Eskom, Cell C lend a helping hand to budding business people

Help for new entrepreneurs during this hard time

Help for new entrepreneurs during this hard time.
Help for new entrepreneurs during this hard time.
Image: 123RF

Statistics SA reported that the unemployment rate has reached an all-time high of 30.80 % in the third quarter of 2020. Many South Africans have opted to start their own businesses to earn money and create employment for others.

However, running a business is hard work, especially if you’re doing it without any kind of support. Luckily, for entrepreneurs that are starting out, there is help. Help in the form of campaigns run by businesses like Eskom and Cell C, to name just a few.  

Eskom has assistance in the form of the Eskom Development Foundation’s Business Investment Competition (BIC). This is open to registered black-owned small, medium and macro enterprises (SMMEs) across the country, which have been operating for 24 months, from enterprises operating in the manufacturing, engineering/construction, trade/services and agriculture sectors. 

“The BIC provides a platform for South African owners of SMMEs to become part of a community of like-minded entrepreneurs as they look to build on their businesses’ solid foundation and realise their potential,” said Cecil Ramonotsi, CEO of the Eskom Development Foundation.

The competition has been going on for 12 years. The overall winner will walk away with a grand prize of R300,000, as well as additional business training once the competition is over. Each of the four sector winners take home R125,000, while first and second runners-up each receive R75,000 and R50,000 respectively.

To enter the competition, visit and for support and assistance, small business owners should e-mail Grounded Media  

The competition closing date is February 12 2021.

Telecoms company Cell C knows the importance of building a brand. They’ve partnered up with futurist Jonathan Cherry, who has identified four useful tips on the importance of brand building; this is some valuable knowledge for those who are looking for assistance to build a brand. 

This partnership is in line with the company’s Summer Campaign, where they are giving new and current subscribers a chance to win a host of prizes that could change their lives. From utility bakkies, laptops, smartphones, tablet devices and cash to grocery vouchers, clothing vouchers, takeaway vouchers , airtime, data bundles and SMSes.

Here are Cherry’s tips:

Know what a brand is

The first step is to understand what a brand is. It’s an image, a perception of a commercial mark that is held in the minds of consumers. It is created by the perception people have about the combination of products, advertising, the public image and stories surrounding a particular brand. 

Brands that matter are more valuable 

What a strong brand offers a business is the opportunity to sell its products at a price premium compared to what its competitors are able to charge, which in time results in the building of a better business.  Brands that have managed to focus on a higher purpose have built the most valuable businesses in the world.

Knowing how to figure out your brands purpose

Purpose-driven brands exist not because they're out to make a fast buck for their owners, but rather to make a valuable contribution to the world. That's why people choose to support them and help these brands achieve their mission. A strong purpose inspires customers and employees to become a part of a brand's success, which means you are recruiting fans rather than simply trying to sell a random product. 

Asking the right questions will determine your brand's purpose 

To determine your brands purpose, you will need to start by asking yourself questions. "Why should my brand exist?" "What value does my brand contribute towards the world?" "Why should people care?" 

Focus on figuring out what makes your small business idea unique. Develop your own voice when presenting your brand and don’t be afraid to spend money on a good designer. In this way you’ll be able to stand out from the crowd. Think big, but always start small. 

“In South Africa where the unemployment rate is high and jobs are becoming scarcer, starting your own business may just be the best solution. A small business should not only be seen as a means to an end but rather as a way to also help others find employment,” Cherry says. “By supporting and developing a culture of entrepreneurship in South Africa, we can all contribute to correcting the historical imbalances of the past and work at rebuilding our economy.” 

How to enter

To enter, customers will need to either sign up for a new contract, recharge, or upgrade an existing contract. Existing Prepaid, Postpaid and TopUp customers can also buy any number of qualifying bundles, which are available for purchase through USSD (*147#), Cell C’s online portal, the Cell C app and Bank ATMs. A "Spin & Win" game will allow customers to win data, bundles, airtime and SMSes.

The competition is open to active Prepaid, Postpaid and TopUp Cell C customers who purchase qualifying bundles. Customers who take part are also then entered into a draw, where they stand a chance to win prizes that include laptops, smartphones, tablet devices, cash, grocery vouchers, clothing vouchers and take-away vouchers. 

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