South Africa, November 16, 2010 – IFC, a member of the World Bank
Group, Business Partners, and IBM South Africa today announced the winners
of the inaugural Young Entrepreneur Business Plan Competition, which supports
and rewards talented young South Africans, helping them reach their business
Three winners were selected from a large
number of high-quality entries by judges from IFC, IBM, and Business Partners.
Applicants registered for the competition using the IFC supported SME Toolkit,
an interactive, online tool that supports small business owners and managers
in a range of core business areas.
The competition winners, chosen from
six finalists, and their businesses are:
Bonyana - Embo Environmental Solutions, which offers a range of environmental
solutions including renewable energy, effluent treatment, alternative building
technology, waste water treatment and hazardous waste management.
Khoza – Solaris, which installs and maintains solar water heaters. Services
include installing and servicing solar geysers.
Ntuli - Universal Car Mat Manufacturers, which aims to provide durable
and customized car mats to the automotive industry and to create a fund
to help young students further their studies.
One of the winners, Siphiwe Ntuli, a
31-year-old from Soweto, said, “Being part of this competition has really
helped me understand my business much better and the mentoring and support
I will now receive will definitely help me develop as an entrepreneur and
help me reach my goals.”
Saleem Karimjee, IFC Country Manager
for South Africa, said, “This competition has highlighted the incredible
depth of talent and the strong entrepreneurial spirit that exists in South
Africa. I congratulate the winners and hope that all applicants will realize
their business dreams. IFC is proud to support such innovative businessmen
The three winners were honored at a
gala awards evening that coincided with Global Entrepreneurship Week. They
received prizes including 10,000 rand Business Partners mentorship vouchers,
IFC runs a number of investment and
advisory services programs across sub-Saharan Africa that support the growth
of smaller businesses, helping them more easily access training and financing.
Last fiscal year ending June 30, IFC dedicated more than $400 million in
Africa to projects that strengthen micro, small and medium enterprises.
The SME Toolkit offers instruction in topics including accounting and finance;
business planning; human resources; legal and insurance; marketing and
sales; operations; and information technology. It receives an average of
more than 20,000 visitors monthly in South Africa. For more information
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group,
is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector
in developing countries. We create opportunity for people to escape poverty
and improve their lives. We do so by providing financing to help businesses
employ more people and supply essential services, by mobilizing capital
from others, and by delivering advisory services to ensure sustainable
development. In a time of global economic uncertainty, our new investments
climbed to a record $18 billion in fiscal 2010. For more information, visit