Business chambers, entrepreneurs, small-scale farmers and hospitality businesses from across South Africa have until Friday, 22 October to enter for the AHi's annual competition for dynamic businesspeople.
Where the focus previously was on exceptional business chambers in the Western Cape, the AHi (formerly the Afrikaanse Handelsinstituut) decided this year to also recognise the economic contribution of entrepreneurs countrywide.
The AHi Western Cape’s president, Dr Willie Cilliers, says no less than five awards will be presented during a virtual prize-giving function on 12 November. Two weeks prior, a shortlist of three finalists each will be announced in the categories for Business Chamber of the Year, Entrepreneur of the Year, Beginner Entrepreneur of the Year, Small-scale Farmer of the Year as well as the most innovative hospitality business of the year.
Cilliers says: “With this year’s AHi awards, we want to honour entrepreneurs and business chambers who, despite the Covid-19 pandemic and all its challenges, have found innovative ways to reach their clients or members. The AHi awards are often the greatest recognition such small business owners receive.”
The AHi’s announcement follows Statistics South Africa’s recent finding that nine out of every ten small businesses in the country now make significantly less money. Just over a third of the businesses also had to lay off staff due to financial pressure.
“During the coronavirus pandemic, the AHi saw entrepreneurs go out of their way to tackle everyday challenges with innovative ideas. So, this year we want to reward outstanding entrepreneurs and businesses that have performed despite all the challenges,” says Cilliers.
Although the business chamber competition category is for AHi members only, membership is not mandatory for the other categories.
To enter, go to www.myahi.co.za