Investment management company Allan Gray is on a mission to focus attention on the role of artisans in the country, specifically their contribution to the economy and the workforce.
As such, the company annually hosts the Artisans of Mzansi competition, encouraging more young people to join technical and professional trades in an effort to create meaningful employment opportunities in their communities.
Simple but effective
The competition took a simple but effective form.
The entrepreneurs, who provide qualified services like those provided by a craftsman, had the opportunity to briefly explain their business model to the audience.
They were then judged by a panel of judges based at Allan Gray.
The winners walked away with prizes in the form of cash injections to develop their businesses.
READ ALSO: Allan Gray dies at 81
The gala dinner was held on December 10 at the Monte Casino in Fourways and was attended by several guests, both supporters of the entrepreneurs and Allan Gray’s team.
Allan Gray Makers Senior Director Seth Mulli applauded the shortlisted finalists and invited them to present their pitch, encouraging them to keep working as hard as they have been.
“Artisan entrepreneurs are often at the forefront of innovation and creativity, developing new products, new services and having a positive impact not only on job growth but also on our economy,” he said.
Taking home a whopping R200,000 was Thamsanqa Myeza of Imbewenhle Airconditioning and Refrigeration who won the mature stage category.
The Innovation Phase was won by Mokete Ratlabala of Learn Base (PTY) LTD, who received R$100,000 for his business.
NOW READ: Why Allan Gray prefers Honda to Tesla
Black Beard Group’s Bontle Mmpela was the star of the growing stage category, also walking away with R100 000.
For her brilliant idea, Rosemary Dube from Mota Yedu won R50 000 in the StartUp Phase category.
SME Program Architect Octavius Phukubya commended Allan Gray Makers for a campaign that identified the country’s most undervalued but crucial trades.
“Without artisans, we cannot prosper as a country. So it is only fitting that today we celebrate the artisans of Mzansi. “