By Phiwa Sikhondze
Five young entrepreneurs have won a share of E50,000 seed capital to grow their businesses after pitching their ideas at a three-day business seminar in Siteki.
The seminar ran from December 18 to 20, 2023, and was organized by SNG Grant Thornton Eswatini in partnership with Begin Your Dreams, a local organization that focuses on mindset shift, strategic planning, and entrepreneurship.
The winners of the pitch competition were:
• Tibusiso Kunene – Car wash – E20,000
• Celani Dlamini – Electrician and electrician supply – E14,000
• Bandiswa Magagula – Pig Farming – E8,000
• Tebenguni Simelane – Snack Sales at University – E5,000
• Victor Dlamini – Retail – E3,000
The seed capital is meant to help the winners scale and buy the much-needed resources for their businesses. The winners expressed their gratitude to the organizers and the sponsors for the opportunity and the support. They also shared their excitement and determination to grow their businesses and make a positive impact in their communities.
The seminar attracted 82 applications from aspiring and existing entrepreneurs in Siteki and surrounding areas. The selection criteria were based on the ambition, business ideas, challenges, and industry of the applicants. Out of the 82 applicants, 50 were selected to participate in the seminar and 40 were able to pitch their business ideas to a panel of judges.
The seminar covered various topics such as smart goal setting, vision board, business model canvas, pitch training, bookkeeping, and stock exchange. Begin Your Dream’s Bertha Sithole noted that the seminar aimed to empower and motivate the youth to drive and run successful businesses, considering the high youth unemployment rate in the country.
She added that the seminar aimed to provide the participants with the skills and knowledge to manage their businesses, avoid mistakes, and solve societal issues through entrepreneurship.
She concluded that the seminar was a success and a testament to the potential and resilience of the young entrepreneurs in Siteki.