ENGEN Pitch & Polish ends on a high note in Port Elizabeth

OCTOBER 19, 2016

With over 230 participants filling the historic Feather Market Convention Centre, the energy in the room was electric. The event was hosted by Engen Petroleum Ltd, Nedbank, Raizcorp and SAfm, and local partners, Bay FM, The Hope Factory and Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber.

Two previous Port Elizabeth ENGEN Pitch & Polish alumni, Asa Walesa Mazomba and JP Malgas, were both present and comfortably stood on stage to share their experiences. They were also part of the live radio broadcast with national media partner, SAfm.

The workshop was guided by specialists, Stephen Reid, Zanick Essop and Bronwyn Echardt. They kept the delegates on their toes throughout the day. Each individual’s mental process was transformed from a money-seeker to a money-lender as they were asked to emulate an investor or bank manager. The facilitators explained the difference between a Business Owner and an Entrepreneur, whereby the former focuses on security and their expertise or skills, and the latter takes risks and seeks opportunities across multiple markets.

The workshop sections of the day provided an interactive and educational environment where all delegates learnt how to create a well-structured business pitch.

The crucial learnings, culminating from the eight ENGEN Pitch & Polish workshops held across the country, include:

  1. Know your break-even figure precisely.
  2. Avoid using jargon in your pitch.
  3. Determine whether your pitch is targeted to secure funding or to sell.
  4. Avoid vague words such as ‘about’, ‘nearly’ and ‘approximately’, and be specific.
  5. ‘Everyone’ is not your target market.
  6. Express your credibility, expertise and where you specialise.
  7. Answer questions as directly and succinctly as possible.

The five contestants entered the competition segment of the day with greater confidence and insights. Billy Siziba, Grant Louw, the Bay FM Wild Card Winner, Carmen Müller, and the Wild Card contestants chosen on the day, Siyabulela Cikolo and Siyamthanda Binza, presented their final three-minute pitch to the judges and audience.

It was clear that their business pitches had been polished! After their final pitches, judges, Shirley Moroka-Mosia, General Manager: Health, Safety, Environment & Quality from Engen Petroleum Limited, Monique Renze, Team Manager RRB from Nedbank, and Darren Ryder, Projects and Innovation PE from The Hope Factory, asked the five entrepreneurs clarifying questions and gave them valuable feedback.

“Growing entrepreneurs is a robust means to grow the economy and reduce unemployment,” commented Shirley Moroka-Mosia from Engen Petroleum Ltd. “Entrepreneurs will move us, from where we are, to grander heights.”

The audience remained captivated throughout the day, concentrating to the very end. They were determined to be part of the workshop in every way, to grasp the concepts and to stay committed to helping to polish the contestants’ pitches.

The winner of the ENGEN Pitch & Polish Port Elizabeth event is Billy Siziba from Summerstrand who proceeds to Round 2, which will be held in Johannesburg.

Congratulations to all who participated.

Learn instantly and directly how to transform your dream or idea into reality and how to reach for the sky. This truly is the year to ‘Go for Gold’. For more information, visit www.pitchandpolish.com or watch the full series on Business Day TV.

Main image: In this picture (from left to right): Darren Ryder (The Hope Factory); Carmen Müller (Bay FM Wild card and 3rd place); Billy Siziba (1st place); Siyamthanda Binza (Wild Card and 2nd place); Monique Renze (Nedbank); and Shirley Moroka-Mosia (Engen Petroleum Limited).