Johannesburg, 4 December 2019 – Riversands Incubation Hub in partnership with Nedbank today announced the winners of its inaugural Small-Business Excellence Awards 2019.


The awards recognise entrepreneurs with grit, business acumen and the vision required to build sustainable, successful operations. The awards are open to entrepreneurs within Riversands’ programmes in five categories.

“This has been a tough year for South Africa’s small businesses. Despite these conditions, we are privileged to support outliers who buck the trend. Throughout the world, small business survival rates are dismally low, which is why it is encouraging to see examples of strong entrepreneurial leadership,” says Jenny Retief, CEO of Riversands Incubation Hub.

“We congratulate the winners and recognise all those who have contributed to making Riversands a true hub for small business. As a bank for small business, the initiative to nurture and recognise small business entrepreneurs at the hub, matches our ethos to grow the economy and create jobs through innovative solutions aimed at helping entrepreneurs,” comments Nirmala Reddy, Senior Manager of Enterprise Development at Nedbank.

The Beyond 5 Award celebrates businesses that have passed the critical five-year mark and have achieved significant momentum. It recognises the business owner demonstrating commitment, calculated risk-taking and capacity for personal growth. In this category, many of the nominees were recent graduates of the incubation programme.

The Beyond 5 accolade went to Yolanda Nomoyi and Mathapelo Montsho of Why Cook. This duo teamed up in 2014 to create a catering company promoting home style cooking. During their three years at Riversands, Nomoyi and Montsho made full use of their 200m² unit where they created a kitchen with catering-grade health and safety standard and grew the business substantially, attracting a diverse corporate clientele while also serving private customers.

The Gamechanger Award acknowledges entrepreneurs striving to solve challenges using innovation in new, developing fields.

In this category, the award went to Langa Sangoni, the founder of Apple Green Environmental. When he established his business in 2008, he was someone ahead of his time, anticipating the rising emphasis on sustainability. Today, the company offers a complete suite of waste management and environmental services, employing more than 100 staff members.

Nine small-scale manufacturers competed in the Local Producer category, which rewards and celebrates entrepreneurs brave enough to develop a new product from scratch.

Ivan Skhosana of Wood Armour, who manufactures wood treatment products including sealers, varnish and stains received the top honour in this category. Skhosana currently distributes the product through independent hardware stores with plans for a national footprint.

The Diepsloot Entrepreneur of the Year award acknowledges business owners who come from the nearby township of Diepsloot. Just over 30 percent of entrepreneurs at Riversands live in Diepsloot.

This award went to Bigbrain Moloi, the founder of accountancy firm Moloi & Co, who studied part time and worked as a security guard to fund his accounting degree. After completing his articles, he made the choice to start his own firm in 2014, rather than job-hunt.

The final category of awards celebrates the Top Newcomer – a new entrant on the Riversands programme who has a viable business model, some traction and huge potential.

Vuyisile Zondi of Corium Skincare was acknowledged as the Top Newcomer. Zondi started experimenting with different DIY skin mixes which she would share with friends and family, who encouraged her to commercialise the hobby. Zondi retails online with a strong following of regular customers and interest from large retail chains.


About Nedbank

Nedbank Group is a bank holding company listed on JSE Limited, with a market capitalisation of R137 billion as at 31 December 2018. Nedbank is one of Africa’s largest banking groups, with operations in Namibia, Swaziland, Malawi, Mozambique, Lesotho and Zimbabwe, and offshore in the Isle of Man, Guernsey and Jersey. We are a diversified financial services provider, offering a wide range of wholesale and retail banking services, as well as insurance, asset management and wealth management solutions. Nedbank Group is one of South Africa’s four largest banking groups driven by a purpose to use our financial expertise to do good for individuals, families, businesses and society, under-pinned by our vision to be the most admired financial services provider in Africa by staff, clients, shareholders, regulators and society.


Media enquiries: Nedbank

Edwin Naidu

Cell:       071 111 0505

Email:    edwinn@nedbank.co.za


About Riversands Incubation Hub

Riversands Incubation Hub is a large-scale business incubator established in 2015 through a partnership between Century Property Developments and National Treasury’s the Jobs Fund. The Hub is currently home to over 160 small businesses, with many more entrepreneurs supported through business development programmes and support services.

The Hub is located at the centre of the Riversands Commercial Park. It provides a strong, enabling eco-system that fosters the development of high-potential enterprises.

A wide variety of industries is represented by the businesses at the Hub and industry clusters have emerged amongst the entrepreneurs – manufacturing, home décor, IT, engineering and professional services to mention a few.





For more information contact:

Lunice Johnston Communication

Lunice Johnston


Mobile: +27 82 824 6384