As part of the lead-up to the GEC 2017, a variety of competitions have been taking place since July 2016, namely the Enterprise Development (ED) Challenge and the Idea Space Fair.

Three months ago, the ED Challenge commenced in Cape Town on the July 29, and ended in Durban on the August 12, 2016. The Challenge is a national outreach program for entrepreneurs, aimed at preparing them to be ready and capitalize on the Global Entrepreneurship Congress next March. The challenges were designed to encourage entrepreneurs in various business stages (namely Ideation, Startup and Operational) to critically look at their business and assets whether they could do more to get to their desired stage before March 2017.

This was achieved by three entrepreneurs based in South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States. All three have had experiences in the various business stages. Living up to the GEC theme of Digital Disruption, entrepreneurs were required to capture their journey using video diaries. A total of 22 versatile entrepreneurs submitted their videos, but only 10 could be selected for a second round of judging. This was made possible through GEC Partners such as Edcon, Simodisa, Junior Achievement South Africa, SEED and Fetola. After gruesome judging by independent judges from Transnet, SEDA, Telkom and the IDC, the following five entrepreneurs were selected for great opportunity to (1) pitch at the GEC in 2017 where more than 6,000 delegates from around the world are expected to attend,  (2) VIP attendance to selected sessions, and (3) capitalize on the platform to showcase their products.

The top five entrepreneurs are:


SA Textiles and Khaya Power will also be receiving a free exhibition stand at the GEC. To view snippets of their video diaries, please see the links attached.

During Global Entrepreneurship Week 2016, the Idea Space Fair Competition was held at the Microsoft Head Offices in Bryanston. The competition was open to the public before the GEW in early November. Entrepreneurs came out in large numbers to pitch their best ideas with the aim of taking it to the Global Entrepreneurship Congress platform and pitch to investors as well. Judges included representatives from SEDA, the IDC, Transnet as well as Hollard. It was a jam-packed day attended by more than 100 entrepreneurs. The winners for the Idea Space Fair Competition were the following:

  • Simbarashe Chimhandamba – (Urban Grown)
  • Phumlani Ntloko – (Adia Engineering Systems)
  • Andile Tshuluba – (Mzansifyd Take Away Ads)
  • Lerato Nakedi – (Purple Esther Pty)
  • Nosipho Motsamai (NM Prints)

Prizes for this competition include: (1) R50,000 cash prize from SABS, (2) VIP attendance to selected sessions, (3) free exhibition space, and (4) pitching at the GEC 2017 where more than 6,000 delegates from around the world are expected to attend.

Congratulations to all the winners! For more updates on competitions and to register to attend the GEC 2017, please visit  www.gec.co.

Contributed by Gamuchirai Mutezo and Alesimo Mwanga.