Brand South Africa’s 2022/23 business development programme, Play Your Part Ignite, is off to a rollicking start.
The campaign launched last week Thursday, 30 June 2022 in Johannesburg with plans to expand the activations to other provinces over the second half of the year.
Joined by a keen audience of budding entrepreneurs, participants were gifted an incredible address by multi-award-winning businesswoman and Play Your Part Ambassador, Farah Fortune. Fortune facilitated a masterclass on pitching, assisting aspiring entrepreneurs with social resources and confidence needed to consider starting a business, as well as tips on sourcing investment for existing businesses or business ideas.
When it came to pitching to the panel of esteemed judges – something quite reminiscent of the reality television show, Dragon’s Den – the entrepreneurs set a particularly high standard.
“The quality of the pitches were incredible and the enthusiasm with which they were received was encouraging. ” said Masego Mosiane, Assistant Brand Manager at Brand South Africa.
The judges, comprised of JSE SME Development Head, Cleola Kunene, Head of Small to Medium Enterprises Development at the Johannesburg Stock Exchange; Elaine Brass, CFO of Health and Welfare Sector Education and Training Authority (WSETA); and businesswoman and apiarist Nomfundo Peter, were equally impressed.
The R25 000 prize pot was split between the top 7 pitches with Shurldrae Rosen taking home R8 000 for first prize. Rosen, who left a toxic job environment before COVID, was left unemployed for nearly 18 months during the pandemic. Despite this, he launched Bubele Africa, with business partner Wendy Malapage – an initiative which created jobs by employing citizens to assist in river cleanups.
“Not only was Shurldrae confident in his business pitch, but there is a lot of potential in Bubele Africa. It is both ecologically beneficial and a means of job creation,” said Elaine Brass.
The judges, impressed with Shurldrae’s initiative, saw business potential in it, and urged him to see Bubele Africa as more than just an NPO, but a profitable solution for both company and community.
Shurldrae, ecstatic on his win, said that he didn’t think he’d land up pitching – and was initially there for the workshop and masterclass.
“I was speaking to the journalists at the event about my current business and new businesses [and they] convinced me to pitch [to the judges],” said Shurldrae, still quite shocked on his win. Shurldrae also said that the prize money would go towards better branding Bubele Africa.
Other participants also walked away with cash sums, but more importantly, mentorship commitments from the judges. Cleola Kunene committed to assisting Shurldrae in making Bubele commercially viable, while also pledging to work with runner-up Xabiso Lombo, CEO of Guardian Gabriel, a personal safety company, in developing her SMME.
The inaugural PYP Ignite Masterclass brought together business potential and business opportunity in order to create a mutually beneficial network of entrepreneurs contributing to South Africa’s economic growth.
The initiative plans to travel to other provinces over the next year, with the intention of igniting entrepreneurship across the country.
Inspired by the success of the launch, Masego Mosiane remarked, “It’s been a great start for Play Your Part Ignite. It promises to be a life changing opportunity for young people to make a positive contribution to the country, I’m looking forward to the next masterclass.”
Keep up to date with Play Your Part Ignite by checking their Facebook Page. The next masterclass location and date will be promoted shortly on Play Your Part and Brand South Africa’s social and digital platforms.
About Brand South Africa
Brand South Africa is the official marketing agency of South Africa, with a mandate to build the country’s brand reputation, to improve its global competitiveness. Its aim is also to build pride and patriotism among South Africans, to contribute to social cohesion and nation brand ambassadorship.
About Play Your Part
Play Your Part is a nationwide programme created to inspire, empower and celebrate active citizenship in South Africa. It aims to lift the spirit of our nation by inspiring all South Africans to contribute to positive change, become involved and start doing. A nation of people who care deeply for one another and the environment in which they live is good for everyone.
Play Your Part is aimed at all South Africans – from corporates and individuals, NGOs and government, churches and schools, from the young to the not-so-young. It aims to encourage South Africans to use some of their time, money, skills or goods to contribute to a better future for all.