Iwisa Community Champion Competition: Are you an entrepreneur making a difference in your community?

Exciting news for social entrepreneurs! The closing date of the IWISA No 1 Community Champions Competition has been extended to 31 May 2024. With prizes of R60 000 up for grabs, there’s never been a better time to celebrate an exceptional social entrepreneur you might know or nominate yourself…

Now in its second year, IWISA No 1’s Community Champions Competition has been designed to celebrate unsung heroes in communities across South Africa working to solve societal problems, find ways to unlock new impact or overcome systemic challenges. Attracting over 400 entries in 2023, this year’s competition has created similar excitement across social enterprise ecosystems – hence the decision to extend the deadline date. 

“We want to ensure that the competition is as inclusive as possible and that entrepreneurs have sufficient time to apply,” explains Sibongile Mooko, Premier Executive: Marketing (Milling). “This is why we’ve extended the deadline date. We’re calling on socially-driven SMEs in Gauteng, Free State, the Eastern Cape and the Western Cape that have been in operation for over two years to visit our website and submit their applications.”

Mooko highlights that the competition journey itself gives SMEs a reason to apply: “The competition has been carefully designed by Premier in partnership with the Silulo Foundation to add value to SMEs and create direct learning opportunities – through the process. Entrepreneurs showcase their work and its direct impact through their application. As the competition journey progresses, shortlisted SMEs then ‘pitch’ to win a place in the finals where they will compete for the prize money. Because they receive training and support on how to pitch and structure their proposals, their pitches just get better and better!” This means that SMEs are better able to go to market with their solutions regardless of whether they ultimately win or not. “Their SMEs are better able to compete in the market and source new business.”

Apart from the prize money up for grabs, winners will also benefit from additional training and business mentorship – tailored to speak to the specific needs of their SMEs. “This will focus on the most pressing ‘gaps’ and opportunities they are facing, equipping them with new tools and skills to build and grow their businesses.”

She adds that the competition is an extension of the brand’s commitment to support, build and grow the communities in which it operates: “As a corporate, it is critical that we not only support businesses that ‘do good’, but empower them to scale and amplify their positive social and environmental impact.”

With the month of May remaining to submit applications, local socially-oriented SMEs have everything to play – and ultimately – pitch for. “We’re excited to meet South Africa’s next generation change-makers and are looking forward to igniting fresh thinking and unlocking new tools that can add real value to their businesses. To everyone who has already entered – good luck! To those who haven’t yet, please submit your entry today. We want your stories to be told and your phenomenal contribution to be celebrated,” Mooko concludes.

More details about the competition including the online entry form can be found on Iwisa’s website ( 

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