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.

After months of extensive preparation, our 13 Southern Africa unstoppable entrepreneur finalists arrive at EY’s Africa HQ, 102 Rivonia Road Johannesburg, to participate in the final two days of this prestigious program. This stage sees the finalists attend their individual interviews with independent, esteemed panellists before being given the afternoon to relax and prepare for the prestigious Gala Dinner. This year’s dinner is held at the gorgeous Houghton Hotel in Houghton Estate. 

By 10pm on Wednesday, we will know who the 2019 World Entrepreneur Awards winner is in each of the three categories: Emerging, Exceptional and Master. They are joined by the Lifetime Achiever also named during the evening.

In June 2020, the Master category winner will go on to join finalists from over 50 countries in Monte Carlo to compete for the title of 2020 EY Entrepreneur Of The YearTM .

The dinner is attended by our EY leadership team, alumni of the program, members of our Entrepreneurial Winning Women and other special guests.

Growing healthy obsessions into a contagious passion – we are proud to announce the 2019 Southern Africa Finalists.  (alphabetical order by company name) 


  • FORT – Shukri Toefy
  • Ozow – Thomas Pays
  • Polar Ice Cream Company – Ashraf Mohamed


  • Exxaro Resources – Mxolisi Mgojo
  • King Price Insurance Company – Gideon Galloway
  • Irvine’s Group – Craig Irvine
  • Senwes – Francois Strydom


  • Botho University – Sheela Ram
  • Grit Real Estate Income Group – Bronwyn Corbett
  • Insurance Underwriting Managers – Antonio Iozzo
  • Lyddon Properties – Lloyd Turner
  • Londolozi Game Reserve – Dave Varty
  • 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 the 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. BM


EY Entrepreneur Of The YearTM 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 YearTM 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.

About EY
EY is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. The insights and quality services we deliver help build trust and confidence in the capital markets and in economies the world over. We develop outstanding leaders who team to deliver on our promises to all of our stakeholders. In so doing, we play a critical role in building a better working world for our people, for our clients and for our communities.

EY refers to the global organization and may refer to one or more of the member firms of EY Global Limited, each of which is a separate legal entity. EY Global Limited, a UK company limited by guarantee, does not provide services to clients. For more information about our organization, please visit


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