Western Cape's top entrepreneurs honoured

Bonita Dodgen and Lamees Ismail, two of the directors of Auto Magneto. (Supplied)
Bonita Dodgen and Lamees Ismail, two of the directors of Auto Magneto. (Supplied)

Cape Town - The Western Cape’s business trailblazers have been honoured at the Western Cape Premier’s Entrepreneurship Recognition Awards (Pera).

Auto Magneto, represented by Lamees Ismail, was announced as the overall winner, after also scooping first place in the Established Business category.

Auto Magneto is a family-owned and managed business that specialises in the wholesale and retail supply of quality auto-electrical products and accessories throughout Africa. They are based in Ndabeni, Cape Town.

Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities, said the creation of opportunities for jobs and growth is the number one priority.

He gave a special mention to Khadija Mohamed, the winner of the Best School Business Idea.

She is a Grade 11 learner at Al Azhar High School in Athlone and her business idea is named Shop-in-a-box. The concept is a foldable and mobile 125 litre box with a total display area of 12.5m². It can be either transported as a cart or mounted on a trailer. It is aimed at street vendors and market sellers across Cape Town at all the daily market and vendor areas.

The boxes allow vendors to store and transport their goods safely and can also be used for marketing purposes. The boxes can be manufactured from lightweight steel or aluminium, industrial waterproof tarpaulins and plastic moulding to keep it as lightweight as possible. It can be purchased at selected stores and online.

“Khadija spotted a challenge, and decided to design an innovative solution. Young innovators like Khadija serve as an inspiration and we need to ensure they have the tools to take their ideas to action,” said Winde.

Western Cape Premier Helen Zille said entrepreneurs are the engine room of the economy. They employ 500 000 people in the province.

This year 333 businesses entered the competition. Since its launch in 2013, 1 041 entries have been received.

A panel of ten judges scored this year’s finalists on a set of criteria including growth, job creation, innovation, industry relevance, sustainability, creativity and socio-economic impact. Winners were drawn from a pool of 33 finalists.

The total prize money this year was just over R2m. The overall winner received a cash prize and an overseas trip to pursue their further development in their field of expertise.

The 2016 Pera winners:

Established Business (overall winner)

Auto Magneto, Ndabeni, represented by Lamees Ismail;

Emerging Business

Pure Good Food, Observatory, represented by Shannon Smuts;

Most Innovative Business
Praelexis, Stellenbosch, represented by McElory Hoffmann;

Job-creating Business

Doring Bay Abalone, Doring Bay, represented by Ruben Saul;

Business with Global Reach

NewSpace Systems, Somerset West, represented by James Barrington-Brown;

Social Enterprise
Shonaquip and Uhambo, Plumstead, represented by Shona McDonald;

Best Student Business Idea

Stokvella, Cape Town, represented by Sebastian Daniels;

Emerging Rural Business

Anja's Pantry, Vredenburg, represented by Annora Mostert;

Emerging Agri-processing Business

ButtaNutt Tree Nut Spreads, Stellenbosch, represented by Antoine van Heerden;

Emerging Tourism Business

Once in Cape Town, Cape Town, represented by Kim Whitaker;

Best School Business Idea

Khadija Mohamed of Al-Azhar High School in Athlone.

Khadija Mohamed of Al-Azhar High School in Athlone.

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