L ro R: Sugendhree Reddy, Ninky Shuenyane, Thabisile Hlongwane and Thandi Mkhanza
Access Bank SA CEO Sugendhree Reddy said, “On behalf of Access Bank SA, I’m thrilled to announce the winners of our 2022 Womenpreneur Pitch-A-Ton. It was a challenging judging process due to the unbelievable innovation and creativity of all the entrants”.
“We announced the top ten finalists last week and today it’s with great admiration that Access Bank names our Top Three winners.”
The top three life-changing business funding prizes to enable winners to grow their businesses are:
- 1st prize of R100,000 - Ninky Shuenyane: Village Water Filters SA
- 2nd prize of R75,000 - Thabisile Hlongwane: Isibusiso Holdings
- 3rd prize of R50,000 - Thandi Mkhonza: Prospero SA
The top ten finalists each receive a R50 000 voucher to use at the educational facility of their choice.
The 2022 Womenpreneur Pitch-A-Ton South Africa process started on 1 August 2022, when some 3 000 entrants signed up. “Narrowing the field to ultimately choose the three most worthy entrants was not an easy task, but it did show our panel of judges the sheer power and determination of women entrepreneurs in South Africa today,” Reddy said.
She added that Access Bank as a whole is proud to add Womenpreneur Pitch-A-Ton South Africa to its growing list of initiatives that support women in business. “Empowering women in small businesses continues to strengthen the entrepreneurial sector which is the backbone of any economy.” Reddy continued, ““As a women led organisation, Access Bank South Africa are proud to be a driver in the development of women entrepreneurs and tonight demonstrates our commitment to our idea”.
Brief synopsis of the winning businesses
First prize winner Ninky Shuenyane - Village Water Filters SA
“Only 64% of South Africans have access to clean and safe running water for daily use ,” says Shuenyane. “The South African Human Rights Commission notes that Chapter 2 of the Constitution of South Africa provides that: “Everyone has the right to have access to sufficient food and water.” Village Water Filters SA’s solution, the bucket water filter, cleans water to make it safe - a desperately needed solution for rural South Africa. Devices are approved by SABS and the World Health Organisation.
Second prize winner Thabisile Hlongwane - Isibusiso Holdings
“Road curbs are made for the safety of motorists and pedestrians,” says Hlongwane. “Trading as iConcrete, we manufacture road curves, cover slabs and building blocks.” iConcrete’s aim is to be a one-stop shop in all concrete products and, in the next five years,plans to add paving blocks and lintels to the company’s offering.
Third prize winner Thandi Mkhonza - Prospero SA
“Prospero SA manufactures precast slabs and poles to develop structures at low cost for homes, back rooms, church halls, offices, storage rooms and even man caves,” says Mkhonza. The company also manufactures its own lab-tested materials that use very little electricity, making them an ideal product for our environment.”
Like Reddy, the panel of judges - Leanne Manas, Fifi Peters, Matsi Modise, Sugendhree Reddy and Gugu Madlala – noted the drive and innovation shown by all entrants, and added their congratulations to this year’s Access Bank’s 2022 Womenpreneur Pitch-A-Ton winners.