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CBN | 16 November 2023

In celebration of South Africa’s innovators, start-ups and small businesses, Telkom, a leading technology company, recognised shining businesses that showed resilience, growth, and innovation, through FutureMakers, its flagship Enterprise and Supplier Development (ESD) Programme.

The occasion was graced by the presence of the Telkom Group EXCO and various Enterprise and Supplier Development Ecosystem role players.

Addressing the audience, Mr. Serame Taukobong, Telkom Group Chief Executive Officer, emphasised the important role the entrepreneurs and their businesses play in creating much needed jobs, alleviating poverty, and solving other societal challenges through innovation.

“I am speaking to you as businesspeople, CEOs, Founders and Entrepreneurs, and not ‘Small Businesses,” said Mr Taukobong.

Speaking at the inaugural Telkom Transformation and Innovation Awards, Dr Mmaki Jantjies, Telkom’s Group Executive for the Innovation and Transformation Office, said it was it important to recognise and encourage tech upstarts and SMEs.

“The idea is to reward entrepreneurs who are using digital technology to provide solutions to social challenges and building strong resilient businesses. It’s also about recognising entrepreneurs, innovators and technology ambassadors who inspire others in the sector,” Jantjies added.

There were 16 companies that received awards. These exceptional achievers were drawn from a cohort of businesses who are using digital technology to provide solutions to social challenges and building strong resilient businesses. These are also entrepreneurs, innovators and technology ambassadors who inspire others in the sector and are part of the Telkom FutureMakers Programme.

The aim of FutureMakers is to grow the digital economy by developing and investing in black-owned, high-growth enterprises that create jobs and other socio-economic benefits.

This is done through:

  • Investing in and incubating ICT businesses;

  • Providing access to the market through Telkom’s supply chain;

  • Working with youth and female-owned businesses;

  • Promoting inclusive innovation;

  • Promoting localisation.

he Telkom Transformation and Innovation Awards, to be held annually, serves as a platform to showcase the exceptional achievements of, highlighting the profound impact of these initiatives on the local business ecosystem.

The awards are divided into three segments, each dedicated to honouring different facets of innovation and transformation within Telkom and its extended ecosystem:

Segment 1 Winners- Enterprise Development

  • AI Innovation of the Year: Atrybute Graphic

  • E-commerce Innovation of the Year: Credipple

  • EdTech Innovation of the Year: Space Salad Studios

  • FinTech Innovation of the Year: Horizontal Gravity

  • HealthTech Innovation of the Year: EMG Technologies

Segment 2 Winner – Supplier Development

  • Top Performance Award: Corridor Africa Technologies

  • Most Jobs Created: Kandua

  • Resilience Award: SweepSouth

  • Openserve – People’s Choice Awards: Multiplek Networks

  • Consumer Small Business – People’s Choice Awards: Gcwensa Telecoms

  • Gyro – People’s Choice Awards: Siphilasonke Development Group

Segment 3 Winners – Telkom Transformation Ambassadors and Ecosystem Partners

  • Tech Woman of the Year: Ambani Africa

  • Tech for Good Award: Jobox

  • Tech Trailblazer of the Year: Advannotech

The event also honoured various Telkom staff members as Transformation Ambassadors including Strategic Ecosystem Partners who enable a strong support network for FutureMakers entrepreneurs and support them tap into resources, skills, facilities, and technologies they need to innovate and grow their businesses.

“We need innovators and entrepreneurs, who constantly come up with new ideas. And we need government, which enables the environment for us to work together developing small business, supporting economic growth and job creation,” concluded Dr Jantjies.

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


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