Biggest Entrepreneurship Champions of 2018

Updated on 19 December 2018

Subscription Form (#66)
Entrepreneurship Champions 2018
Some of this year’s entrepreneur champions are (from top, left to right) Vusi Thembekwayo, DJ Sbu, Clive Butkow, (bottom) Bulelani Balabala, Phuti Mahanyele and Nicolette Mashile.

Whether it’s funding, personal branding or marketing, there are certain individuals that South Africa’s entrepreneurs can rely on to dish out much-need advice and mentoring.

From Vusi Thembekwayo and Nicolette Mashile to Bulelani Balabala, here’s who we are raising our hats off to this year. 

Clive Butkow

Clive Butkow, director of Grovest and CEO and chief investment officer of Grotech, offers a window into the world of an investor.

On his Linkedin he shares lessons from the perspective of a venture capitalist. Butkow gives entrepreneurs insight into what investors look for when investing, and a businessman’s perspective on subjects like sales, growth, fear of failure and idea generation.

Start with: What this Investor Wants SA Founders to Know about Good Business Ideas, Failure and Growth and When to hire a business development person.

Nicolette Mashile

Whether you like to talk about money, or not, Nicolette Mashile is someone who can help you address all issues around the topic. She is the founder of Financial Fitness Bunnies, a financial education initiative, and Bunch of Winnaz, a media buying and brand activations agency.

Besides being a presenter of Daily Thetha, a youth talk show on SABC1, she hosts a business show on UJFM. Mashile is also a financial vlogger who shares informative videos on topics like money personalities and the importance of having additional income streams.

You’ll also find Mashile engaging with her followers on a daily basis on money issues and their behaviour around it.

Start with: Investing is like dating and Say with me: Income isn’t wealth

Bulelani Balabala

In October this year, Bulelani Balabala, an entrepreneur and motivational speaker shared 3 Ways Township-based Entrepreneurs Can Scale Their Businesses.

Balabala is the CEO of Intercessor Army Franchising (IAF Brands) – a printing and branding manufacturing company and also founder of the Annual Township Business Innovation Summit.

He has positioned himself as a thought leader within the entrepreneurship space, particularly township entrepreneurship. When he is not offering practical advice, he is dishing out plenty of inspiration.


Start with: How to sell effectively and Always be prepared.

Vusi Thembekwayo

Vusi Thembekwayo is a global keynote speaker and venture capitalist and CEO of MyGrowthFund SA.

Not only does Thembekwayo shares his life as a CEO on his social media accounts, through the MyGrowthFund SA he offers advice for entrepreneurs on funding and strategies for growth.

Expect from him quotes like this: “True financial wealth is not owning an asset. True financial wealth is owning an asset that can earn you money… The rent can be split between the number of people we have in the stokvel.”

Start with: Entrepreneurship Funding Masterclass and One Mistake that Can Ruin your Chances with Investors.

DJ Sbu

Sbusiso Leope, better known as DJ Sbu, is founder of MoFaya Beverage Company, and is known for advising entrepreneurs on how to hustle the right way. The author and founder of the urban radio station Massiv Metro, is the go-to person for advice on selling.

This year through his partnership with the company 3Sixty Financial Services Group he launched The Hustlers Academy, an independent, privately funded economic empowerment project that trains entrepreneurs and corporate hustlers in various areas.

DJ Sbu is also the face of the Innovation Challenge, a competition that encourages entrepreneurs to come up with innovative ideas that can empower their communities or disrupt the property sector. The winner will be awarded R1million by Redefine Properties.

Start with: The art of hustling and Collaborations are key.

Hlubi Mboya and Phuti Mahanyele

Hlubi Mboya, media entrepreneur and actress, and Phuti Mahanyele, a South African business executive and chief executive officer of Sigma Capital, are part of the initiative 67 CEOs, which focuses on strengthening “the nation’s economic and entrepreneurial ecosystem for underrepresented entrepreneurs and disinvested communities”.

Mboya, Mahanyele and several other CEOs are giving back and hosting a variety of masterclasses and discussions on the entrepreneurship ecosystem that you’ll find on the YouTube channel of 67 CEOs. The masterclasses are on subjects like financial management, mentorship and business compliance, BBBEE and ESD Readiness.

Start with: SMME Financial Management by Precious Mvulane CA(SA) and Becoming a Successful Entrepreneur by Sipho Nkosi.

Get Weekly 5-Minutes Business Advice

Subscribe to receive actionable business tips and resources.

Subscription Form (#66)

Feeling Stuck?