Positive impact of winning a competition

William Duk of Plantation Shutters (Supplied)
William Duk of Plantation Shutters (Supplied)
Cape Town - William Duk of Plantation Shutters was the overall winner of the 2012 Sanlam/Business Partners Entrepreneur of the Year competition.

Entrepreneurs can now enter the 2014 Sanlam/Business Partners Entrepreneur of the Year competition, which aims to honour, benefit and uplift local entrepreneurs.

Entries close on June 16 2014.

Winning the award was a very powerful affirmation and acknowledgement of all the hard work that everyone in the business had put in over the six year period since reviving Plantation Shutters.

“There was an extra degree of pride or confidence that everybody suddenly had, based on the credibility that something like this award brings," said Duk.

"This has been the most significant aspect of the award.”

Duk’s entrepreneurial success began with a classic stroke of luck.

He was in the process of purchasing an industrial building near Cape Town when he stumbled upon a small bankrupt company operating within the premises.

On the spur of the moment, he made the decision to take over the business.

Within five years of purchasing Plantation Shutters, a business that designs, manufactures and installs adjustable window and door shutters, Duk doubled the work force and increased its turnover tenfold.

Positive spin-offs

The various positive spin offs from winning the competition has ensured a further 30% growth for the business in 2013.

“The credibility of the award has had a positive impact in offering peace of mind to clients choosing to work with Plantation Shutters," said Duk.

"When clients are parting with a 50% deposit for a premium product, the award further endorses their purchasing decision, which is definitely a good thing.”

The publicity that the award generated for his business has provided much more than any marketing budget could have ever achieved, he said.

Apart from Plantation Shutters becoming a thriving business, another business opportunity presented itself to Duk a few months after the winning the competition.

This enabled him to maximise the mentorship programme, which formed part of his prize.


The mentorship opportunity enables entrepreneurs to seek valuable advice from a business leader in a similar industry in order to further develop and drive their business.

Duk currently owns a group of companies with turnover approaching R200m. He has had only organic growth and debt based financing along the way.

According to Christo Botes, spokesperson for the Sanlam/Business Partners Entrepreneur of the Year competition, says by facilitating the competition and showcasing the winners, they hope encourage local entrepreneurship.

To enter the 2014 Sanlam/Business Partners Entrepreneur of the Year competition, visit www.eoy.co.za.

- Fin24

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