Recognising Small Business & Entrepreneurial Excellence

It is a celebration of the most outstanding businesses and the exceptional business people behind these successful and growing businesses! It is the springboard to enhanced business success.

The Champions of the 2023 South African Small Business Awards announced


Want to see what happened at the 2023 glitzy gala event celebration?

Ending off its 15th successive year, South Africa’s Top 5 Startup Winners, Top 10 Small Business Winners, Special Award Winners and the Main Category Award Winners were announced at a gala breakfast on 16th November 2023 at the Bryanston Country Club, Johannesburg. It was a glittering affair attended by the business elite.


2023 National Small Business Champion

National Entrepreneur Champion

National Community Award

HOT 102.7 FM

HOT 102.7FM is an award-winning owner-managed commercial music radio station, broadcasting to the greater Johannesburg area with a format of “Old Skool and R&B” and a focus on playing only the hits from the 70s, 80s, 90s and 2000s. Lloyd Madurai started HOT 102.7 FM as HOT 91.9 FM, a community radio station, but new regulations from ICASA caused him to pivot and change the radio station to a commercial one. Though there were challenges at the start, HOT 102.7 FM has managed to remain profitable since its new beginning.

2023 National Woman in Business Champion

Minx Leather

Minx Leather offers a wide variety of genuine luxury leather products. These products can also be personalised through laser engraving which makes them perfect end-of-year gifts for corporates. 50% of the bags are manufactured by local leather artisans based in Khayelitsha while the other 50% comes from India. Minx Leather gives back to the community through different initiatives. In South Africa, they are busy with a cancer drive called the Margie Cancer Drive and started a skills development drive in India called B.BOLD B.KIND B.YOU for the women who work on making the metal tags for the bags.

2023 National Innovation Award

Paws-itive Paws-abilities

Paws-itive Paws-abilities is a veterinary physiotherapy practice dedicated to the well-being of our canine and feline patients. They provide specialized care that goes beyond the ordinary. They’re dedicated to helping specialist vets work with patients who have undergone orthopaedic and/or neurosurgery, trauma, or injury aiding them in regaining full strength and functionality.

2023 National Youth Empowerment Award

Cranium Medical Products

The inception of Cranium Medical Products can be traced back to a profound realisation of the quality and accessibility issues surrounding specialized mental health furniture within local hospitals. This led Allen Cliffe to create a business which develops superior mental health furniture solutions which are ISO-accredited. They are the sole manufacturer of specialized Rotomolded furniture in the southern hemisphere.

2023 Never Surrender Award

Varsity Vibe

Varsity Vibe is South Africa’s first student’s deals app. They help the youth of South Africa get more bang for their buck. We also help businesses all over South Africa better engage with the future leaders of South Africa. They have over 700 thousand users currently benefitting from over 100 exclusive deals from SA's most popular brands at over 5000 stores across SA and online.

2023 Business Excellence Award

AJ Digital Agency

AJ Digital Agency offers a wide range of services to help businesses optimize their digital presence and achieve their goals. Their services range from Web and app development to branding and marketing to IT consulting. They have been rated as Africa’s number one digital agency. Their passion lies in bridging the gap between underserved rural communities and technology.

2023 Business Excellence Award

Made by Mosaic

Made by Mosaic was an initiative started by an American missionary, Jordan Ridge for Mosaic Community Developments. Through the production of leather and baked goods, they employ, upskill and train foster parents who take care of orphans. They also help to train matriculants who don’t go to university in administrative duties, computer skills, manufacturing, business systems and how to represent themselves at events for the brand.

2023 Business Excellence Award


nFOLD helps businesses win more work through strategic proposals, tender support and pitches. They are the first and only company in South Africa that covers this niche from an end-to-end perspective and is also the only APMP-approved consultancy ensuring they align to best practices both globally and locally. nFold is a 100% female-owned business. They have 17 permanent staff members and 7 consultants. The current owners of nFold have grown it from a one-person business making a million rand in revenue to a Qualifying Small enterprise which supports employees and makes a revenue which is over 10 million rand.

2023 Business Excellence Award

Neslo Technologies

Neslo started in 2019 when a young Jordan Olsen decided to follow his vision and kick fear to the curb. With eight years of technical knowledge in software engineering, he created a business which offered a diverse collection of services from concept to creation through carefully crafted and intuitive design, and leading-edge technologies. Neslo Technologies recognised the lack of talent in their industry and created an internship programme which enables individuals to become unrivalled technical talent. They are devoted to nurturing local talent and contributing to the growth of technical expertise within South Africa, thereby making a positive impact on their community and addressing the skills gap.

2023 Business Excellence Award

Zevoli Growth Partners

Zevoli Growth Partners is your dedicated partner in driving impactful change. With a focus on bridging gaps between corporates and SMEs, we are committed to supplier diversity, socio-economic development, and fostering resilient communities. Through a range of programmes, including funding initiatives, mentorship, and access to markets, it has empowered MSMEs to realise their full potential. They have also developed a series of funding handbooks targeted at the South African SMEs.

4Matat Tissues

4Matat Tissues (PTY) Ltd. manufactures and supplies quality toilet paper products. The company was established in 2021 and has grown its roots from its humble base in the villages of Matatiele in the Eastern Cape. 4Matat Tissues was chosen to showcase their product for President Cyril Ramaphosa during the Youth Month Celebrations held in Umthatha in June 2022. They were 1 of 10 inspiring youth-run companies in the Eastern Cape chosen for this event.

Food Sock Meals

In the face of escalating poverty and hunger in South Africa, one innovative solution is making waves - the Food Sock. Born out of the vision of Carl van Blerk, a George local who saw the growing need for an affordable, convenient, and nutritional meal solution, Food Sock is more than just a meal—it's a revolution in addressing food scarcity and malnutrition. Since their launch of an online store in February 2023, their growth trajectory has been phenomenal. With an initial product line of six unique meal solutions, they managed to achieve an astounding sales growth of over 5000% by March. The introduction of two additional flavours added more fuel to their growth, catapulting them into the spotlight of a popular local TV show on Kyknet as well as on SABC News.

Great 4 Business

Great 4 Business’ philosophy is rooted in the idea of business made simple for small to medium enterprises. G4B aims to simplify the complexities of business for SMEs, allowing them to focus on their core competencies. One way, they have simplified the process of dealing with multiple suppliers is by creating a one-stop-shop solution for SMEs. On their platform, you have access to products, services and training needed to build an SME and different packages can be tailored to the needs of the SME. By helping businesses with the nitty gritty of IT, communication and learning, SME owners can focus on creating profitable and growing businesses.

Gifted by Matte

Launched in May 2022, Gifted by Matte are committed to creating products that not only enhance the ambience of your personal space but also promote sustainability, use natural ingredients, and develop eco-consciousness. They started with a modest selection of scented candles and have expanded their product line to include mould candles, diffusers and body care items. Currently an online store, they hope to have a brick-and-mortar store in the future. With their dedication to responsible entrepreneurship, they ensure that they use eco-friendly practices in the production of their products. They use soy wax, cotton-based wicks and recyclable packaging.

Zobiah Holdings

Zobiah Holdings is a marketing agency that focuses on end-to-end project management. Their brand ethos is “where excellence meets experience”. With 13 years of experience and knowledge in marketing and communications, they are passionate about empowering brands to grow and through this growth have a positive and sustainable impact on the communities in which the brands operate. Though challenges have come along the way, Zobiah Holdings has looked for solutions and is conquering the challenges to build a strong, sustainable business.

Entry form

In order to enter you need to be an NSBC Member*. Once logged in to the NSBC Member Zone you will be able to access the online entry form.

Submitting your entry

Once the entry form has been completed and the required documentation collected and uploaded you can simply submit your entry online.

Judging & selection

An experienced panel of judges then assess the entries and based on the criteria for each category select and announce the finalists.

Winners crowned

The finalists and a prestigious guest list of big and small business decision makers are then invited to attend a glitzy online gala event where the winners are announced.

Who can enter?

Entries are free and exclusive to NSBC Members.


The competition is evaluated in four categories and entrants are permitted to enter more than one category.

National Small Business Champion of the Year
Less than 250 employees.

National Entrepreneur Champion of the Year
Owners that show entrepreneurial excellence.

Woman in Business Champion of the Year
Those special ladies who believe that they have what it takes to reach the top of the game.

National Startup Champion of the Year
Businesses Started less than 18 months ago.

Entries Open: 01 August 2024
Entries Close: 17 October 2024
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