EY World Entrepreneur Award banner

Exceptional Category Finalists

  • Share

EY is pleased to recognise the achievements of this year's Exceptional category finalists:

Dr Chris van der Merwe Dr Chris van der Merwe - Curro Holding

Dr. Chris van der Merwe, Ph.D., is Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of Curro Holdings Ltd.

He studied education at the Stellenbosch University and completed the degree B.Prim (Ed) at the end of 1983. He accepted his first teaching post at Gene Louw Primary School in the beginning of 1986 and obtained the degree B.Ed (UNISA) in 1988 before becoming Head of Department in 1992. In this year he also obtained the degree M.Ed (cum laude). In 1993 he started a close corporation “SkoolCor” whilst teaching at Gene Louw Primary School. This company produced electronic learning modules as surrogate for textbooks and supplied these to schools nationwide.

During 2008, the Shuttleworth Foundation purchased more than 1000 learning modules and today they form an integral part of an Open Source Methodology. Chris became the deputy principal of Fanie Theron Primary School in 1997 and in the same year he obtained a doctorate at the Stellenbosch University. During 1998 Chris founded Curro and during 1999 he constructed Curro Durbanville’s campus and in January 2000 approximately 320 learners started the academic year on this new campus.


Mahomed Cassim and Asgar Mahomed 

Mahomed Cassim & Asgar Mahomed - Esquire System Technology (Pty) Ltd

Mahomed Cassim is the Chief Executive Officer of Esquire System Technology and Asgar Mahomed is the Managing Director. They are brothers and started the business in June 2000 and in a few short years, Esquire has become an award winning company.

Esquire Technologies is one of the largest privately owned IT and Digital Lifestyle distributors in the country, boasting on the largest number of resellers, which currently total more than 10 000.

Esquire is focusing increasingly on lifestyle products and is aimed primarily at the small to medium business market. The company also owns the Express retail outlets, one of the most successful computer retailer outlets in South Africa.


Hassen Adams  Hassen Adams - Grande Parade Investments 

Hassen Adams is known as the man who brought Burger King to South Africa. 

He has a H. Dip. Civil Engineering (PenTech), Prof. Tech. Eng. and has been the Executive Chairman of Grand Parade Investments Limited since February 11, 2011. He is a Consulting Engineer and a founding Member of GPI.

Hassen Adams serves as the Chairman of Sunwest International (Pty) Ltd. He also serves as Director of Cape Town Fish Market, Retail Corporation, Gold Circle and Grindrod Limited.

GPI is a black owned JSE listed company owning investments and operation in the South African gaming and leisure industry. Since its establishment in 1997, the company has positioned itself as a formidable player in the industry.  Its investments include Grande West Casino and Table Bay Hotel.


Lelau Mohuba Dr Lelau Mohuba - Sephaku Holdings

Dr Lelau Mohuba is the Chief Executive Officer of Sephaku Holdings which is developing into a key player in the emerging and exciting African construction sector. The group’s assets currently comprise valuable holdings in the range of operating assets which provide raw materials/supplies and services in this sector. Some of Sephaku Holdings more notable investments include Sephaku Cement, a subsidiary of Dangote PLC and the group has recently announced its acquistion of Metier Mixed Concrete Limited for R365m.

Lelau is a co-founder and former chairman of Sephaku Holdings and started his medical career in private practice at Mankweng Township in 1983.
His commercial experiences includes holding the position of Chariman and Chief Executive officer of Shikisha Tyre and Rubber (Pty) Ltd, a JV with Goodyear Holdings Limited, as well as co-founding Kiba Investment Holdings (Pty) Ltd, a mining beneficiation company.