The power of hard work and dedication in action – The Firstwatch Entrepreneurial Challenge 2021 is live

Eastern Cape, November 2021: Entries for the Firstwatch Entrepreneur’s Challenge 2021 are now open nationwide, to provide motivated local entrepreneurs, both current and aspiring with an opportunity to win R50 000 in cash plus business support. A renowned panel will hand-pick 160 people to join the Challenge’s intensive two-day skills development workshop, which encompasses robust, hands-on experiential learning with some of the country’s leading business experts. The workshop will be supported by a podcast series featuring Ambassadors from across the country sharing their stories, tips and tricks to navigate the world of entrepreneurship.

These Ambassadors are all self-made entrepreneurs, proudly representing their provinces as leaders in their fields and communities. Lonwabo Rani, the Eastern Cape Ambassador and Director at Silulo Ulutho Technologies, expands on the importance of providing entrepreneurs with opportunities to shine.

“As someone who won another entrepreneurial challenge when I was starting my business, I understand the value that initiatives like this can offer South African start-up businesses,” says Lonwabo. He adds, “It is so important to give other young entrepreneurs opportunities to take their businesses to the next level and I am passionate about helping them grow as I was afforded the opportunity to”.

Lonwabo and his brother Luvuyo had their beginnings as a small information and communication technologies (ICT) business in 2004 – initially operating out of their car boot in Khayelitsha. Today, Silulo Ulutho Technologies has 48 stores, 21 franchises and 250 employees throughout the country, making a difference through job creation and access to technology.

Lonwabo’s community-centred approach to business perfectly married with that of Firstwatch, makes his involvement in the Firstwatch Entrepreneurs Challenge a natural fit. His vision is centred around creating access to people who would not traditionally have ease of access. “Through providing points of access to the internet and computers to people who can not afford it in the townships, we hope to help our communities grow” proclaims Lonwabo.

Lonwabo and his fellow Ambassadors from Gauteng, the Western Cape and KwaZulu Natal will, through their podcasts and networking sessions, guide this year’s contenders and communities at large through the challenge journey, creating the perfect build-up to the workshop modules on topics that include Passion and PurposeMarketing and SalesFinanceLeadership and Pitching. The workshop will conclude with a chance for the entrepreneurs to pitch their business to the judges, ending in 10 lucky contenders one step closer to claiming the title.

For those who believe they have what it takes to take the title here are some wise words from Lonwabo to inspire you – “As long as you enjoy the process of bringing your business to life, the rewards will come. It is all about loving what you are doing”. Simple yet hard hitting words and a reinforcement of the Firstwatch belief that although sometimes the results may take longer than you’d hoped, the rewards are always richer when they come.

As the countdown to the crowning of the 2021 Firstwatch Entrepreneur’s Challenge Winner continues, we wish all the future business leaders competing for the title the best of luck. May every part of the journey be rewarding. Firstwatch. First for Everyday Entrepreneurs. First for Reward.

To find out more about the Challenge, visit https://firstwatchwhisky.co.za/.