A sisterly duel for top honours is in the offing in the fifth South African Premier Business Awards. Three of the country’s young entrepreneurs will battle it out for the top prize in the Young Entrepreneur Award during the awards ceremony that will be hosted by the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) in partnership with Brand South Africa and proudly South African at the Sandton Convention Centre on Tuesday, 30 January 2018. The theme of the awards is Rewarding Business Excellence.

The spotlight will shine on the all-female trio of finalists, Ncebakazi Mhlaba (28) from the Eastern Cape, Leboneng Mathebula (28) from Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal’s Phumzile Manana (26).

Mhlaba, who established a construction company Sikuphiwe Trading in 2013, says for her to be chosen as one of the country’s top three young entrepreneurs in a national competition is a great source of encouragement.

“The national exposure that we are already receiving as a result of this nomination will boost our company profile significantly. The nomination confirms that the future is bright and I should continue growing from strength to strength despite the challenges that I have to contend with as a woman trying to make her mark in the male-dominated and highly competitive environment. I hope it will also open doors for more opportunities for our company so that we can grow and contribute in creating jobs for other young people,” says Mhlaba who is based in Port Elizabeth.

Mathebula’s Johannesburg-based company Gridbow Engineers and Technical Services, which she established in 2009, specialises in electrical infrastructure projects.

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