According to Nedbank, the economic impact that COVID-19 has had on small businesses has sent shockwaves throughout South Africa.  

Nedbank Business Ignite falls part of Nedbank's initiatives to support and empower entrepreneurs so that they can carve out new markets and sustainable industries; this then boosts the South African economy in new and innovative ways.

The 2020 campaign offered five entrepreneurs with winning ideas the chance to win packages worth over R1-million. Two of the winners are based in Cape Town and were announced on-air on CapeTalk. Three Johannesburg-based winners were announced on Talk Radio 702 in Johannesburg on Friday, 7 August. 

"The beauty of running a small business is that you are able to stay agile and pivot almost on-demand as the market changes. However, COVID-19 has presented a unique set of challenges and small businesses have certainly felt the impact of the virus first — and continue to feel its impact disproportionately," said Alan Shannon, Nedbank executive of client engagement.

"COVID-19 has reinforced our long-term commitment to small businesses in South Africa. The number of Gauteng entries increased by 20% this year and this is a testament to not only the value of the Nedbank Business Ignite property but also the growing need to support small and medium enterprises (SMEs)," adds Shannon.

The 702 winners include:

  • Lerato Dontache, owner of Nxatel (cloud communication platform)
  • Thabiso Wilson Hlongwane, owner of Greener Pastures Recycling (waste management company), and
  • Michelle Mokone, owner of Mo's Crib (local manufacturer of handmade home décor products).

The CapeTalk winners include:

  • Hannah Lavery, owner of Hannah Lavery Designs (clothing design), and
  • Siyabonga Tiwana, owner of Skywalk Innovation (software developing company).
The trio has indicated that each business will receive packages worth more than R260 000, including:
  • an incubation programme with business incubator Matsi Modise worth R40 000
  • a media booking to the value of R200 000 on either 702 or CapeTalk, or both depending on the business needs, and
  • a cash injection of R20 000 for their business.
"I am so proud of not only our final five winners, but also all the 2020 entrants who have showcased the ability to create, cultivate and innovate. I look forward to working with the 2020 winners to help them navigate business 'unusual' during these challenging times," concludes Matsi Modise, Nedbank Business Ignite Incubator.

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