Each will receive a business grant of between R100 000 and R200 000; as well as business development support over a 12-month period.
The finalists were selected by an independent panel of adjudicators following an intensive two-week business training course facilitated by the University's Gordon Institute of Business Science (Gibs).
SAB KicKStart, one of the longest running initiatives of its kind which started in 1995, is focused on developing and supporting sustainable youth-owned businesses, as well as high impact entrepreneurs who are able to make a contribution to South Africa's job creation needs.
"It is important that big business in South Africa use their resources, experience and knowledge to help small business become sustainable and strong contributors towards the country's economy. This means investing more than just capital but offering the support and guidance needed to carry these businesses through to success," said Boipelo Nkadimeng, SAB acting Head Enterprise Development and Community Partnerships.
A needs analysis conducted on the finalist businesses helps define a growth strategy for each. This strategy in turn informs the seed capital awarded for the benefit of each business, as well as the programme and terms of the entrepreneur's individualised business mentorship for the remainder of the year.
The final top three winners of the national finals will be awarded additional grant funding for their businesses later this year during Global Entrepreneurship Week. They are selected by an independent panel of judges who take into consideration the overall business performance, business sustainability and its potential, as well as the effective implementation of growth strategies during the SAB KickStart mentorship and business development phase.
The Top 18 SAB KickStart National finalists are:
- Siphamandla Javu of Mzansi Telecoms and Projects in East London: Specialists in telecommunications solution in the Eastern Cape;
- Sboniso Mtshali of Afronic Data in Durban: ICT management and networking solutions; IT hardware and software support;
- Wanni Toyana of Otjiwarongo Projects in East London: Vegetation management specialising in grass gutting and tree-felling for the public and private industry;
- Abram Rankeng of Rainbow Granite and Marble Works Enterprise in Kimberley: Marble and granite manufacturing;
- Reamogetswe Tshabalala of Pfuxaka Enzokuhle in Bronkhorstspruit: Design and manufacturing of tombstones and grave markers;
- Earl Strauss Muller of NAM Petroleum in Springbok: Manufacturing of bio-diesel;
- Benjamin Mdokwana of Ben Petroleum in Cape Town: Repackaging and distribution of paraffin and petrol;
- Chad Petersen of Artisans Research Unit in Cape Town: Manufacturing of bespoke leather goods;
- Jeffery Mafalo of Falo's Wire and Steel in Lebowakgomo, Limpopo: Manufactures and distributes wire and steel products;
- Lerato Radebe of Imagined Steel & Structural Engineering in Kagiso: Fabrication of products like carports, mobile trailers and gates;
- Marcia Mofokeng of Alurcia Aluminium and Glass in Katlehong: Manufacturing of aluminium products;
- Tsholofelo Majeng of Maiktronic in Kuruman: Specialists in fabrication of structural metal products;
- Leeko Nkala of Chilladiddo in Johannesburg: Production, packaging and distribution of relish in the food and beverage industry;
- Scelo Mzimela of Tender Taste Trading in Durban: Supplier of fast food to students and industry;
- Millicent Nyembe of Nyembe Waste Management in Pretoria: Crime scene cleaning and transportation of health-care risk waste;
- Mthandeni Ngidi of Hlobane Waste Management Services in Durban: Waste management to reduce landfill waste and disposal costs to clients;
- Tshepo Marumule of Tshepo Merafong Trading in Johannesburg: Environment and sustainability solutions specialising in greenhouse gas emission and reporting amongst others;
- Simphiwe Mazibuko of Ejimini Fitness Club in Empangeni: Fitness and wellness centre.