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Local Entrepreneurs Celebrated at Prestigious Bambelela Business Awards

The Hollywood Foundation, well-known for its dedication to enterprise and supplier development, recently held the fourth edition of the Bambelela Business Awards at the Greyville Convention Centre.

The event took place over the course of two days. On the first day, SMMEs were featured with registered stalls for participants to explore. Attendees were able to participate in a panel discussion and a 90-second elevator pitch session, encouraging valuable connections and engaging discussions.

The second day saw the prestigious Bambelela awards and gala dinner at the Hollywoodbets Greyville Racecourse. A total of R750,000 was distributed among 20 deserving businesses, along with two additional spot prizes each valued at R5,000.

A total of 20 entrepreneurs were named winners at the event and collectively received approximately R750,000 in funding from the Hollywood Foundation.

Seventeen winners were awarded R30,000 each, the third-place recipient received R50,000, the second-place winner was granted R70,000, and the first-place winner was given a substantial R100,000 to support the growth of their businesses.

The winners expressed their joy at receiving the funding and shared their plans to expand their ventures.

Among the businesses shortlisted from 160 enterprises in KwaZulu-Natal, with 109 being based in Durban, was Desbaked, founded by Desiree Ngema, also known as Chef Des. Desbaked, located in Pinetown, specializes in wedding cakes.

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Ngema, who won the first prize, expressed her gratitude, saying, “I am at a loss for words. But thank you to everyone for contributing to the growth of my business.” She mentioned that a portion of her prize money will be invested in a free baking masterclass to give back to the community.

Nonku Mthembu, the SMME development deputy head at the eThekwini Municipality, congratulated the winners and highlighted the municipality’s pride in being part of such an impactful program. She mentioned the municipality’s support through enterprise development programs like furniture making, economic empowerment for women, and the Durban Business Fair, which have mentored and exposed the winners.

The operations manager of the Hollywood Foundation, Meghan Hourquebie, emphasized the vital role entrepreneurs play in driving economic transformation and employment. She reiterated the foundation’s commitment to fostering economic growth and supporting entrepreneurs through initiatives like the Bambelela Business Awards.

The awards ceremony, themed ‘Bambelela (Hold On) – Your Dreams Are Valid’, took place in Durban for the first time.

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