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27 September 2023 | Daily News Reporter

Durban — The eThekwini Municipality’s two small, medium and micro enterprises (SMME) development initiatives, the Durban Business Fair (DBF) and Durban Fashion Fair (DFF), have been hailed by entrepreneurs for being a perfect link to opportunities, a great platform for exposure and opening many doors to ensure their development.

The DBF and DFF were hosted successfully from September 20-24 at Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre and the Durban Exhibition Centre and attracted approximately 20 231 visitors, who heeded the call of supporting local. There was a total of 609 exhibitors who showcased their businesses and products.

The main highlight of the week-long empowerment activities was the hosting of the Durban Business Fair Excellence Awards, which incorporated the Durban Fashion Fair Recognition Awards and Lion’s Den Business Plan Competition Awards on September 23. A total of 23 businesses scooped up to R50 000 each of business support prizes, with youth owned businesses dominating the honours.

The DBF Excellence Awards had a total of five categories. The DBF Excellence Award was won by Afya Food; Eagle Eye Clothing took the Youth-Owned Business Award; while the Rural/Township-Based Award was scooped by Insika Interiors. Mrs HairFidance won in the Women-Owned Business category while My Space Academy was given a long-standing Special Recognition Award.

The Lion’s Den Business Competition Awards that had three categories encourage innovation and competitiveness among entrepreneurs. Guru’s Eatery won in the Emerging Business category and M Branding & Advertising took second spot. For the Established Business category, Premier Group was the winner and Babuse General Trading took second position. Spot on Fire Control received the Entrepreneurial Excellence award followed by Pro Resin.

In the DFF Recognition Awards, Zamaswazi was named the Designer of the Year; Martin John Bespoke took the Fashion Innovation award; while the Best Women’s Collection was Eullue and Best Men’s Collection was Vyagor Louve. The Best Collection of the week was awarded to EYC Couture while Jigga was named the 2023 Emerging Designer. Further to their cash cheques, both designers were selected to supply their products to Edgars stores.

Sduduzo Nkwanya scooped the first place while Silondile Makhanya took second position and Nokuzola Ndlovu came third in the DFF Rising Star category. For the DFF New Faces (models), Nobuhle Mnguni won in the standard size female category; the plus size female award went to Fezeka Dlamini and Lwandle Khulu won in the male model category.

Chairperson of eThekwini Municipality’s Economic Development and Planning Committee, Councillor Thembo Ntuli, applauded the achievements of both the DBF and DFF.

‘Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER’.


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