Top firms honoured at awards

BLACK-owned small businesses that are making waves in their respective fields were honoured at the Shanduka Black Umbrellas (SBU) incubator awards in Nelson Mandela Bay last night.

With national statistics showing that many whollyowned black businesses go under within their first year, the SBU incubator programme’s mission is to help black entrepreneurs buck that trend, and enable them to become the engine driving the economy.

Energy company Fuelserve Petroleum, owned by Litha Nodada and Chuma Zinqi, took top honours in the category of best-performing company in terms of turnover, while Ntlantsana Accountants and Auditors scooped the top award for job creation.

Malibongwe Makapela, of Makapela Engineering and Project Managers, was lauded as the best ambassador of the programme, in recognition of the outstanding work done by the business.

The company was also recognised among the bestperforming companies.

The achievements of firms in each of the SBU’s eight incubator programmes in South Africa are recognised, and the national awards will take place next month.

The programmes have supported numerous businesses in South Africa, which have in turn created more than 4 000 jobs.

Addressing guests at the Summerstrand Hotel last night, SBU regional manager Nomaxabiso Klaas said the incubator programme’s main aim was to reverse the failure rate of businesses.

“About 80% of black-owned businesses fail within the first year, and ours is to buck this trend and help incubatees become sustainable enterprises,” she said.

Asked why black businesses tended to go bust so soon after starting up, SBU national chief financial officer Nyasha Dzumbunu attributed the failure rate to a range of factors, including a lack of adequate support.

“There is not one concrete answer, but a combination of things. In terms of education and training, the foundation has been found not to be too strong,” she said.

“Also, not knowing where to go for business support is a challenge, and all this is coupled with the socio-economic situation in the country that is largely a result of the past.”

“As we hear from some of our businesses, it helps to have people with whom you can share ‘war’ stories that detail the trials encountered on the business journey.”

Also recognised last night were events and promotions company Adesin Creations, owned by Karabo Nxiweni, and Xolisile Kondile’s Ezamabamba Trading.

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