GEORGE NEWS - Tomorrow evening, 25 October, the city of George will belong to the business leaders. The George Business Chamber will be honouring those men and women who have made a difference in the business world and the lives of others during this year.
Western Cape Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities, David Maynier, will be the guest speaker at the event that is taking place at Bygracealone. George Herald and Absa are among the sponsors of the event.
The four categories for 2019 are:
- Business Person of the Year
- Woman Change Agent of the Year
- Entrepreneur of the Year
- Youth Ambassador of the Year
In the run-up to the event, the George Herald looks back on some of the past winners of the Business Person of the Year.
Business Person 2015
Elsie Harmse, the founder and managing director of Africa Skills Private College, was the Business Person of 2015. She started the company 13 years ago with only four employees. Today there are 40.
Since those early days the company has grown and over the years more than 5 000 students have passed courses.
The company's range of programmes is based on the list of critical and scarce skills as identified by the South African Government, but they are constantly seeking to improve and expand on these programmes to ensure that they stay current and even ahead of the ever-changing needs in the industry.
Her philosophy in life is: It is not about what you receive, it is about what contribution you can offer to make a difference. This is why the main aim of founding the company was, and still is, to change people's lives and make a difference in the community. The company helps in the development and training of small entrepreneurs and as such it acts as a platform for her to help the community.
The management, staff, students, host employers and other stakeholders are seen as part of the Proudly Africa Skills family that encourages creativity and innovation. Achievements by both staff and students are recognised and rewarded.
Harmse humbly sees the 2015 award as an acknowledgement of the work that was done in the broader community. She says receiving the award most definitely helped the company to grow and encourages people to participate in the George Business Chamber's awards.
She emphasises that the award was not about her but rather a team effort. Without the team, the company wouldn't have been successful.
Most of the people who joined the company in the early days are still working there. "We are like a family. It is not about positions. It is about what initiative someone can bring to the table."
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