Bronwyn Corbett, Chief Executive and co-founder of Grit Real Estate Income Group. Photo: Supplied

JOHANNESBURG - Southern Africa’s top three entrepreneurs have been named at the 22nd Annual EY World Entrepreneur Awards, beating out other finalists who demonstrated excellence in entrepreneurial spirit, value creation, strategic direction, impact, innovation and purpose-driven leadership.

Chief executives, founders and leading entrepreneurs attended the regional programme of the world’s most prestigious business awards for entrepreneurs: the Global EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™.

"Largely unconstrained by the mechanisms and processes of corporate entities, entrepreneurs go-to-market capability and ability to scale innovative ideas is far quicker than their corporate counterparts," assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services company EY said in a statement.

"The programme makes a difference through the way it recognises this entrepreneurial agility, inspired vision, leadership and achievement."

This year's finalists included entrepreneurs who have built businesses across all sectors offering innovation and exceptional acumen and leadership on the topics of organisational culture, upskilling unemployed youth, tourism and conservation, effective food supply chain management, online payment and credit systems, insurance and insurance underwriting, the owner and operator hotel model and property and real estate across Africa.

The winner in the Master category was Craig Irvine, managing director of Irvine’s, a poultry focused company with operations in six countries.

Bronwyn Corbett, co-founder of Grit Real Estate Income Group won in the Exceptional category while the award in the Emerging category went to Ashraf Mohamed, founder of the Polar Ice Cream company.

The EY Lifetime Achievement Award for entrepreneurship was handed to medical doctor and University of the Witwatersrand chancellor Dr Judy Dlamini, one of South Africa’s most successful entrepreneurs who launched the Mbekani Group 22 years ago.


The group includes a range of companies involved in surgical equipment, facilities management, security, commercial property and luxury fashion retail.

"These entrepreneurs demonstrate extraordinary business acumen, financial performance excellence and inspired strategic direction," said Azim Omar of EY Africa Growth Markets Leaders.

"These and most entrepreneurs embrace bold thinking that often sees opportunity in adversity; a relentless drive to build a better working world; and an unwavering commitment to solving their clients’ issues."

The southern Africa awards covered Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Mozambique, Malawi, Mauritius, Madagascar, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Zambia.

- African News Agency (ANA)