SA’s Loyal1 wins The Workspace/MiWay entrepreneur competition

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South African loyalty management platform Loyal 1 has won The Workspace/MiWay Business Insurance Entrepreneur Competition, securing prizes worth over ZAR500,000 (US$34,000).

Co-working operator The Workspace and MiWay business insurance announced five finalists for the competition in July, with Loyal1, a cloud-based loyalty management platform for small and medium sized businesses founded by Tshireletso Hlangwane, named the overall winner.

The prize is worth over ZAR500,000 (US$34,000), with Loyal1 receiving 12 months free office space from The Workspace, a host of design-based prizes from Web Artist, a bespoke share portfolio from Opulentus Wealth, and a brand communication strategy from Oxigen.

The Workspace chief executive officer (CEO) Mari Schourie said judges had many different aspects to look at, but what initially intrigued them with Loyal1 was the great idea and concept.

“We had to keep an open mind and really understand each business and the potential it had to make a difference within an industry. Tshireletso really took in everything he could learn; each time they pitched to the judges you could really see the improvement and his confidence lifting,” she said.

Willie du Plessis, head of sales for MiWay Business Insurance, said he based his decision on the viability of the concept, the potential market and demand for the product, its financial feasibility and return on investment, as well as the finalists’ passion and belief in their product.

“Tshireletso presented a well-planned strategy and financial forecast for his product, and he showed great belief and passion,” Du Plessis said. “It is a product relevant to our everyday lives, in both private and business sectors and could potentially change the way in which we deal with reward schemes, thus providing him with a vast marketing reach.”

Second prize went to Sindi’s Best for All, and third to Minatlou Trading 251.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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