Three months of nail-biting competition culminated in the announcement of the 2021 Standard Bank Business Banking Awards winners on Thursday, October 14.
Business owners who had entered the awards from across South Africa gathered at a virtual event with the hopes of being in line to win their share of R4.5 million in future growth capital.
The 1st prize winner was announced as Reel Gardening represented by Claire Reed, who has won R2 million in cash; the 2nd prize winner of R1 million was Elamaswazi Projects represented by Lihle Ndlovu; and the 3rd prize winner of R500 000 was The Awareness Company, represented by Priaash Ramadeen.
In the specialist categories, Crismo Enterprise, represented by Major Cindi Gama, won the Rising Star award, and Corium Skincare, represented by Vuyi Zondi, walked away as the Best Female led company; both specialist award categories each won R500 000.
All the prize winners will also receive support from Standard Bank in the form of banking solutions, trade assistance, market access, transcontinental networking platforms along with specialist support business coaching services from EY.
Through these Business Banking awards, Standard Bank sought to inspire businesses to explore their potential as the driving force of the South African economy while fostering connections and increasing collaborations within their ecosystems. The national awards were targeted at any South African business 3 years or older, that required investment and mentoring to accelerate to their next phase of growth.
As the overall winner of the 2021 Standard Bank Business Awards, Reed says, “I would like to thank Standard Bank for this amazing award. I am looking forward to walking this journey of scaling and growing my business with the help of Standard Bank. I could not have made it this far without my amazing team at Reel Gardening.”
Founded in 2019, Reel Gardening looks at Agri-education and complimentary products as a critical tool to create systemic change in the quest for food abundance. The organisation has been actively involved in the agricultural space since inception in 2009 and has been recognized as one of Africa’s leading social innovators.
Reel Gardening's patented seed tape kits enable anyone to start a growing journey. The simple technology led process, takes someone from seed to harvest in a simple, daily step by step process which enables a greater chance of success with limited resources.
“We congratulate the winners and all those who participated in the competition. As Standard Bank, we promote a culture of entrepreneurship and celebrate the success of our local businesses. We remain steadfast in our journey of assisting the creation of an inclusive economy and celebrate those that make a positive contribution to the country and our home in Africa,” says Simone Cooper, Head of Standard Bank Business Clients South Africa.
In the spirit of Standard Bank’s business proposition titled “Africa banks on business. Business banks on us”, the Business Banking Awards saw Standard Bank partnering with influential entrepreneurs and thought leaders who shared their insights on business sustainability as well as critical factors to consider for growth and expansion opportunities.
Standard Bank believes doing business the right way not only supports profitability but also sustainability. “We believe that growth must be sustainable and should nourish the communities in which we live and work,” says Cooper.
“We were very impressed with the quality of the submissions – this made the job of the judges very difficult. The high level of innovation by the entrants highlighted the incredible entrepreneurial potential we have in the country.”
“We are proud to be the authors and owners of the Standard Bank Business Banking Awards for 2021. It is important for us to be a partner that helps drive sustainable growth in the businesses of our customers. As a bank invested in driving Africa’s growth, our role extends far beyond simply servicing our clients’ banking needs,” concludes Cooper.