The South African Small Business Awards recognises the tireless journey, hard work, outstanding achievements and vision of small business and entrepreneurial success.

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.


Meet the winners

Ending off its 13th successive year, the NSBC in association with World Famous Events has announced at a virtual gala event South Africa’s Top 20 Finalists, Special Award Winners and the Main Category Award Winners for the 2021 South African Small Business Awards.

FIND OUT MORE

The South African Small Business Awards is a springboard to enhanced business success.
MEET THE 2021 TOP 20 WINNERS
National Small Business Champion & Top 20 Winner

Drip Footwear

Lekau Sehoana

DRIP Footwear is the brainchild of Lekau Sehoana. It is a sneaker brand but that’s just the start. They pride themselves on making quality sneakers that are functional, fashionable and customer-centric. Lekau began making sneakers in high school when he saw a pair of torn sneakers and refashioned them with denim and polyurethane. These were a hit with his school friends and he had turned a pain in his life into profit. He chased other business dreams after school but returned to his first passion shoes. Through his business, Lekau Sehoana offers opportunities to young people within his community to build and strive for their dreams. He hires over 124 people and by the end of 2021 he will have opened up 20 retail outlets. His business mission is to inspire his customers to define their “great” and live it no matter where they come from.

National Entrepreneur Champion & Top 20 Winner

Modern Centric Holdings (Pty) Ltd

Zakhele Mgobhozi

Zakhele Mgobhozi felt a call on his life after he survived an accident that put him in a coma for six months and left him having to learn how to speak again. When he re-joined the corporate world, he experienced first-hand how difficult it is for a person with disabilities to find employment and reasonable accessibility in the workplace.

This experience encourage him to start Modern Centric Holdings in 2013 and it became a fully operation entity in 2018. They focus on helping people with disabilities and other marginalized groups to find a place in the workplace where they can work without limitations. Zakhele and Modern Centric were finalists in the Top Empowered Awards for young achiever under forty, and Top Empowered Company: growth black-owned SMME. Zakhele won the award for Top Empowered Entrepreneur of 2021.

National Woman in Business Champion & Top 20 Winner

Reactive Maintenance Specialists

Celeste Margo Le Roux

React Group is a BBBEE level one, black-woman owned and operated corporate entity within the built environment. They offer a wide range of services within React 24, ReTool, pipe rehabilitation and React training college. Celeste Le Roux is the CEO of React Group and the ambassador of transformation and changing the narrative within the South African built environment and construction industry. Celeste prides herself on constantly applying new, innovative, and sometimes, disruptive techniques to her venture. She wants to be a positive role model, and show that one can still achieve your goals and aspirations at any stage of your life if you are motivated enough to do so.

National Woman in Business Champion & Top 20 Winner

Noble Prosperity

Renate Jute

Noble prosperity’s main focus is to educate and empower business owners, entrepreneurs and key role players in business through courses, coaching and free material. Renate Jute is referred to as the numbers coach by her clients. She has made it her life’s work to gain specialist knowledge on complex matters and spent years distilling this knowledge and experience into easy to understand, implementable tools. Renate’s philosophies in business are leave it better than you found it and if you know better, you do better. With these in mind, she has partnered with Girls on Fire (GOSA) in offering a coaching and mentorship program to empower women.


National Start-Up Champion & Top 20 Winner

Great Africa Hair Company (Pty) Ltd

Salil Dhingra

Great Africa Hair Company’s core team are specialists in the FMCG industry and they produce hair, skincare and sanitizing products. In the future, they hope to move into the confectionary space. After working for 12 years in corporate, Salil Dhingra decided to put his lived experience and qualifications into his own business. Due to his respected relationships, integrity, authenticity, and fostered networks over the past years, Salil’s enterprise took flight the day they commenced trading. In the first year of operation, they made a profit from their business and actively contributed to the South African economy.

National Retail Award

Whiskybrother & Co

Marc Pendlebury

brands that they import as well as distribute on a small B2B scale. In 2020 and 2021, Whisky Brother was recognised as the best single outlet retailer in the world in the Icons of Whisky awards and in 2021 they were also recognised as the best online retailer. The last 18 months have been hard yet they are still standing and are proud to say that they took care of their staff all the way through. In the future, they hope to expand their physical stores and aim to be the largest premium retailer of whisky, spirits and wine in South Africa.

National Innovation Award

Filmer

Peri Van Papendorp / Janez Vermeiren

Filmer is Africa's first film and content crowd-sourcing platform that offers brands a direct line to a network of skilled creative professionals. Filmer is a win-win for clients and creatives. Peri Van Papendorp and Janez Vermeiren are the founders of Filmer and have over 40 combined years of industry experience from the client, ad agency, and production side. In the beginning, adoption was slow but they managed to get the business running well in three months. In the future, they hope not only to be a platform to win work and connect with clients but also a hub that educates and empowers the industry.

National Rising Star Award

Puno

Faith Mokgalaka

Puno is a business that connects farmers with investors. They encourage farmers into commercialisation by empowering them financially into increasing their reach. Faith Mokgalaka is the owner and a computer science student at WITS. During last year’s lockdown Faith bought 3 hectares of farmland and began farming. When she returned to university this year, she thought about the challenges faced by farmers and this is when she designed her agri-tech solution, Puno. She found it very hard to mobilise farmers into investing in her idea but she worked harder on creating a clearer message about her offering and now she is succeeding in the agri-tech field.

National Technology Award

Jobjack

Christiaan Van Den Berg

JOBJACK is an online platform that automates the entry-level recruitment process, not only easing the process for employers but making jobs more accessible to those who need it most by connecting job seekers to relevant opportunities whilst eliminating the cost and access barriers. They have enabled over 350,000 job seekers in creating their online profiles and exposing them to opportunities. They have increased the monthly amount of successfully placing job seekers into opportunities by 600%. JOBJACK hopes to expand into Africa and other emerging markets in the future. Let’s employ the world.

Top 20 Award

Kainotomia Polymers

Albert Ivan Gildenhuys

KAINOTOMIA Polymers opened their doors in September 2020. They specialise in the colour compounding and milling of Linear Low-Density Polyethylene into powders for the roto-moulding industry, a sub-industry of the plastic industry. Albert Gildenhuys has over 16 years of technical expertise in different plastic sub-industries. He came out of a trade restriction to face an industry hire freeze because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This encouraged him to embark on this new journey. In the first year that KAINOTOMIA Polymers was open, they grew to a staff complement of 20. They have 16 active customers and they produce 238 tons of material per month. In May 2021, they received their ISO certification.

Top 20 Award

Lifestyle And Co (Pty) Ltd

Aslam Mohamed

Lifestyle & Co is a proudly South African furniture-manufacturing factory that offers the customer an opportunity to design, craft and purchase bespoke furniture to suit their needs and requirements. Due to the high unemployment rate in South Africa, Lifestyle & Co created the Lifestyle Home Academy. This school looks for unemployed people to train to become sales consultants, carpenters, upholsterers and quality control consultants. After the learners have completed their training, they are given a position in the company with a set salary and are given the opportunity to grow within this industry. In the future, they hope to create limited edition furniture ranges and to expand into Africa.

Top 20 Award

Justsolve

Botha Van Der Vyver

JustSolve specialises in software development and all the services that come with it. Botha Van Der Vyer is the CEO and his combined background as a techie, computer engineer and business owner has helped him have the edge in identifying opportunities, understanding what it will take to get it done and to practically execute it. In 2020, JustSolve received The Hero of the Year award for the MEA region from OutSystems. This award recognises the partner with the highest customer satisfaction rating. They were also part of the top three finalists in the MTN App of the Year for one of the products they helped to develop.


Top 20 Award

From The Barkery

Ceri Phillips

From the Barkery creates and bakes handmade artisanal treats for the furry friends we share our lives with. All their treats are carefully made with extra love and expertly taste-tested by their Chief Tasting Officer, Jimmy Choo the cat. Ceri Phillips believed in From the Barkery from day one. Though she was not a baker, she worked hard to learn how to bake the perfect dog and cat biscuit and these recipes are the ones they still use today. This tenacity to succeed is one of the traits that define Ceri as an entrepreneur. In the future, they hope to grow their brand nationally and globally.

Top 20 Award

Automated Publishing Services Pty Ltd

Charles Parrington

Automated publishing services is a small, unique team of software consultants and resellers that uses their extensive global network and 30+ years of experience to find software systems for their customers that help them to maximise their content efficiencies. They have been in business for over 15 years. They were the first company to implement a Digital Asset Management (DAM) system and were the first company to digitise Media 24 in 2012. In the future, they hope to continue to enable their customers to maximise their automation and generate time to spend working on their business without having to work on manual or repetitive tasks.

Top 20 Award

Bridgement

Daniel Goldberg

Bridgement was started by a group of data scientists and engineers with one goal - to use technology and data science to bring a new approach to traditional business funding and to minimise the complexity and costs associated with it. Daniel Goldberg was a solo entrepreneur and used funding from international consulting jobs to fund this capital-intensive venture in the first year and a half. Bridgement managed to turn profitable within a year of beginning to trade and without the need for major capital raises. They have also managed to remove some of the barriers to access funding for SMEs.

Top 20 Award

Sage Wise

Darshen Moodley

Sage Wise is a solution-based company in the field of unified communications. They have an innovative and efficient approach to delivering state-of-the-art audio-visual and visual conferencing solutions to all businesses. Sage Wise was started in 2005 in Darshen Moodley’s garage. He has over 30 years of experience in the AV/VC industry and identified a need for a service provider that could streamline and simplify the installation of unified communications solutions. They are working towards building long-term partnerships with clients and suppliers which will allow them to be a “household name” in the unified communications industry.


Top 20 Award

Company Partners (Pty) Ltd

Liam Stander

Company Partners is a team of over 50 dedicated experts that offer 120 company compliance services to South African SMEs and entrepreneurs. They started trading in April 2013 and have been profitable every year and managed to maintain a healthy profit throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns. In 2022, they want to focus on start-up training and will begin by offering a free start-up workshop in January. They also have other workshops scheduled so that any entrepreneur within South Africa will always know where to go when they decide to begin the journey of running a new business.

Top 20 Award

The Taxonomyco

Samantha Staats

Airshot, an offering from The Taxonomy Co, is a stand-alone app that can be used by most businesses and industries to motivate and incentivise their sales teams or employees to drive consumer behaviour and demand. In 2017, four visionaries sought to address a gap in the market with a tech-cantered solution and Airshot was born. Their business has been built on the philosophy that “When you take care of your clients, the profits take care of themselves.” This mindset has led to a start-up business with significant loan accounts turning into a profit centre within a year. In the future, Airshot hopes to go bigger and better.

Top 20 Award

All Office Equipment

Sean Gotkin

Established in 1978, All Office is a customer-centric family business. They supply ergonomically-designed office furniture. During the lockdown, they had to pivot and branched into supplying home lifestyle products to their existing clientele. Furthermore, they are assisting hotels with furnishing, and refurbishing various hotels to support them and the economy in South Africa and throughout the continent. In the future, they hope to expand their product range and offer e-commerce capabilities.

Top 20 Award

Pharsyde Accounting

Tamryn Dicks

Pharsyde Accounting was started in 2007 by Tamryn Dicks. In 2020, she joined her friend and started Munching Mongoose. But running two businesses actively led to burnout. Through the burnout, Tamryn realised many small business owners are on the brink of burnout because they believe they need to do more to be successful. This led her to start Pharsyde Solutions which mentors and coaches small business owners to grow and create a successful business without burning out. Through all these experiences, Tamryn realized that she had started her entrepreneurial journey to create freedom in her life and this could only be realised through businesses that spoke to the core of her being.

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HOW TO ENTER
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 Standard, Premier and Platinum Members. This includes all service, commercial or industrial companies that manufacture or sell a product or service*. View criteria here.

Categories:

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 Award
Businesses Started less than 18 months ago.

LOGIN HERE TO ENTER NOW

Entries close on 15 October 2021

Have any questions or enquiries? Contact events@nsbc.africa
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