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Owner of seasoning and spice business beats 510 entrants to win entrepreneurship competition

Ngwenya won a R30 000 mentorship voucher and R30 000 in seed capital. Picture: File

Ngwenya won a R30 000 mentorship voucher and R30 000 in seed capital. Picture: File

Published Mar 7, 2022


Zama Ngwenya is the 2021 winner of the SME Toolkit-Business Partners Ltd Business Plan Competition for Aspiring Entrepreneurs.

Ngwenya, the owner of a seasoning and spice business called Zama’s Choice Spices & Herbs, beat 510 entrants to take the top price.

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Ngwenya won a R30 000 mentorship voucher and R30 000 in seed capital.

The entrepreneur started Zama’s Choice Spices & Herbs after the Covid-19 lockdowns forced her to close down her tourism business,

Through her online spices and herbs wholesale business, Ngwenya now sells her products nationally and has plans to approach local retailers to stock her spices.

“I am an entrepreneur by birth. And my dream has always been to create jobs and grow a business. The pandemic threw me a curve-ball, but I am grateful to be back in business with my new venture and excited to be going back to my roots in food service management,” said Ngwenya.

The competition is run by business financier Business Partners Limited, and is now in its 12th consecutive year. It provides aspiring entrepreneurs with the tools they need to get their business off the ground.

The company’s executive general manager for Impact investing, David Morobe, said most entrepreneurs only take one leap to start their own business, but Zama was an incredible exception.

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“Despite all the challenges that have been thrown her way, she has come out on top, and we could not be more pleased that she’s our 2021 winner,” said Morobe.

All entrants are provided the opportunity to learn how to start a business through free training, access to mentorship and the opportunity to win a cash prize to help fund their business.

The first runner up spot was taken by Christopher Lodi and Tshepo Nosi, who run Nodi’s Lifestyle, an entertainment venue in Tweefontein, Mpumalanga.

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“I am increasingly impressed by the quality of entrepreneurs in our country, and the resilience demonstrated by these dynamic businesspeople is both encouraging and inspiring,” said Morobe.


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