Entrepreneurship a Key Catylst in Bolstering the Economy – Eskom

Updated on 29 March 2018

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Black-owned small and medium enterprise businesses that have been operating for more than two years stand a chance to win up to R1.3 million in business development from the Eskom business investment competition (BIC).

The competition is open to enterprises operating in the manufacturing, engineering/construction, trade/services, agri-processing and agricultural sectors throughout the country.

On Wednesday, the Eskom Development Foundation visited three Port Elizabeth-based small and medium enterprises to see how the businesses have been performing since participating in the 2017 BIC competition.

Ductile Plastics and Extruders, LBN Hygiene Solutions and Lungisupreme Brands SA all featured and were named as finalists in the competition.

Nine years ago, Gerald Barth revamped and re-branded a family business that sold recycled and extruded plastics, creating 42 jobs in the process.

Ductile Plastics and Extruders sources raw plastics for extrusion.

“Our biggest problem we currently face is access to markets.This is due to the plastic and recycling industry being a niche market dominated by white people. So we need government to put in structures that create an equal playing field for everyone within our industry,” Barth said.

Barth explained that the materials get melted down into pellets before being sold to converters who make irrigation pipes. The business has increased its production output from 30 to 80 tons per month after procuring additional machinery.

Another finalist, Lazola Buntu Nxele owns a chemical production company, LBN Hygiene Solutions which he opened in 2012.

The company manufactures a variety of household and industrial detergents and also sells Protective Clothing. In total the company manufactures 15 different types of products.

Nxele said the business currently employs four people.

The brainchild of Lungisa Lutshaba, Lungispreme Brands SA is a household food and beverage producer which also has a skin care line, currently producing facial soap.

Lutshaba siad the company has already launched two products in the market, Mineral Mellow flavoured bottled water and Sunpheka cooking oil in small bottles and sachets.

Prizes include a cash component to invest into the business, as well as a series of training workshops to gain important business skills. In addition, all finalists are given fully subsidised exhibition space at the annual three-day Small Business Expo held at the Ticketpro Dome in Johannesburg.

This year’s entries for the competition close mid June. (via African News Agency)

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