A massive congratulations to the Firstwatch Entrepreneurs Challenge 2022 Winners!

Winner: Siyabonga Ndlela

2nd place: Zethu Nyali

3rd place: Phumzile Mthembu

‘’Being the first prize winner is such an honour for me. I am truly grateful,” says Siyabonga Ndlela, Founder of Ndlela Agri Group. “The main reason I entered the Firstwatch Entrepreneur’s Challenge is that I wanted to get my name out there so that people could get to know about me and my business.”

“With the prize money, I am going to buy some machinery for my business and put up fencing where I plant my vegetables. I give back some of my vegetables to those who need them in my community, so I am happy that I will get to do more of that.”

The winner, 2nd place and 3rd place received R100 000, R50 000, and R25 000 cash respectively and 6 months of Business Support compliments of Over the Rainbow.


The winner of our inaugural Firstwatch Entrepreneurs Challenge in 2019, Mpho Mohaswa, Owner of Precious Pearl Brands, had this to say about the challenge:

“I feel very good about winning the Firstwatch Entrepreneurs Challenge as it shows that all the hard work that I have been putting into my business is finally paying off. This indicates that I am on the right track and that the judges understand my vision and see potential in my business,” says Mohaswa. “It is great to have an established brand such as Firstwatch Whisky backing my business idea. Winning for me means more growth, brand awareness and brand visibility which will result in more sales for the business.”

You can find Mpho’s winning Ghemere ginger beer at Food Lovers stores in Sunward Park, Jabulani and Dobsonville, Soweto. Following her win, she worked with Dawn on a book called ‘Hope’ which launched last year and has been profiled on TV interviews and webinars to share her story of hope.

2019’s Challenge

How the Challenge Worked

Entrepreneurs entered their business or business idea.

Once all entries were received, a selection process took place.

160 candidates were shortlisted to attend a 2-day workshop in JHB and CPT.

Candidates pitched their ideas to a panel of judges to earn a spot in the top 10.

The top 10 candidates attended the finale in JHB, where the overall winner was chosen.

Get to know our ambassadors

Our ambassadors are no strangers to the ups and downs of getting a business off the ground or expanding them to meet its owner’s business needs.

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