Budding South African entrepreneur, Lebohang Selloane, has been named the winner of the 2015 Business Partners /SME Toolkit Global Entrepreneurship Week's Business Plan Competition for Aspiring Young Entrepreneurs at an awards ceremony held in Johannesburg, South Africa on 17 November 2015. She received an additional R10,000 mentorship support voucher, R20,000 cash prize and a smart tablet.
“We don’t profile entrepreneurs enough, especially young entrepreneurs, and we need to. The youth need to see that success through entrepreneurship is achievable and be encouraged to follow in their peers’ footsteps.”
- Petro Bothma, Group Enterprise Development Manager at Business/Partners
Selloane is a Diagnostic Radiography graduate who is currently pursuing her MBA. The 28 year-old's winning idea is based on an onsite mobile X-ray services business called Visionary X-rays. The business will provide onsite mobile tuberculosis (TB) screening services, by making use of X-ray equipment installed inside a trailer, to employees and family members of businesses operating in the mining, manufacturing and construction sectors, who are prone to occupational lung diseases and are residing in areas considered 'unreachable', with little or no access to quality healthcare services.
Now in its 6th year, the competition seeks to equip passionate and enthusiastic youth with the knowledge to turn their business idea into a reality. Aspiring entrepreneurs – between 18 and 35 – were encouraged to submit their business idea and attend one of nine regional workshops across the country to learn the complexities of compiling a business plan and managing the many functions of running a business. Following this, each young entrepreneur was invited to submit a formal business plan to a judging panel.
Petro Bothma, Group Enterprise Development Manager at Business/Partners, says that the competitive advantage of the business model is that it will provide unlimited access to its customers, as unlike clinics and hospitals, it will not be fixed in one place.
This year the competition received over 211 entries initially, and, after completion of the workshops, 65 business plans were received for judging, from which seven regional winners were selected to contend for the overall national title.
Bothma added, that many businesses fail due to a lack of a comprehensive business plan and understanding of the business environment, and that there is a critical need for assistance and knowledge in this area. The competition’s workshops cover business plan-related topics and intricacies, such as financial planning, compiling marketing and operational plans, and cash flow and risk management. Bothma stressed that not only does the competition ensure these bright entrepreneurs have the skills needed to develop their business, but that they are profiled to the public. “We don’t profile entrepreneurs enough, especially young entrepreneurs, and we need to. The youth need to see that success through entrepreneurship is achievable and be encouraged to follow in their peers’ footsteps.”