Press release

23 Oct 2019 Johannesburg, ZA

EY honours unstoppable entrepreneurs

Johannesburg, South Africa, 23 October 2019. This year EY marks 22 years of recognising and celebrating entrepreneurs who have consistently demonstrated excellence in their businesses.

Press contact
Azim Omar

EY-Parthenon Transaction Strategy Leader & EY Private Leader, Africa

Strategic thinker. Committed to developing entrepreneurs and people across Africa. Relationship and trust builder. Dedicated son, father and husband. Passionate about cars and digital technology.


This year EY marks 22 years of recognising and celebrating entrepreneurs who have consistently demonstrated excellence in their businesses.

Since the first award in 1998, when Adrian Gore of Discovery was the inaugural winner, EY continues to see trailblazing entrepreneurs whose vision is shaping industries, creating new markets and generating employment opportunities while contributing to economic growth and development.

Growing healthy obsessions into contagious passion – we are proud to announce the 2019 Southern Africa Finalists.

(alphabetical order by company name)

  • Botho University (Pty) Ltd - Sheela Ram
  • Exxaro Resources Limited - Mxolisi Mgojo
  • Fortcom - Shukri Toefy
  • Grit Real Estate Income Group - Bronwyn Corbett
  • Insurance Underwriting Managers (Pty) Ltd - Antonio Iozzo
  • Irvine's Group - Craig Irvine
  • King Price Insurance Company Ltd - Gideon Galloway
  • Londolozi Game Reserve (Pty) Ltd - Dave Varty
  • Lyddon Properties (Pvt) - Lloyd Turner
  • Ozow (Pty) Ltd – Thomas Pays
  • Polar Ice Cream Company (Pty) Ltd - Ashraf Mohamed
  • Senwes - Francois Strydom
  • The Capital Hotels & Apartments - Marc Wachsberger

Azim Omar, EY Africa Growth Markets Leaders says: “We are delighted to celebrate and recognise these game-changing and ambitious entrepreneurs from Southern Africa and acknowledge their incredible achievements.”

“These entrepreneurs demonstrate extraordinary business acumen, financial performance excellence and inspired strategic direction. It is encouraging to see the tenacity and strong entrepreneurial spirit these business leaders have shown in their environments, which are often characterised by uncertainty and disruption. These and most entrepreneurs embrace bold thinking that often sees opportunity in adversity; a relentless drive to build a better working world; and an unwavering commitment to solving their clients’ issues,” he adds.

Previous winners and awards

EY’s commitment to entrepreneurs, in both emerging and developed economies around the world, helps ensure that we are working with more of tomorrow’s global leaders, today. Last year, Ridhwan Khan of Mobicel Communications was named overall winner of the EY World Entrepreneur Award. Joining him were category winners Davison Norupiri of Davipel Trading (Pvt) Limited and Deborah Merdjan, CEO of Camelot Group. For her outstanding contribution towards creating social and economic change as a founding member and CEO of WIPHOLD - and for the empowerment and development of women - Gloria Serobe was awarded the 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award.

About the programme – locally and globally

The Southern Africa awards programme provides the finalists with an opportunity to connect with local and international businesses and join a global network of entrepreneurs who share their experiences and perspectives. The Southern Africa awards covers: Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Mozambique, Malawi, Mauritius, Madagascar, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Zambia.

This year’s award event will be hosted on 13 November 2019 in Johannesburg – South Africa and following that the overall winner will go on to compete for the prestigious title of World Entrepreneur Of The YearTM in June 2020 in Monte Carlo where entrepreneurs from over 50 countries around the world compete for one of the most coveted global business awards.

There are a lot of successful people in the world. But to build something truly remarkable, you can’t let anything stand in your way. And only a few leaders are part of this special group: the ones who never give up. Driven by their desire to better the world around them, they stop at nothing to achieve their greatest ambitions. They cut through the noise of this transformative age by breaking away from the pack — and then end up leading it – EY World Entrepreneur Awards for Southern Africa – 2019.

Please note. When referring to the World Entrepreneur Awards programme: The phrase ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR is a trade mark in South Africa in the name of Business Partners Limited. Legally, in South Africa EY are therefore entitled to use only the following replacement phrases - WORLD ENTREPRENEUR AWARDS, WORLD ENTREPRENEUR AWARDS PROGRAMME, WORLD ENTREPRENEUR or WORLD ENTREPRENEUR PROGRAMME as trademarks.

EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ is the world’s most prestigious business awards program for entrepreneurs. The program makes a difference through the way it encourages entrepreneurial activity among those with potential and recognizes the contribution of people who inspire others with their vision, leadership and achievement. As the first and only truly global awards program of its kind, Entrepreneur Of The Year celebrates those who are building and leading successful, growing and dynamic businesses, recognizing them through regional, national and global awards programs in more than 145 cities in more than 60 countries.

For more information, please contact the EY Africa Media Relations Team:


Notes to Editors

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