The month of September brought with it a significant milestone in the Ranyaka Building Business programme in Mamelodi, Gauteng.

Representatives from 113 small local businesses attended a Business Plan training session in Mamelodi, followed by an exciting Pitch My Hustle event at the Mamelodi West Community Hall to further spark innovation and creativity among local entrepreneurs.

Sponsored by the Nedbank Proud of my Town programme, the Pitch My Hustle event provided participants with a platform to showcase their products and services and share their business aspirations. While the process may have been daunting for some, it was a very positive experience overall as it also allowed business owners to improve on their personal skillsets.

After a tough screening process, 34 small business owners were given the opportunity to pitch their business ideas to a diverse panel of experts. Panelists included the Nedbank Mamelodi branch manager, Nyiko Maluleke, the Business Support Unity Portfolio Manager from the City of Tshwane, representatives from SEDA’s Mamelodi branch, and members of Seliki Business Solutions. After delivering their initial pitch, the participants were invited back on stage to answer follow-up questions. Constructive feedback was given to all participants to help them develop their ideas and grow their businesses successfully.

Prior to the event, an invitation was also extended to local businesses owners to sign up for a stall from where they could promote their products free of charge for the duration of the event. No less than 18 business owners took advantage of the opportunity with many showing up as early as 8am to secure a prime spot inside the hall. The stallholders were well received by event attendees.

The Pitch My Hustle event was concluded with a highly anticipated prize-giving ceremony which saw three very deserving winners walking away with cash prizes to the total value of R15,000.

The first prize was awarded to Onica Theledi from Optimal Balance Mobile Spa, Melrose Montjane from Digitalizing Mamelodi was in second place, with the third-place spot going to Mpe Solomon from Daiman Records.

In addition to the cash prizes that were awarded, two participating businesses were selected to be placed in a SEDA-managed business incubator where they will receive additional support to further grow their businesses.

Mamelodi is one of 21 communities across South Africa where Ranyaka is implementing the Proud of my Town initiative – and Building Business, which entails entrepreneurial support and enterprise development, is one of the key programmes that forms part of Ranyaka’s overarching community development framework.

Wherever we work with dynamic entrepreneurs, we are inspired by the innovation, drive and willingness to do what it takes to see their businesses flourish. Congratulations to all our participants! We are excited to see your respective business journeys unfold.