Innovation to produce bricks made from plastic earned Kedibone Tsiloane first prize at the Bloemfontein leg of the Engen Pitch & Polish competition held on 27 July. This nation-wide entrepreneurial competition is aimed at empowering aspiring entrepreneurs helping them to realise their dreams.Kedibone, from Bloemfontein, was chosen as the regional winner for her ability to deliver a confident and well-rounded pitch of her innovation. A panel of judges chose her for her ability to thoroughly integrate the key learnings of the day into her final pitch and communicate these clearly. The panel consisted of Joan Njorage (Engen Petroleum’s Strategic communications and brand manager), Kim Lawrence (Nedbank retail small business provincial manager) and Andrew Setho (SEDA branch manager).Kedibone’s presentation saw her chosen ahead of Mpho Mosholi, second place and Puseletso Saul, third place. Each of the three winners took home a cash prize. Mpho, a partner in a craft cider business, centred her pitch on small businesses, particularly in the start-up phase. She made the point that outsourcing versus owning equipment mitigates the initial risk until proof of concept has been established. Puseletso, who makes fashion accessories, extolled the value of preparation and the advantage of bringing along samples of one’s work. As the winner, Kedibone will receive further training at Raizcorp in Johannesburg during the second-round phase of the programme, as well as the chance to progress to the semi-final and become the ultimate 2019 Engen Pitch & Polish winner, receiving further cash injections and prizes. The trio was part of approximately 15 000 entrepreneurs who acquired much-needed skills during the Bloemfontein leg of the competition.