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Business dreams come true

With stars in their eyes and big business dreams, some 200 would-be entrepreneurs attended the first leg of the national 2018 Engen Pitch & Polish event held at the CAB Conference Centre in Brackenfell on Saturday.

“This national initiative by Raizcorp, of which Nedbank is a co-sponsor, is now in its ninth year and invites entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs to participate in a full-day workshop and competition to pitch and present their business ideas to an audience where the feedback loop creates an empowering learning environment,” says Unathi Njokweni-Magida, the head of transformation and stakeholder engagement at Engen Petroleum.

So far the initiative has helped over 10 000 entrepreneurs improve the way they pitch their businesses to potential investors.

“A perfectly polished pitch is key to growing and succeeding in business. Magic always happens when investors hear a well-rounded pitch, as seen at the 2017 final where the winner was offered R2.5m in potential funding,” he adds.

Well-known motivational speaker, author and trainer Justin Cohen facilitated the event, which saw five finalists compete for the final prize of R6000 in this leg.

Businessman Craig Kensley from Bellville took the victory with an outstanding pitch for his advertising comparison platform company, followed by Asiphe Jikela from Khayelitsha who pitched an idea for energy biscuits. Third place went to Brackenfell’s Nokhutala Hlongwane who dreams of starting her own environmental solutions consultancy. Jikela and Hlongwane respectively received R4000 and R2000 in prize money. Kensley will now participate in the second round to go through to the national finals which will take place towards the end of the year, where the winner will walk away with a total of up to R80 000 worth of prizes. Already in his second year of business, Kensley is excited about the second round of the competition.

“We have a good product that responds to what the market needs. I am very confident in it,” he says about his business Biza Cost Companion, based in Willowbridge, which specialises in advertising benchmarking.

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