The winners and finalists of iLembe Chamber’s 12th annual The Entrepreneur Programme and Competition were recently announced.
The Entrepreneur 2022 winners are Omninela, Ricardo and Nicolas Lognath. Omninele is an e-commerce healthcare company. Their company has attracted the interest of big-name medical aid schemes, which have partnered with their brand to offer members smart health devices.
The brothers believe that winning this year’s Ilembe Chamber of Commerce’s Entrepreneur Competition will open up many opportunities for them to grow. “We strongly believe in embracing technology to help people live longer and healthier lives, and we help them achieve this by providing them with online access to shop over 5,000 innovative health and beauty products. We look forward to becoming the leading online health portal in South Africa,” said Ricardo.
Second placed winner is Charlton Nyamadzawo, owner of Haka Manufacturing, a bespoke engineering manufacturing company based in Shakaskraal. Haka manufactures block making machines, hosepipe reels, racer brackets, canoe pedals, gas burners, tine shoes, tine ends, tap locks, prototypes of original manufacturers, precision machine parts, sheet metal and bearing housings, to name just a few.
Speaking on how The Entrepreneur Competition helped him take his business to the next level, he said: “It was a great platform and we extend our thanks to the team at the Chamber. We have never been busier. The competition really leveraged us to do more. We’ve also been able to help upskill more people from the local community since then.”
Third placed winner is Ntombikhona Khonah Khumeni, owner of Khonah K Designs which was founded in 2019. Making face masks during the pandemic was quickly followed by the making of plus size dresses that were sold online. In an effort to overcome the seasonality of trade, Khona also started making and selling pinafores to individuals and businesses – allowing Khonah K Designs to take off.
“As a plus-sized woman, getting the perfect fit is always a problem. So to dress the way I like and be comfortable, I went for basic sewing lessons to make my own dresses. Other plus-sized women then approached me, asking me to make dresses for them too. Unfortunately, we have temporarily stopped with the dresses as the pinafores are keeping us too busy,” said Khumeni.
Holding a financial management diploma from Thekwini College, her long-term goal is to own a clothing factory producing her own clothing label. She said the entrepreneur competition helped her a lot in terms of record-keeping and the financial management of her business.
The Entrepreneur 2022 is a flagship business accelerator programme that aims to unearth the entrepreneurial gems in the iLembe District, assist in their development and support them to sustainable levels of growth.
The programme partners include Enterprise iLembe, Airports Company South Africa, King Shaka International Airport, The North Coast Courier, ENGIE Peakers Operations and Siza Water. The academic partner of the programme is the UKZN Graduate School of Business & Leadership.
The virtual home of The Entrepreneur is www.theentrepreneur.net.za