Registration for the iLembe Entrepreneur Competition is open

Entrepreneurs on the North Coast can prepare – the iLembe Chamber of Commerce Entrepreneur Competition is open for entries.

The 12th edition of the competition – launched last Wednesday – features some exciting new developments, chief among which is that the program will be run in person again this year.

Attendees at the launch at the iLembe chamber offices heard a speech by co-founder and director of ShopLi SA, Venushka Viranna, who was recently recognized as part of Forbes Africa’s top 30 in the under 30 category (technology).

Twenty budding entrepreneurs will be selected as finalists, joining what is now a well-established program developed in collaboration with the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

This apart from access to development funding and marketing opportunities that will be presented during the 10-week program.

Speaker from iLembe Municipality, Dolly Shandu, hailed business acceleration programs such as the Entrepreneur 2022 initiative as catalysts in creating local job opportunities.

Over its 12 years of operation, 248 community programs have participated, with 50% revenue growth after participation.

“Business accelerator programs, such as The Entrepreneur, are directly helping to address the jobs crisis in our country. By working with local SMEs to achieve positive results, we believe the iLembe model is sustainable for the entrepreneurs who participate,” said iLembe Chamber CEO Cobus Oelofse.

The program finalists alone created 261 new jobs in the local economy at a cost of R2,520 per job retained or created.

Although the entrepreneur model is quite unique in the iLembe region, it is designed in such a way that it can be scaled up to be duplicated as a business accelerator across the country.

“It is of crucial importance that we maintain the depth and quality of the iLembe program, without overloading it, so the next ambition would rather be to duplicate the model in other areas,” he said.

Entries are open for this year’s contest, after which the 20 finalists will be selected. The first class session will take place on July 30.

To participate in the competition, candidates must complete an application file which can be downloaded from

Entry forms are also available at the iLembe Chamber offices and various contest entry boxes will be placed throughout the district.

For more information, contact Sakhile Khumalo on 087 354 6343 or by email [email protected].

The iLembe Entrepreneur program is run in partnership with The North Coast Courier, Enterprise iLembe, Airports Company South Africa, Siza Water and ENGIE Peakers Operations.

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