 entrepreneurs across 65 townships in the province, with the awards aimed at showcasing and rewarding township businesses.
Gauteng MEC for economic development, environment, agriculture and rural development Lebogang Maile said the awards would increase confidence in township-based businesses.
“We have inspirational stories of township entrepreneurs breaking through hostile and adverse conditions of the apartheid system, which effectively criminalised and stifled black enterprise and building formidable brands and industries,” he said,
“We need a new generation of successful township business people who are engaged in various sectors of the economy, producing the very goods that our households consume on a daily basis. We have to break the paradigm of townships only being consumer-driven service economies to townships as productive sites and thriving commercial centres.”
The competition is divided into 15 categories, with 13 requiring the submission of an entry form for consideration. Participants must be South African citizens residing in Gauteng, with a tax clearance certificate, financial statements and yearly turnover of less than ZAR2 million (US$146,000). Nominations close on November 2, with the awards ceremony to be held in February next year.