Entrepreneur of the Year
Almost a decade ago, South African Tourism recognised a need to assist emerging entrepreneurs to progress to the mainstream economy. A growing number of small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) required access to a wider tourism market. Further, these businesses had ability to diversify South Africa's range of tourism experiences.
So was born the Emerging Tourism Entrepreneur of the Year Award or Eteya, designed to encourage and sustain the development of these SMMEs.
The benefits of entering for this award for tourism entrepreneurs extend beyond the financial reward. In its current format the Eteya process involves shortlisting 5 candidates per province and hosting them at a training workshop to develop presentation skills and business planning. They are then given a month to apply these skills to formulating their own business plans for submission to a panel of judges.
Site visits are then conducted and the candidates narrowed down to 9 finalists. Finalists all receive R10 000 in cash and participation in a year-long mentorship programme run by the Tourism Enterprise Programme (TEP). They also attend an international tourism trade show, ITB, in Berlin.
An overall Entrepreneur of the Year award is announced at South Africa's own annual international trade show, Indaba, held in May. The winner takes home R100 000, while the 3 runners-up receive R75 000, R50 000 and R25 000, respectively.
Along with SA Tourism, the judges include representatives of the South African Tourism Services Association (Satsa), the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa (TGCSA), the TEP, South African Breweries (SAB) and provincial tourism authorities.
SA Tourism's Hanneli Slabber, global manager: product , comments on the Eteya Awards for emerging tourism: "It makes us confident to realise that our industry is creating jobs and building economic sustainability through the growth and evolution of products, services and experiences for tourists."