EY holds Southern Africa entrepreneur of the year award

18 November 2019 Consultancy.co.za 2 min. read
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Big Four accounting and advisory firm EY has named the winners of this year’s edition of the EY Southern Africa Entrepreneur Awards. At an award ceremony held in Johannesburg, the firm stressed the crucial role that the winners have played in tackling the unemployment problem in South Africa.

Craig Irvine, who is the Managing Director of the Irvine’s Group, won the award in the master Category, which pertains to businesses that generate a turnover of $100 million or more. The company works in the agricultural domain, providing solutions and products to improve animal health.

The winner in the emerging category – firms with a turnover of $15 million or more – is Bronwun Corbett, co-Founder of the Grit Real Estate Income Group. Grit is a real estate investment fund listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange that offers a diverse portfolio of real estate assets across Africa.

EY also gave away a Lifetime Achievment Award for Entrepreneurship, which was given to Dr. judy Dlamini, Chancellor of the University of Witwatersrand. Dlamini’s notable entrepreneurial activity comes in the form of the Mbekani Group, which she founded in 1996. The group works in a variety of areas, ranging from the import and sterilization of surgical instruments to the management of retail and commercial properties.

EY Entrepreneur Awards Southern Africa 2019

The Entrepreneur Awards are among a number of other awards distributed by EY to promote business activity in South Africa, which includes the EY South Africa Entrepreneurial Winning Women Programme, as well as the EY Better Begins with You awards.

At the Entrepreneur Awards Southern Africa, EY Africa Growth Markets Leader Azim Omar commended the role that entrepreneurs play in tackling issues of unemployment and economic growth. As South Africa’s economy continues to struggle, experts have suggested that the high unemployment rates are only likely to get worse in the near future.

The thirteen finalists at this year’s event together generated more than R30 billion in revenue and opened space for 13,000 new jobs, representing the true potential that entrepreneurship holds in this scenario.

“South Africa has a severe jobs crisis. The only way to help create jobs is through encouraging greater entrepreneurship and learning from people who have been successful despite a stagnant economy and difficult circumstances,” said Omar.

“Fortunately South Africa has so many brilliant entrepreneurs and we are reminded of that every year. They have taken to the challenge and through disruptive innovation, are succeeding where government, and even some larger businesses, have fallen short,” he added.