EYA winners generate E71m revenue

MBABANE– The revenue generated by EYA’s 85 winners amounts to E71 million, with over 400 jobs created.

This was shared by the Small Enterprises Development Company (SEDCO) Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Khethiwe Mhlanga, yesterday.

She was speaking during the official launch of the 17th edition of the Entrepreneur of the Year Awards (EYA) at the Hilton Garden Inn. Mhlanga disclosed that over E750 000 had been disbursed to previous EYA winners since its formation, excluding the price of the motor vehicles awarded.


“Statistics of the past few years indicate that there have been 85 winners who have employed an estimated 460 employees and a collective turnover of approximately E71 million. The competition has further disbursed cash prizes to the tune of E769 000 to winners, excluding the three motor vehicles that were awarded to the three overall winners,” mentioned the CEO. Mhlanga said SEDCO was pleased to have hosted the Entrepreneur of the Year awards for the past 16 years. She expressed SEDCO’s appreciation for the support received from the government, especially the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Trade and FNB Eswatini. It was outlined that there would be regional winners in this year’s contest, which will be held regionally before culminating in the national event to be held at a date yet to be announced.

This was disclosed by the bank’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Dennis Mbingo, yesterday during the official launch of the awards.

Mbingo said they recognised that when small and large businesses do well, everyone else gets lifted, and that when the business sector coughs, banks


“We need to scale-up our effort so that our society continues to benefit from such initiatives as EYA,” Mhlanga added.

The Minister of Commerce, Industry and Trade, Manqoba Khumalo, said through these awards, they aimed to uncover exceptional businesses that had demonstrated outstanding leadership and innovativeness in their business ventures. in particular are expected, by regulation and international practise, to take medication through impairment charges or what is commonly known as provisions for credit losses.

“That is why we are invested in initiatives that encourage and recognise excellence in business. We are simply helping to water the fields we also glean from,” he added.

The CEO added that they genuinely want to see Eswatini do well, he said most of these


He said the country had a high unemployment rate, which currently stands at 33.3 per cent, and it was also discouraging that the worst affected group was the youth, with about 60 per cent of them without jobs.

The winners of the last edition of the awards were Mashayinkonjane Investments, who were awarded a brand new Toyota bakkie worth E300 000, which had been set as the grand prize for the 2019 awards. The competition saw over 180 entrants as the number of entrants doubled from those of the previous year.

sponsoring companies are led by teams that are either born and bred in Eswatini or have their business lives tied to the economic future of the country.

“In the last version of the event (2019), after having committed E650 000 that was to cover the cost of the commercial vehicle that would go to the winner, plus other categories of spend, we ultimately spent over E800 000 in 2019 to promote and encourage collaboration between MSME’s linked to this programme. Today we are committing E1.5 million, which nearly doubles our last spend,” he added.