Ethiopian firm named Africa’s top SMME

An Ethiopian Company, Holland Car Plc, was declared the top small business in Africa at the third Africa SMME Awards function held at Spier Wine Estate at a gala dinner the 15th of October 2009.

Ms May Mkhize, wife of the Premier of Kwazulu Natal presented this award at a glittering ceremony interspersed with African dance routines and attended by people from all over the continent.

The Africa SMME Awards, an initiative of the Africagrowth Institute in Cape Town, is set to become an annual highlight on the African entrepreneurial development calendar. The evening was in no way a predominantly South African event, as the best small, medium and micro enterprises from all corners of the continent showed their mettle.

Other SMME Award winners were;

Best New Business Award Sponsored by SAMAFMost Innovative Award Sponsored by AMSCO SAIndustrial Award : Sponsored by Xstrata SA
1. Mpilende Foods (SA)1. Holland Car Plc (Ethiopia)1. Talon Nigeria (Nigeria)
2. Victoria Manor Guest House (SA)2. Law Mine Safety and Contracting CC (SA)2. Atlantic Solar Heaters (SA)
3. Western Cape Therapeutic Community Centre (SA)3. International Maritime Information Systems (SA)3. Cie Agricole de Labourdonnais Ltd. (Mauritius)

Service Sector Award Sponsored by SAB Ltd

Trade Sector Award sponsored by SAB Ltd

Young Enterprise Award sponsored by SAB Ltd
1. Khanyisela Training (SA)1. Scala Pharmacy (SA)1. Poster Graphics Co. (Mauritius)
2. Greyowl Limited (Kenya)2. Kalahari Verspreiders (SA)2. Montsamaisa Bosigo (SA)
3. Silulo Ulutho Technologies (SA)3. Kinross Recycling (SA)3. Radly & Deen Consult (Nigeria)

“Judging by the entries received from all over the continent, the event certainly seemed to have captured the imagination of African entrepreneurs,” said the president of the Institute; Prof Nicholas Biekpe. “With the current global financial crisis strangling small businesses worldwide, this sector needs all the encouragement it can get from African governments and African lending institutions,” he said,.

Businesses that enter the awards are expected to be well established, in good financial shape and enjoy a reputation for quality, integrity and service. Furthermore, they should operate in a socially responsible manner, support community development efforts, and create a work environment in which their employees can learn and grow.

According to the judges, Holland Car Plc won the overall 2009 Africa SMME Award because of the company’s ability to create and sustain jobs in a challenging environment. Furthermore, the business is built on solid business principles and has established itself as a world leader in manufacturing, assembling and distribution of its products. The award for the 2009 Africa SMME of the Year was sponsored by The South African Breweries.

2009 Africa SMME of the Year Award Winner

Mr Tessema Alemu, Holland Car Plc and Dr May Mkhize, wife of the Premier of Kwazulu Natal Province

This Awards was Sponsored by The South African Breweries Ltd.

Source: Africagrowth Institute.