Round 2 of ENGEN Pitch & Polish 2014 rolls out in Richards Bay

BY SUPPLIED - AUGUST 22, 2014

Celebrating five years of polishing entrepreneurial pitches, the ENGEN Pitch & Polish 2014 workshop and competition went to Richards Bay, for the first time, to provide the local community with expert business training.

Engen Petroleum Ltd, in partnership with business incubator, Raizcorp, and media partner SAfm, as well as local stakeholder, the Zululand Chamber of Commerce and Industry, joined forces to bring this annual workshop and competition to the area. Approximately 120 people attended the workshop to be part of the growing entrepreneurial community. The day provided an opportunity to have ideas brainstormed, tested and challenged. The event was supported by local TV station 1KZN who filmed throughout the day.

Richards Bay forms part of Round 2 of the programme, where contestants from Round 1 stood on the stage to pitch their businesses. The audience are primed to think and ask questions as investors, which in turn helps them shift their thinking as they apply the lessons to their own lives.

The day began with the delegates watching a clip, which captured the essence of events from previous years, setting the scene of what could be expected. This was followed with Julie Dakers, Lead Learning Facilitator from Raizcorp, sharing her story which included her “Jewels from Jules”. She facilitated the highly interactive workshop and emphasised the below insights from her journey.

Key learnings on the day were:

  • Self-discipline
  • Perseverance
  • Responsibility
  • Budgeting
  • Leadership
  • Humility
  • Entrepreneurship is about creating value, recognising opportunities and managing risks
  • “Just take action – one step at a time”

The five contestants from Round 1, spent the day having their pitches polished, and ended the day competing to go through to the semi-final. ENGEN Pitch & Polish is an active and interactive workshop! Each person is given a worksheet which they diligently fill in while each section is work-shopped, to help them create their own pitches and at the same time gain a deeper understanding of entrepreneurship and their business.

Contestants and in the photo (left to right):

  • Siphamandla Javu from PE
  • Willy Sibuyi from Nelspruit
  • Camagwini Litye from Welkom
  • Ayanda Ntsho, from Soweto
  • Colleen Fernandes from Cape Town

The two contestants through to the semi-final are Colleen and Ayanda.

It was an exceptional day of learning and sharpening of business, in particular pitching skills and understanding the importance of knowing your financials. The delegates questions were of a high standard and relevant to everyone.

All participants received world class training at the ENGEN Pitch & Polish event in Richards Bay with the hope that the day will nurture their entrepreneurial hearts.

Mike Stead, Industry & Government Liaison Manager from Engen Petroleum Ltd commented, “There was a good crop of contestants and participants here today. The questions from the floor were fantastic as they showed maturity. Job creation is critical which is why nurturing entrepreneurs and small businesses is essential.”

This winning formula of workshop-and-competition makes ENGEN Pitch & Polish one of the most stimulating business events of the year – where everyone leaves victorious and with tools to become a successful entrepreneur!

Photo caption: ASPIRING ENTREPRENEURS... Left to right - Siphamandla Javu from PE; Willy Sibuyi from Nelspruit; Camagwini Litye from Welkom; Ayanda Ntsho from Soweto; and Colleen Fernandes from Cape Town.