Olebogeng Mashune has been announced as sixth Free State regional winner in the 2019 SME Toolkit BUSINESS/PARTNERS Business Plan Competition for Aspiring Young Entrepreneurs. She won the award for her business plan to start an agro-processing business called Mashune Agrico Trade.
Raised on a farm, Mashune said she is passionate about farming and agro-processing. “I learnt everything I know about the industry from my grandfather and have since inherited some agricultural land from him. I am planning to start my own agro-processing business,” she said.
“In its 10th year now, the SME Toolkit BUSINESS/PARTNERS Business Plan Competition aims to promote South African entrepreneurship among individuals between the ages of 18 and 35 by bridging the gap between simply having an idea, to actually launching a start-up business,” said Petro Bothma, Group Enterprise Development Manager at Business Partners Limited and Programme Manager for SME Toolkit South Africa. This year the competition received 1 010 entries from young entrepreneurs across the country and ten regional winners have been selected.
As part of the free-to-enter competition, Mashune joined other entrepreneurs by taking part in one of the regional business workshops on the intricacies of compiling a business plan and managing the many functions of running a business such as business management, marketing, financial management and legal requirements. Following the workshop, each entrant was invited to submit a complete business plan to the competition judging panel.
“Mashune was chosen as the Free State winner because her business plan stood out in terms of presentation, content and potential viability of the business,” said Bothma.
Each regional winner is awarded with a mentorship support voucher to the value of R10 000, introduced to valuable business networking opportunities to assist them with growing their fledgling businesses, and will go through as a finalist to the third and final phase of the competition, Bothma added.
“My hope is to become employed by my own business full time so that I can ensure its growth, with my long-term goal being to expand into the continent of Africa,” concluded Mashune. – Seithati Semenokane