By: Tebogo Mokwena
e-Hailing app owner Samuel Mazibuko believes that should he win Amstel SA’s competition for township-based entrepreneurs, his business is on the way to challenging bigger and well-known e-hailing apps. Mazibuko is the founder and owner of the iTaxi Ubuntu App, and he has been nominated for the “The Entrepreneur” award. The initiative, according to Amstel, seeks to identify, upskill and give marketing exposure so that small businesses to get broader credibility and attract new customers, grow sales, and ultimately expand.
Amstel has partnered with local radio stations like Jozi FM and Kasie FM and is looking to award a total of R1 million in prizes. The competition has already shortlisted 40 entrants, and the number will be whittled down to 20 entrants. Each business has been given an opportunity to pitch on-air, after which listeners vote for their favourite pitch. The top 12 businesses will, after the selection process, qualify for R50,000 worth of marketing exposure and mentorship assistance. They will be announced in February and will embark on a three-month business marketing and mentorship journey.
After this period, contestants will be judged based on whether their businesses improved, had the most innovative marketing campaign, the best growth potential as well as marketability. The top four winners will be given an additional R70,000 for marketing support. Mazibuko said that he found out about the competition through Facebook and entered. “My business is looking for a sponsor, and being part of the competition will enable iTaxi Ubuntu App to reach a broader market and have a name across South Africa as a whole,” he told Vutivi News. “The winnings will also assist my business to gain exposure and buy resources to scale and to enable our business to grow in various parts of the country.”
Mazibuko’s app currently operates in Gauteng, with 30 drivers in Soweto, 15 in Ekurhuleni, and 20 on the West Rand. He plans on expanding his services to other provinces. Mazibuko said his app not only presented cheaper and tailor-made e-hailing options for students, employed people, and the elderly, but it would also create employment opportunities. Amstel will also provide each business with marketing and advertising classes, and courses to help them develop their skills as entrepreneurs. Voting lines were opened on 16 January and closed on 5 February, after which the final 12 will be selected based on the number of votes.