From Left, Sindi Motele, Tshireletso 'TY’ Hlangwane, Mpho Mpatane. PHOTO: Supplied

CAPE TOWN – Three South African local small businesses won big at the Workspace/MiWay Business Insurance Entrepreneur competition held in Johannesburg. 

Loyal1 was the overall winner of the competition, followed by Sindi’s Best for All and Minatlou Trading 251 taking the third place position.

Winner Tshireletso 'TY’ Hlangwane created the cloud-based loyalty management platform, Loyal1, for small to medium businesses. It allows shoppers to digitise existing loyalty and rewards cards in one app.

Sindi Molete’s events supplies tailor-made personal clothing and Minatlou Trading 251 does equipment solutions, particularly in the mining and construction industries.

Businesses can create profiles and reward customers in an app-based platform, create loyalty plans and communicate with customers from R99 per month.

Originally, the competition offered just a big prize to the winner, worth over R350,000, but judges were impressed with the quality of the top five entrants that they decided to award second and third places too.

“We have really got know these business owners and their businesses and when we got to the point of only choosing one winner, it became really difficult as we could see the need and the potential in each of them,” said Mari Schourie, chief executive of The Workspace, a co-working and serviced office company that is part of the InteSpace group of companies.

“We needed to assist these small businesses and we need to help them where we can. If one office in our serviced office facilities can make such a big difference to one start-up business when you knowingly understand what this can do for them, then why not? I am very excited to keep walking a journey with these entrepreneurs and to watch them grow!

“We had to keep an open mind and really understand each business and the potential it had to make a difference within an industry. Ty really took in everything he could learn; each time they pitched to the judges you could really see the improvement and his confidence lifting,” she said.

Schourie said you only had to meet Sindi to understand “best for all is really who she is, she genuinely wants to deliver the best to all she works with”.

Talking about Mpatane’s business, Schourie said: “Minatlou Trading needs this hand; they have a great business concept and their passion for their industry and hard working woman in South Africa is extraordinary. They are touching a section of their industry that I believe is really necessary. There is a big job creation opportunity within their business and a willingness for skills development in the youth that makes them extra special.”

Hlangwane said “Thank you for the amazing opportunity. It has been an amazing experience and the manner in which I view the business has changed immensely due to the workshops and insights,” he said. “I have made incredible connections and have received tools that will help the business going forward.”

Hlangwane is keenly anticipating moving into his new office space, getting his business insurance sorted out and becoming part of The Workspace family. Talking about The Workspace’s Village Road space, he said: “The way in which they are set up is amazing and cost-effective. It is perfect for small to large businesses if they need office space.”

- African News Agency (ANA)