BUSINESS: Entrepreneurs in the Limelight
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Willem Roos and Howard Aron, joint founders of OUTsurance were announced the winners in the Best category of the South African chapter of the Ernst and Young World Entrepreneur Award, which is held in partnership with First National Bank.
Willy Govender, CEO of Spatial Data Holdings was named the winner of the Emerging Entrepreneur category and Shona McDonald of Shonaquip, winner in the Social Entrepreneur category.
Zanele Xaba, Director and country leader for the Ernst and Young World Entrepreneur Awards Programme comments, "This year, we have seen innovation at its finest, with all the finalists each having the distinctive way in which they adapt to continuously changing environments in order to succeed”.
This year’s Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Pam Golding, founder and Life President of the Pam Golding Properties Group. Pam is an icon in the South African property industry and also internationally acknowledged as one of the world’s leading businesswomen.
Howard Arrand, Head of Core Banking Sales, Commercial Banking Division at FNB, says, “Because entrepreneurship is a critical and should be an ever growing driver in the economic and social development of South Africa, FNB strives to recognise and support South African entrepreneurs. Through these awards, we salute and celebrate the inspirational individuals who have displayed particular business acumen. We should all be proud to promote them as examples to those that may wish to follow. As a financial institution we provide entrepreneurs with an enabling environment, in order for them to compete successfully in the market place”.
Best category winner of the Ernst and Young World Entrepreneur Awards Programme, Roos and Aron of OUTsurance started a direct short-term insurance operation within the RMBH FirstRand stable. Launched in February 1998, OUTsurance soon captured the imagination of the public with its innovative approach that included a suite of products with a range of special features and benefits. In January 2000, OUTsurance merged with First National Insurance, a company within the same group. As a result, OUTsurance became one of the leaders within the industry in offering house owners insurance cover to bond account holders.
Emerging category winner of the Ernst and Young World Entrepreneur Awards Programme, Willy Govender, CEO of Spatial Data Holdings, which was established in 1995, is one of the leading BEE ICT companies in South Africa with a proven and solid track record of On Budget, On Time Delivery of complex large scale projects and applications. The company was voted top ICT Company in 2002 and KZN IT Company of the year in 2006, to list some of its achievements. Data World is a process driven organisation with well defined processes and Software delivery methodologies.
Shona McDonald of Shonaquip is the winner in the Social Entrepreneur category of the Ernst and Young World Entrepreneur Award Programme, which is run in collaboration with the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship. Shonaquip provides support services that promote inclusion and equal opportunity employment for persons with disabilities through designing and building postural support mobility devices and body support equipment. It promotes and supports the distribution of appropriate mobility and other assistive devices as well as offering professional and clinical training on safe wheelchair provision for clinicians, therapists, rehabilitation workers, wheelchair users, their care providers and families.
Dr François Bonnici, Head of Africa for the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship commented, “that this year’s finalists indicate the growing strength and innovation of social enterprises in South Africa that are using business models and entrepreneurship to achieve both social and financial returns. The finalists include a spectrum of hybrid models that range from a profitable social business providing disability appliances and services dramatically improving the lives of the disabled, to a non-profit venture using tourism routes as the vehicle for economic development of rural communities”.
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