The week-long, worldwide movement of entrepreneurial people (#GEW) was concluded on Sunday 22 November – and what a week it was! 7 million such people participated in 20 000 activities across 135 countries. They came together for learning, inspiration, support and to launch their business ideas and attract investors.
South Africa had 143 activities from 43 partner institutions and the Foundation was, once again, proud to be one of them. Last week, we wrote about the opening ceremony at GIBS which was well-received by various stakeholders cross-sectorally. We also mentioned our #MakeAR100 challenge and your chance to win R5 000 if the photo from your entrepreneurial idea had the most likes on our facebook page…more on that later. For now let’s reflect on the week that was and cast our eyes to what lies ahead.
It’s clear from this year’s GEW (and other engagements) that the South African government has made a meaningful commitment to supporting entrepreneurial development under the leadership of our first Minister of Small Business Development, Lindiwe Zulu. The Hon. Zulu has been instrumental in helping to bring the first-ever Global Entrepreneurship Congress (GEC) to African soil in 2017. The GEC, an international landmark event, will bring 160 countries and an estimated 5 000 delegates to Johannesburg in 2017. These will include entrepreneurs, investors, innovators, policy makers and international bureaucrats.
Last week’s announcement of the Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN) Board in South Africa, appointed by GEN President, Jonathan Ortmans, will translate into ongoing support for the GEW. By leveraging an expansive global network, the GEN South Africa Board will ignite and promote entrepreneurship by fostering sustainable networks, connecting entrepreneurs to the best resources and ensuring that an entrepreneurial climate is cultivated – especially at grassroots level. And, finally, the moment for which we have been waiting. Who won the #MakeAR100 challenge?
The Foundation was a hive of activity last week and we got the country buzzing with entrepreneurial ideas. This year the ideas for making a R100 included:
- Giving paid entrepreneurial talks
- Making cup cakes
- Selling homemade fudge
- Offering breakfast and lunch services at the office
- Fixing an engine
- Making sculptures on the beach
- Selling koeksisters
- Running a healthy lifestyle workshop
- A number of car washing efforts
- Even a five year old entered the action selling lollipops
- Turning soft drink plastic bottles into hanging gardens
- Selling leather bags on-line
- Dressmaking, knife sharpening, career consulting, nail polishing
- You name it, someone tried it!
But after all this entrepreneurial energy, showing that everyone can exercise their entrepreneurial muscle, the winner of the #MakeAR100 challenge is… a young woman whose cupcake business got over 130 likes on our Facebook page…and the real cherry on top is the R5 000 cash prize that she wins…
Well done Nokwanda Sithole!
We hope your business grows from strength to strength and that you inspire other South Africans to #MakeAR100 during next year’s GEW.