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Eskom rewards outstanding small businesses at the 2014 Business Investment Competition

In September 2014 the Eskom Business Investment Competition Awards saw a selection of top businesses in the agriculture, manufacturing and trade and services sector awarded for their outstanding work in the SME sector.

Regal Quality Products was named the overall winner and most outstanding business from hundreds of entries submitted to the prestigious competition.

The annual competition invites registered small and medium black-owned businesses that have been in operation for at least two years in the agriculture, manufacturing and trade/services sector to enter the competition and stand a chance of winning R1.3 million worth of prizes.

Starting a new business in the current economic climate can be a daunting task and making a success of it is an achievement to be proud of. This is one of the underlying ideas behind the annual Eskom Competition, which rewards entrepreneurs for their tenacity and courage by providing them with the opportunity to take their business to the next level.

The competition was established in 2009 in in response to the country’s growth and job creation challenges and the understanding that small businesses are key to unlocking economic growth and job creation.

“We are responsible for implementing Eskom’s CSI strategy and a large part of that involves improving the lives of the communities in which we operate. We know that one of South Africa’s greatest challenges is economic growth and the lack of skills and jobs; so we launched a competition that rewards small businesses to help them thrive and in turn create jobs and drive economic growth,” explains Haylene Liberty-Nel, Eskom Development Foundation CEO.

This year adjudicators were particularly impressed by the companies in the trade and services and manufacturing sector. These small businesses showed a comprehensive understanding of the context in which they operate and used solid business models that showed impressive profits and job creation potential.

Based in Cape Town in the Western Cape, Regal Quality Products produces a range of household cleaning products. They manufacture beauty soaps and household detergents including dishwashing liquid, household cleaners, washing powder, liquid hand soaps and toothpaste. They supply independent retailers in the Western Cape as well as Pep stores and Spars nationally.

Established in 2008 they initially worked on perfecting their products and now are focusing on getting their product on shelf.

But their commitment to staff development is what really makes them stand out. The team of five have grown with the business and staff who started out as juniors have worked their way up, the general labourer is now a production assistant and the receptionist has moved up to be the administrative assistant.

Owner Allie Parker, a chartered accountant by training, says: “This is a fantastic achievement and it probably means I can buy more equipment and in turn create five more jobs.”

In addition to the overall winner, Eskom awards the top performers in the agriculture, manufacturing and trade and services sector. The winners were:

Agriculture:

  • Winner: Cape Trotters Trading
  • First runner-up: Kroutz Family Co-operative Limited
  • Second runner-up: Greenland Landscaping

Manufacturing:

  • Winner: Strato Couture
  • First runner-up: Nambitha Nutritional Products
  • Joint second runner-ups: Maano-A-Basadi Dairy Co-operative and Nometha Trading Enterprise

Trade and services:

  • Winner: Washtub Industrial Laundry Services
  • First runner-up: Collins Sebola Incorporated
  • Second runner-up: Nyembe Waste Management (Pty) Ltd

“The overall winner and the winners of the three categories are shining examples of the entrepreneurial spirit and what can be achieved when you follow your passion with determination and savvy. Now we implore all South Africans to buy proudly SA products and help these companies grow even further,” said Liberty-Nel.