In a largely unnoticed world, millions of South Africans labour daily, alongside but
often unseen by ordinary citizens. This resourceful band of workers silently
contributes over R 90 thousand million rand to our economy each year.
These creative entrepreneurs toil tirelessly, often not enjoying the same recognition
as people with ‘real’ jobs. Unfortunately, many of these extraordinary people in the
arts sector don’t see themselves as business people either.
But there is someone who does: Creative Business Cup recognises entrepreneurs in
the arts, it champions and empowers creative business people.
By participating in the Creative Business Cup competition, artists, designers,
performers, musicians, crafters, authors … get high profile publicity, exposure to
market opportunities, access to funding and a valuable business network. And
One will even compete against the top creative startups from over 60 countries, in
This year, the auspicious competition was held in collaboration with Small Business
Expo. The two-day intensive business skills boot camp was honoured with
presentations by a line-up of over 20 experts in business, entrepreneurship and the
The pitch camp day also provided the nine anxious contestants with expert training in
pitching in pursuit of the national crown.
Judging was no less stressful for the adjudicators, but finally Smir Design emerged as
the South African winner who will compete against the world’s best in Copenhagen
The presenters and judges, to whom we are extremely grateful are: Alexander
Simpson, Bongi Dhlomo, Bra Willy Seyama, Darlene Menzies, David Hounson, Dylan
Piatti, Eugenie Drakes, Fredell Jacobs, Grant Newell, Kgomotso Mautloa, Lazola Belle,
Lufuno Muthubi, Marang Marekimane, Mawetu Soga, Mohammed Jogie, Neo Rakgane,
Petro Bothma, Phuti Manguba, Precious Mvulane, Shirley Anthony, Sibusiso
Mkhwanazi, Thabang Butelezi, and Thapelo Tsiu.
The 2017 contestants were: Brainbow Conscious Creatives, BrownChild, Ciamsomi
Promotional Products Solutions, Creative L’amour, EmagAlex Parks, Hustlenomics,
Modular Innobox, Smir Design, and South Revolution. Short clips of the pitches can
be watched on the Creative Business Cup website.
The event would not have been possible without the extraordinary generosity of Reed
The future for creative businesses is rosy. In 2018, Creative Business Cup South
Africa will be inviting startups in the arts to apply to participate in provincial run-offs
and the winners will again compete for the national crown and stand the opportunity
to represent South Africa against all the world’s winners in København.
One obvious outcome of this year’s amazing exercise is that a vast reservoir of
expertise and contacts has been built so that a lot more value can be made available
to participants than the competition alone. Competitors and presenters should also
be able to get access to market, finance, advice, support, learning and contacts.
It is proposed that a Creative Business Cup Forum be established to give effect to this
vision and this has been proposed to the participants in the inaugural competition.
Interested people and businesses are welcome to contact the organisers via the