The KZN Clothing and Textiles Cluster announces the 2021 Business Accelerator winners
The garment manufacturing SME Danesco Clothing bagged the top honours and R20 000 prize money when it was announced as the winner of the KZN Clothing and Textiles Cluster (KZN CTC) 2021 Business Accelerator.
In a hotly contested, action-packed “Dragon’s Den” event, Danesco Clothing’s Mishaal Joosab emerged as the overall winner from a field of 15 finalists, scooping the award for the Best Business Pitch. The runners up were Hazel Govender of Pitbull Print Media who was also awarded the Most Promising Business Pitch with ZA Gear’s Zuraida Saib in third place and the proud recipient of the High Impact Award. Both second and third-placed entrants were presented a R15 000 cash prize.
According to Kyle Ballard, Chief Facilitator of the KZN CTC, the Accelerator’s cash prizes are just the cherry on top. The true value that now awaits the 15 SMEs that made it through to the finals include procurement opportunities with leading customers as well as a once-in-a-lifetime mentorship support programme.
“The KZN Clothing and Textile sector is practically overflowing with talented entrepreneurs and small companies with great business concepts – but they lack the expertise and resources they need to unlock their growth potential,” Kyle explains. “At the same time, leading enterprises in the sector are eager to identify and partner with high potential local suppliers.”
The KZN CTC’s annual Business Accelerator has proved to be a highly successful enabler that connects these leading enterprises with their future suppliers, thus driving localisation and facilitating transformation. Kyle says that the Accelerator supports the identification of the region’s high potential businesses, connecting these suppliers with large customers to unlock commercial opportunities through robust upgrading, investment, and mentorship.
“The connections made by the Accelerator have proved invaluable for the growth of the sector, so it is fantastic to have The Foschini Group, Mr Price Group and Pepkor on board for the 2021 event. These companies are demonstrating their commitment to increasing local procurement through their active participation in the KZN CTC Business Accelerator,” Kyle adds.
This year’s Business Accelerator was open to all Black-owned SMEs in the KZN clothing and textile industry. To qualify, entrants were required to submit their business case or innovative projects online and selected candidates were then invited to join the Cluster for a series of capacity building initiatives to help prepare them to demonstrate their potential to major customers.
Many of the entrants took this learning on board as a record 15 companies made it through to the next round of the event. During this full-day session modelled on the “Dragon’s Den” concept, the finalists had the opportunity to pitch their businesses to a panel of leading customers in the sector.
Kyle says that in addition to the ongoing support from the local lead enterprises, the KZN CTC and the Business Accelerator is only possible due to its proud and long-standing partnerships with the eThekwini Municipality and the KZN Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs (KZN EDTEA).
“Their ongoing commitment to driving the growth of the Clothing, Textiles, Footwear and Leather (CTFL) industry through their support of the KZN CTC is exemplary. We are truly inspired to be a part of driving localisation and growth within the clothing and textiles sector in partnership with so many sincerely committed stakeholders,” Kyle concludes.
While the Accelerator is nearly over for 2021, the KZN CTC’s support for SMEs is ongoing. For more information on the Cluster and the various programmes available, visit https://kznctc.org.za or contact [email protected].