Pravashen Naidoo
Photo: Supplied
Pravashen Naidoo Photo: Supplied
Beverly Gumbi
Photo: Supplied
Beverly Gumbi Photo: Supplied
DURBAN - Fifteen finalists have been selected for the 2018 Entrepreneur of the Year competition, sponsored by Sanlam and BUSINESS/PARTNERS, with two of the finalists hailing from KwaZulu-Natal.

Pravashen Naidoo and Beverly Gumbi are the two KZN finalists that could win the competition. 

Take a look at the two finalists and their companies:

Pravashen Naidoo

Pravashen Naidoo is the founder of E-Waste Africa, a legally compliant and environmentally ethical light bulb recycler. E-Waste offers a wide range of services that protects both the environment and people and ensures that the materials are reused. 

Naidoo who is an electro-mechanical engineer said, "People often don’t realise that practically all components of light bulbs including the glass, metals and other materials re-recyclable".

Some of the services that are provided by E-Waste include on-site collection, transportation and recycling. In 2013 a commercial lamp recycling plant was opened in South Africa in 2013 and has state of the art technology that can process all fluorescent lamps (FL), compact fluorescent lamps (CFL), ‘energy saving bulbs’, and all other types of light bulbs without having to sort them out ahead of time. 

After the company based their main offices in Pietermaritzburg in 2014 and opened a waste storage facility in Gauteng in 2016, it has managed to, till date, create 21 permanent jobs. 

Beverley Gumbi

Beverley established her business Isivuno Container in 2005. This businesswoman recognised a niche in the local market of containers and started Isivuno. Isivuno which is based in Pinetown is a container, conversion, rental and supply company.

To start her company, Gumbi got funding from a development bank. 

Her company has grown immensely from the time it was launched until now. Previously, Gumbi would rent tools for her business, but now they own all of their own equipment and tools. 

Gumbi said, "I had a burning passion for container conversion and wanted to do it at a larger scale".

She added that she wanted to contribute to the South African economy by creating jobs and she had a desire to be a development partner for municipalities through the provision of their containers. 

On her future plans, Gumbi said that she wants to expand to other African countries like Malawi and Botswana. Gumbi also spoke about one of her goals. She said, "To reach a point where we are able to offer our business model/ concept at a franchise level"

Gumbi counts on Raymond Ackerman one of her business role models because he is quality driven and he gives back to the community. Her other business role model is Oprah Winfrey because she is a go-getter. 

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-BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE