South Africa

Region’s top entrepreneurs recognised

Johannesburg – Southern Africa’s top three entrepreneurs were named at the 22nd Annual EY World Entrepreneur Awards gala dinner in Johannesburg on 13 November.

  Annual national and regional awards programmes are run in more than 145 cities across 60 countries culminating in the grand, global awards final in Monte Carlo to recognise the world’s top entrepreneurs.

  The programme makes a difference through the way it recognises this entrepreneurial agility, inspired vision, leadership and achievement.

  Finalists are selected among entrepreneurs who have demonstrated excellence and extraordinary success in such areas as entrepreneurial spirit, value creation, strategic direction, impact, innovation and purpose-driven leadership. They include traditional entrepreneurs who are founders and leaders of high-growth companies. They also are transformational people who may not have started their company but have been essential to its success.

  The 2019 Southern Africa winners in the Master, Exceptional and Emerging categories are: Master category winner: Craig Irvine, managing director, Irvine’s Group.

  Irvine’s is a poultry focused company with operations in six countries. They supply and support nutritional, animal health, Cobb Genetics and supporting products across 22 countries in Sub Saharan Africa.

  Exceptional category winner was Bronwyn Corbett: Co-Founder, Grit Real Estate Income Group. Grit is a multi-listed real estate income group operating in carefully selected African countries, optimising their structural investments, underpinned by solid property fundamentals and anchored by multinational tenants.

 Emerging category winner was Ashraf Mohamed, founder of Polar Ice Cream Company, which produces a wide range of quality Ice Cream and frozen delights. Polar believes that ice cream must reach the mass markets with products that are affordable but more importantly, enjoyable.

  The EY Lifetime Achievement Award for entrepreneurship is awarded each year. This year it’s been awarded to Medical doctor, MBA, Doctor of Business Leadership, University of the Witwatersrand Chancellor and one of South Africa’s most successful entrepreneurs, Dr Judy Dlamini. 

  She practiced as a medical doctor for several years before pursuing a business career as the founder of the Mbekani Group, which she launched 22 years ago. Today the group includes a range of companies, including surgical equipment, facilities management, security, commercial property and luxury fashion retail. She has served on many boards and is actively involved in women’s empowerment and education.

  Azim Omar of EY Africa Growth Markets Leaders said: “These entrepreneurs demonstrate extraordinary business acumen, financial performance excellence and inspired strategic direction. These and most entrepreneurs embrace bold thinking that often sees opportunity in adversity; a relentless drive to build a better working world; and an unwavering commitment to solving their clients’ issues.” 

  This year EY marks 22 years of recognising entrepreneurs who have demonstrated excellence in their businesses; since the first award in 1998. 

  The Southern Africa awards programme provides the finalists with an opportunity to connect with local and international businesses and join a global network of entrepreneurs who share their perspectives. The Southern Africa awards cover Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Mozambique, Malawi, Mauritius, Madagascar, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Zambia.

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