The accomplishments of the small business community in South Africa was in the spotlight as winners of the 2016 South African Small Business Awards were announced on 10 November at Montecasino in Fourways, Johannesburg. In its eighth year, the South African Small Business Awards acknowledge the country’s most outstanding businesses and the remarkable people behind them. The awards are hosted by the National Small Business Chamber (NSBC).
This year drew a record number of entries from a diverse range of sectors ranging from technology, retail, transportation, music and engineering. Mike Anderson, Founder and CEO of the NSBC says each of 2016 winners demonstrate incredible tenacity, passion and dedication. “It is a privilege for the NSBC to play a role in promoting small businesses and encourage a much-needed spirit of entrepreneurship through the South African Small Business Awards,” he notes.
Four of the five small business winners this year were women, meet them here....
Vino Veenz Govender, Founder & Director of LA-Consulting Engineers
The coveted National Woman in Business Champion was awarded to Vino Govender of LA Consulting Engineers.
LA Consulting Engineers is a Consulting Practice operating in the Built Environment which was established in 2000 under the name Letsunyane Associates (Pty) Ltd. Since inception, the Company has grown steadily and established a strong foundation in the Built Environment. In line with the Company's long term growth path, the Company's executive implemented a company name change to LA Consulting Engineers with new Company branding effective from 1st July 2013. As part of the Company's commitment to conservation of the environment, the Company's Head Office has moved from Westville to Umhlanga (Ethekwini) operating out of the newly built Mayfair on the Lake (A Green Star Certified Building). The Company offers a wide range of expertise, with its primary focus on Civil Engineering Infrastructure, Project Management and Turnkey Solutions. www.la-eng.co.za
Roxanne Page, co-founder of SassyChic
The National Small Business Champion was awarded to Roxanne Page of Sassy Chic.
SassyChic.co.za is an online women’s boutique specialising in South African designers and brands. Their product offering includes a range of chic, on-trend and contemporary womens' fashion items as well as select lingerie and beauty products. SassyChic was founded by mother-daughter team Roxanne Page (née Bromley-Norton) and Karen Spies in 2011 (and went live in February 2012). Karen is a successful entrepreneur and Roxanne, a media & communications postgraduate and former editor. Like a lot of ladies, Roxy and Karen are fashion lovers and love to shop but loathe the long queues and the often crowded shopping malls on weekends. It was their ambition to bring some of the innovative online shopping elements from international online retailers to boutique shopping for women in South Africa. Four years on, SassyChic.co.za is still an independent eCommerce business that is 100% female-owned and run entirely by a group of savvy local ladies. www.sassychic.co.za
Juanita van der Merwe, co-founder of Little Green Number
The National Innovation Award was extended to Juanita Van Der Merwe of Little Green Number for her efforts in using repurposed PVC billboards while also giving back to the community through a ‘Buy1Give1’ philosophy.
Little Green Number turns ads into bags! Each one of their bags, made from recycled billboards, is funky and unique. They are passionate about creating jobs AND saving the planet. One billboard at a time! They are a multi award winning social business focused on sustainable job creation, via community based micro manufacturing franchise ownership, producing a quality product that is funky and unique, that also saves the environment. Their products are 100% handmade, durable and weather resistant. www.littlegreennumber.com
Tameron Haralambous, Co-founder of Eco Furniture Design
Tameron Haralambous of Eco Furniture Design was the recipient of a National Skills Development Award for her focus on environmental sustainability and social upliftment as core business principles.
Eco furniture design is a top furniture manufacturer supplier and store in South Africa who design and produce stylish affordable and functional products that are also made using local and sustainable materials. Their range includes rustic pieces made from reclaimed and salvaged timber as well as a sleek elegant and contemporary range. The materials they use include SOLID timber, sustainable board and supawood, glass and steel. their top quality finishes are water based and Eco child and pet friendly, they provide a very durable and long lasting finish. Special paints and finishes are also available on request. They currently supply the main regions of South Africa and love to work both on single projects for the home as well as large projects such as schools hotels etc. www.ecofurnituredesign.com