A panel of five judges face the challenging task of shortlisting entries in our Entrepreneur Competition. Already, they’ve succeeded in identifying the top 20 finalists. Their next task will be narrowing down their selection to identify the top 10 and then, on 6 July, the top 5 finalists.
Each of our judges brings unique qualifications and perspectives to the task.
Phakiso Tsotetsi co-founded The Hookup Dinner, one of the fastest growing entrepreneurial networking platforms in Sub-Saharan Africa.
He also co-founded The People’s Fund – an innovative crowdfunding platform.
The two brands are owned by Lifesgud Global Investments (PTY) Ltd, which Phakiso founded together with friend and business partner, Selebogo Molefe. Both initiatives were built to identify, develop, model and invest in start-up entrepreneurs – and to challenge the status quo, helping ordinary African people participate in large-scale projects.
Phakiso is passionate about the development of entrepreneurs.
He has travelled widely, is an ambassador of the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship, and is an alumnus of the Investec “YoungTreps” Program. He has also helped manage international volunteer programmes, designed to allow young international students to do volunteer work in South Africa and elsewhere in Africa.
Beyers Müller is a registered chartered accountant and auditor.
In 2000, Beyers started a niche consulting and auditing firm, delivering financial management solutions and audit services to clients in the private and public sector. In 2012, the firm joined Nolands as their representative office in Pretoria, with Beyers as the CEO –and in 2018, Beyers joined the Interspace Group as Chief Financial Officer.
Beyers graduated from the University of Johannesburg with a BCom. Hon. He completed his articles at Ernst & Young and has extensive experience in group and financial management, logistics and marketing activities in Africa.
Mari Schourie is currently the CEO of The Workspace. She’s responsible for the development and growth of the coworking and serviced office business – an industry in which she has 17 years’ experience.
Mari has committed herself to mentorship programs in the past, and believes wholeheartedly in the power of working together to increase skills and knowledge, and to provide mutual support. She also has experience in providing companies with business strategies to ensure growth.
Mari has an understanding of people and how to get the best out of them. She’s able to withstand a high-pressure environment and perform optimally, and is successfully developing The Workspace as a market leader in the industry.
Dr. Jannie Botha
Dr. Jannie Botha is a well-known and highly respected sport psychologist, international motivational speaker and mental coach. He specialises in the psychology behind performance enhancement, guiding individuals and teams toward success through mental conditioning.
Dr. Botha has been involved in the mental coaching of three winning Rugby World Cup teams.
Drawing on his extensive experience in coaching, Dr. Jannie is able to assist entrepreneurs in their journey towards becoming successful as individuals and in business.
Dr. Jannie studied at the University of Pretoria, continued his studies in America and completed his postgraduate studies at the University of Stellenbosch, earning his PhD in Psychology.
Willie Du Plessis
Willie Du Plessis has been part of the insurance industry for 17 years, and has extensive experience in both personal and business insurance fields.
Willie started his career in 2001 by joining the Personal Lines Broker Sales division of the Telesure group. He subsequently completed the necessary qualifications in commercial insurance, joined Auto & General Insurance and played a pivotal role in establishing their Commercial Insurance unit.
He was approached to head up the Upsell and Cross Sell division for Telesure, and later joined the company’s Client Services Department, where he dealt with brokers and affinity partners.
In 2015, Willie joined MiWay to head up the Sales Call Centre Operations for their newly launched Business (Commercial) Insurance department. Three years on, he’s still proud to be a part of this growing business unit, which continues to have a positive impact for small to medium enterprises.
Thank-you to all our judges for their continuing hard work, and good luck to all the competition finalists!