Win a mentorship session with Sir Richard Branson
Win big with the Dreamtrepreneur competition 

Do you have an innovative business vision that could change the game?

We've partnered with Virgin Atlantic, CliffCentral and the Branson Centre for Entrepreneurship to bring you Dreamtrepreneur - an opportunity for you to win R40 000 cash, R140 000 digital marketing package from Just Perfect, a trip to London for Global Entrepreneurship Week and, last but not least, a personal mentoring session with Sir Richard Branson himself.

To stand a chance to win, simply record your business plan in one minute – video or audio – and email it to

Entries close on Friday, 2 October 2015.

Dream BIG!

 The Entrepreneurial Africa London Showcase - 21 - 23 March 2016

The Entrepreneurial Africa London Showcase provides an opportunity for young African entrepreneurs to connect with people in the London start-up community. By making relevant contacts the aim is to help entrepreneurs find potential partners to help scale up their businesses with organisations in London, in a mutually beneficial way.

During a three-day programme, 15 emerging entrepreneurs from the British Council’s enterprise challenge series will attend training workshops, open talks with UK entrepreneurs and study tours. The entrepreneurs will also have the opportunity to pitch their businesses and participate in a panel discussion on innovative approaches to supporting entrepreneurship in Africa.


To find out more on how to get involved, please contact Genevieve Kebe. You can read more information about the event on the Entrepreneurial page.

Read more on the Sudan finalists.


Ridhwana Shaik

Company: Save our Soles Footwear

 Describe your business. What makes it different?

I run a small-scale footwear manufacturing and design company. Our focus is on being able to create footwear solutions with minimal environmental impact. We currently design and manufacture two of our own products: a fold up pump created from cotton for women and a range of footwear for kids. Our differentiator for the consultancy side of the business is that we offer a full 360 degree view of the design process and a small scale manufacturing capability. That’s completely different from mass manufacture as is standard in the footwear industry.

How did you get the idea to start it?

After returning from a work internship experience in China, I came back knowing that SA needed a high fashion footwear brand, but not another that is made in Asia. My vision for the company was to be able to offer a high fashion made-in-South Africa brand to the market. We’re well on the way to realizing this vision, having started with baby steps.Do you need a lot of capital to set up a company? How did you do it?

You need a lot of money to start a footwear business in South Africa, running costs; overheads, raw materials etc cost the earth, which is why we’ve decided to build the business slowly but steadily.

Would you say that Africa has influenced or inspired you, in terms of your creativity, the way you’ve built up your company, or your product?

Africa is my home, the people, the crafts, the level of creativity and talent is mind-blowing. So yes, I am inspired by Africa but I translate that into something that best represents my view of Africa.

What is it about your company that you are most proud of?

That I was able to start with a very small amount of capital and I am still around 3 years later, even though I know I must progress, for now, just still being relevant is great.

Do you have any advice for other people who want to set up their own businesses? What would you tell yourself, if you could travel back in time and advise yourself when you were starting out?

Do all the bureaucratic cartwheels way up front, ensure that market research is done and don’t be afraid to take chances, sometimes the biggest challenges provide the biggest rewards.