3 October 2012

Search for South Africa’s top emerging tourism entrepreneurs begins

Entries for the 2013 edition of the Emerging Tourism Entrepreneur of the Year Award open today, 3 October 2012, and close on 31 October 2012.

Past winners Shaheed Ebrahim and Salome Tshungu encourage others to enter ETEYA Past winners Shaheed Ebrahim and Salome Tshungu encourage others to enter ETEYA

SAT is proud to work with its partners to provide a platform to develop emerging businesses and provide entrepreneurs with the skills and knowledge to further advance themselves and empower others - Thulani Nzima, SAT CEO.

The call for entries for the 2013 Emerging Tourism Entrepreneur of the Year Award (ETEYA) competition was made at The Orchards Executive Accommodation and Conference Centre in Midrand. The venue is owned by ETEYA 2011 Gauteng provincial winner, Salome Tshungu.

ETEYA recognises and honours the country’s most promising and innovative emerging tourism business owners.

Some innovative new developments were announced at the ETEYA 2013 launch. Elements of the competition have been reviewed to increase the competition’s relevance and usefulness to emerging tourism entrepreneurs.

A major innovation this year is that the competition’s 27 semi-finalists (3 will be selected from each province) will have their businesses thoroughly analysed by business professionals.

Thereafter they will receive a personalised 5-month mentorship programme from the Tourism Enterprise Partnership (TEP). They will be matched with mentors who will help them create growth development plans for their businesses.

The 9 provincial ETEYA winners' and national finalists’ cash grant awards will be used to finance the business development plans that they will have submitted to the judges.

Another innovation is the launch of the ETEYA Knowledge Centre, an online digital platform that all ETEYA entrants will have access to. The ETEYA Knowledge Centre will enable entrants to network with each other online and share their business success tips.

It will also connect entrants with mentors and their peers in the industry. These will include some of the country’s leading industry professionals, who will provide cutting-edge industry information, business tips and insights.

Thulani Nzima, South African Tourism (SAT) CEO, said SAT was proud to work with its partners to provide a platform to develop emerging businesses and provide entrepreneurs with the skills and knowledge to further advance themselves and empower others.

'ETEYA is not only about identifying the best emerging entrepreneurs in the industry, but also about publicly acknowledging businesses that excel at providing customer service to our tourists,’ he said.

Dr Salifou Siddo, TEP CEO, said TEP was proud to have been a partner in the roll-out of ETEYA over the past 12 years.

‘TEP’s various skills development courses and mentorship programmes have assisted ETEYA competitors’ businesses to become operational and thereby contribute to job growth in South Africa. TEP has seen how the competition has encouraged innovation and elevated small business entrepreneurs to inspirational leaders,’ he commented.

To qualify for this year’s competition, entries should demonstrate innovation in how they operate. They must also communicate the extent to which their business plans meet consumer demand in a globally competitive industry. Entries should also address responsible and sustainable business practices and highlight how their businesses contribute to job creation.

Application forms can be downloaded from the ETEYA website or collected at regional tourism offices. Entries must be received by 17:00 on 31 October 2012. The provincial winners, who will be the competition’s 9 finalists, will be announced at INDABA in May 2013. The overall ETEYA winners will announced at the National Tourism Awards in September 2013.