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22 April 2013

Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year Award (ETEYA) provincial finalists announced

South African Tourism has found the 27 best, most promising and most innovative emerging tourism business owners in the country

Emerging Tourism Entrepreneur of the Year Award Emerging Tourism Entrepreneur of the Year Award

“ETEYA is a fantastic business platform for any emerging entrepreneur in the tourism sector who has the vision, drive and ambition to turn their dreams of growth and greatness into reality.” Thulani Nzima, South African Tourism Chief Executive Officer

South African Tourism has found the 27 best, most promising and most innovative emerging tourism business owners in the country and has started the countdown to naming its 2013 ETEYA (Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year Award) winner in September. 

The 27 were selected from hundreds of entries across South Africa. They represent the three best emerging tourism entrepreneurs from each of the nine provinces. They will be whittled down to the top entrepreneur in each province and in the months leading up to the September award ceremony, the nine provincial finalists will work with South African Tourism and a number of other organisations to muscle up their business strategies – meeting some of the finest minds, and most successful business people, in tourism in South Africa.
“ETEYA is a fantastic business platform for any emerging entrepreneur in the tourism sector who has the vision, drive and ambition to turn their dreams of growth and greatness into reality. In recent years it has grown and made its mark and has become an important part of South Africa’s tourism landscape,” says Thulani Nzima, South African Tourism Chief Executive Officer. 

A study conducted by South African Tourism into the job creation results of the ETEYA programme showed a 70% growth in the number of employees hired by ETEYA Finalists between 2001 and 2009. During the same period, the Tourism Enterprise Partnership (TEP), an economic development agency focussing on job creation and a key partner to ETEYA since its inception, invested R450 million for the development of small tourism businesses which created over 70 000 jobs and generated revenue of more than R5.6 billion.  

“ETEYA is an important partnership for TEP as it allows a platform to celebrate small tourism businesses that take advantage of the enterprise development services we offer. These businesses show good growth, display innovation, create jobs and form a critical part of the tourism industry landscape. Through the exposure they receive, they also inspire others to grow and develop.” says Salifou Siddo, TEP Chief Executive.   

Last year, ETEYA was revamped to focus more on the development of these small businesses, creating market access and giving exposure. This was to ensure that ETEYA became a sustainable programme where businesses are provided with the relevant tools, skills and connections to up-skill themselves as opposed to just another competition. Further to this, all entrants received access to the online digital portal where they are able to receive relevant and insightful information pertaining to various facets of business.  

To qualify for the competition, entrepreneurs needed to demonstrate innovation in how they operate. They needed to show the extent to which their business plans meet consumer demand in a globally competitive environment. Entrants also needed to address responsible and sustainable business practices, highlighting how their business contributes to job creation. 

“The judging process was exceptionally difficult as the calibre of entries, received from all over the country and across a wide range of offerings in the product sector, was so high. We ultimately chose three businesses from each province which we believe met the requirements we outlined in the entry stage,” says Hannelie du Toit, one of the judges on the panel. 

There is reward aplenty for the finalists. Their businesses will be profiled and publicised by South African Tourism to help bring their businesses – and the services they offer – into the mainstream tourism economy and into marketing campaigns at home and around the world. 

Semi-finalists will benefit from an extensive mentoring programme offered in collaboration with TEP. This puts finalists in touch with experts who understand their business, work with them to both address weak areas and maximise strengths. Mentorship programmes are engineered to meet the custom requirements of each of the 27 semi-finalist businesses to make sure that the entrepreneurs (and their businesses) extract maximum value from the programme. As part of the mentorship, semi-finalists will be coached for their presentation to the first judging panel in May. 

Out of the 27 semi-finalists, nine provincial winners will be chosen – each representing the best emerging tourism entrepreneur from his or her province. These finalists will be announced at TEP’s SMME workshop that takes place on May 10, the day before the official opening of INDABA 2013. 

The national ETEYA winner will be selected from the pool of nine provincial winners and will be announced in September. The first prize of R100 000 will be used (in terms of competition rules) to invest in his or her business. Second prize is R75 000 and third prize is R50 000 – that must also be earmarked for business investment.  

The 27 provincial finalists as selected by independent judges are: 

Eastern Cape: Back to Eden Natural Health Spa, Dans Country Lodge, Virginia Townhouse 

Free State: Kator Travel Consultants, Rethabise Premium Guest Lodge, Thabile Tours Gauteng: Geobus Tours and Travel, Motsethabo Tours, Ubuhle Be Narha Tours  

KwaZulu-Natal: Kuhle Travel and Tours, Share Travel, Zizi Lodge Leisure Bay 

Limpopo: Limpopo Guest Manor, Makgabeng Farm Lodge, Nhlamulo Destinations  

Mpumalanga: Belle Doné, Elangeni Lodge, Ntwanano Tours & Travel  

Northern Cape: Jo's Guest House and Hantamkraal Restaurant, Taxi-to-Galeshewe Tours, Villa D'Este Guest House 

North West: ASDA Guest House, Bonang Conference, Modisa Lodge

Western Cape: Chavonnes Battery Museum, Citi Hopper, WOW Cape Town Tours 

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