George Business Chamber: Business Person and Entrepreneur of the Year Awards

The George Business Chamber’s Annual Gala dinner, which celebrates the Achievements of the Business people and Entrepreneurs of George, has been an annual event since 2005 and is one of the highlights of the Business Chamber’s Event calendar. It was hosted at the Protea Hotel-King George on Friday the 14th September 2012and was attended by some high profile people and businessmen and business women. Minister Alan Winde was the guest speaker.

The purpose of this event is to identify, encourage and reward excellence and competitiveness which are the foundations anchoring the Business Person of the Year Awards.  The Awards aim to recognize exceptional achievements in the George Business sector.

“This year saw a diverse and exciting collection of nominations for the George Business Chamber Business Person of the Year and Entrepreneur of the Year Awards.

The nominees were judged by an independent panel of evaluators who used a scorecard system to ascertain who the top candidates would be. Of all of the nominations submitted, a list of 10 finalists in each category was determined by selecting those nominees with the highest scores. The scoring was calculated by allocating points in each of the various sections which included personal qualifications of the nominee, leadership strengths, growth within the business in terms of sales and employment opportunities and the impact that the business has on the Community.

It is heartening to see that there is such a strong caliber of business people and emerging entrepreneurs who have been recognized by their peers and their community as people who make a difference, especially in such challenging economic circumstances!

We are extremely proud to be able to host such an event and to be associated with the business men and women of George who are the true inspiration behind this gala evening.

Although the economy is challenging and most businesses are experiencing difficulties, there is a sense of hope and renewed energies. Many companies are diversifying their product ranges whilst others are focusing on their core business and using their own “fail safe” strategies to survive and succeed in these trying times. We are very proud to be associated with these tenacious and courageous business men and women,” says Ingrid Cronje, Manager of the George Business Chamber. “This event would not be possible without the loyal support of our members and the support of our sponsors Nedbank Business, Die Burger and Cape Consumers.”

For the first time this year, The George Business Chamber has introduced an “Outstanding Achievement Award.”  This award was presented to Carli Bunding – Venter, Manager of Economic Development-George Municipality, in recognition for her commitment, dedication and energy in the endeavor to improve the overall Economic Development of George and surrounding area.

Carli Bunding – Venter, Imel Rautenbach (President of the George Business chamber), Alan Winde (Minister of Finance, Economic Development and Tourism Western Cape)

Entrepreneur of the Year 2012 Winner: Jonel Ackerman (FarmFresh Direct) 

Jonel Ackerman of Farm Fresh Direct has a heart for George. Her passion and focus is to bring fresh produce at affordable prices to the public via online purchasing system.  This project allows farmers, bakers and other informal producers to have an alternative market and outlet for their wares.  By supporting the farmers and local suppliers, Farm Fresh Direct and the consumers who buy from FarmFresh Direct, have a role to play in keeping the employees of the suppliers employed.

Steve Hurt (Afrigetics) Business person of the year 2012 Winner, Alan Winde (Minister of Finance, Economic Development and Tourism Western Cape), Jonel Ackerman (Farm Fresh Direct) Entrepreneur of the year 2012 Winner.

Entrepreneur Runners Up. 

Deon Mocke: Outeniqua Farmer’s Market

Joe Afrika: Loxion Lounge

Entrepreneur Finalists:

Andre Snyman: ProtechSA

David & Carol Stopforth: Dynamic Printworx

Jonathan Stanton Humphreys: Realstart Youth Development

Warren Moult: Eco Guttering

Nico Theron: Martin’s Funerals

Business Person of the Year 2012 Winner 2012 – Steve Hurt (Afrigetics)

Steve Hurt is a businessman who has dedicated the last decade to commercializing Southern African traditional medicinal plants.  His business exports processed plants and plant extracts for medicinal use to the USA, Canada, Europe, Asia and Iran.  His business is environmentally sustainable and plants are harvested in the wild under the auspices of nature conservation.  Afrigetics has manufactured a unique herbal extract for colds and flu and a major European Company has requested a world wide exclusive distribution agreement for this.  Afrigetics has also signed a benefit sharing agreement with the SAN people that gives a share of profits to the SAN administrative body.

Business person of the Year 2012: Runners Up.

Louis van Rensburg- Van Rensburg Auctioneers

Peter Reinstorf – Safari Manufacturing

Business Person of the Year 2012: Finalists

Rion Olivier : Garden Route Mall

Gert Niehaus: AVBOB

Mariska Cloete: Jesua Consultants

Hennie Burger: M Sec Security

Marina Victor: BMS Boekhou Dienste

Frederik Combrink: George Kwekery

Abrie von Wielligh & Norman Meyer: MeyerVonWeillich

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