“The Big Break Legacy” is back

Entries for the second season of "The Big Break Legacy" are open.

So if you have an idea for an innovative business or already have an existing business, you qualify to enter and stand a chance to win a R5 million investment in the business.

All you have to do is SMS your name, surname, South African identity number and your home province to 35383.

But remember, to make it past the first stages, your business idea has to be commercially viable, have potential for growth and positive social impact, and be innovative.

Last season saw entries from 25 000 entrepreneurs. This year organisers are bracing themselves for anything between 50 000-100 000 entries.

Launching the second season at the Jabulani Hyatt in Rosebank, founder and chairman of The Big Break Legacy, Ezra Ndwandwe said that the objective of the show was to demystify the concept of entrepreneurship and showcase what it is to be an entrepreneur.

“The show delves deeper into the character of an entrepreneur. It's hard work being an entrepreneur,” he said.

The show also aimed to lead the creation of new innovative businesses, inspire South Africans and give them a can-do spirit, and contribute to the economic growth of the country.

Businesswoman and board member of The Big Break Legacy, Wendy Luhabe said she looked forward to seeing more entries from women.

“We didn’t see too many women last year. My sense is that there are more women entrepreneurs than men out there but it boils down to confidence. Women like to wait and see while men like to explore,” Luhabe said.

She added it was the confidence versus competence thing. Women will not take up an assignment unless they know they can do it while men will jump in and learn as they go.

Cellular giant MTN is still on board as main sponsor. GM for Business Marketing at MTN Business, Nomalanga Nkosi said it was no surprise that the company was involved in the project as it was committed to the development of SMMEs as a growth sector and creator of employment.

“We believe that entrepreneurs are indispensable contributors to the future viability of South Africa and so MTN Business has, and continues to place a strong focus on aiding this market,” she said.

Ndwandwe also announced that 2013 would see the launch of an entrepreneur-training programme in conjunction with University of Pretoria’s Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS). He said the course would aim to provide entrepreneurs, with the street smarts but no book smarts or requisite education, a theoretical bases from which to operate their business. The course would be pitched a level lower than a MBA.

However, he warned the programme would not be a “drive-through” churning out business start-ups ill-prepared to deal with the harsh reality of the competitive business world.

“By the time you complete our intervention you will be both market and investor ready,” he said.

Another exciting development to come out of the launch was the fact that CNBC Africa would broadcast the Big Break Legacy to 48 other African countries – to an additional audience of 5 million viewers. Head of Corporate Communications at holding company Africa Business News (ABN) Nola Mashaba said the second season would air in Africa, the same week it debuted on SABC.

Winner of the first season, Graham Rowe said the value of entering the competition was the robust feedback entrepreneurs would receive about their business and how they rated as entrepreneurs. Even though he was the winner, the top 12 he was surround by were incredible people, he said.

In closing Luhabe said to grow the economy, South Africa needed to create more companies and innovative industries. Existing companies would not be able to create the required number of jobs.

Ndwandwe said his dream for the The Big Break Legacy was to offer the African child an alternative way of life as an entrepreneur. Not as a survivalist mode but as a chosen life path.

“Parents should encourage children to get a good education so they can reach their potential to create the best company to work for, not to get a job,” he said.

* For more information, visit: www.thebigbreaklegacy.com