Tech company Loyal1 wins The Workspace/MiWay Business Insurance Entrepreneur Competition

14 September 2018 Mari Schourie, The Workspace
Mari Schourie, CEO of The Workspace.

Mari Schourie, CEO of The Workspace.

Tshireletso 'TY' Hlangwane of Loyal1.

Tshireletso 'TY' Hlangwane of Loyal1.

Loyal 1 has won The Workspace/MiWay Business Insurance Entrepreneur Competition.

Tshireletso 'TY' Hlangwane created the cloud-based loyalty management platform for small to medium businesses which allows shoppers to digitise existing loyalty and rewards cards in one app. Businesses can create profiles and reward customers in an app-based platform, create loyalty plans and communicate with customers from R99 per month. 

Talking about why Hlangwane’s Loyal1 pipped the other finalists to the post, CEO of The Workspace, Mari Schourie, said judges had many different aspects to look at, but what initially intrigued them was the great idea and concept. “We had to keep an open mind and really understand each business and the potential it had to make a difference within an industry. Ty really took in everything he could learn; each time they pitched to the judges you could really see the improvement and his confidence lifting,” she said. 

Willie du Plessis, head of sales for MiWay Business Insurance, said he based his decision on the viability of the concept, the potential market and demand for the product/service, its financial feasibility and return on investment, as well as the finalists’ passion and belief in their product. “Tshireletso presented a well-planned strategy and financial forecast for his product, and he showed great belief and passion,” Du Plessis said. “It is a product relevant to our everyday lives, in both private and business sectors and could potentially change the way in which we deal with reward schemes, thus providing him with a vast marketing reach.” 

Thrilled with win 

Hlangwane is thrilled with his win. “Thank you for the amazing opportunity. It has been an amazing experience and the manner in which I view the business has changed immensely due to the workshops and insights,” he said. “I have made incredible connections and have received tools that will help the business going forward.” 

Hlangwane is keenly anticipating moving into his new office space, getting his business insurance sorted out and becoming part of The Workspace family. Talking about The Workspace’s Village Road space, he said, “The way in which they are set up is amazing and cost-effective. It is perfect for small to large businesses, if they need office space.” 

Phakiso Tsotetsi, who worked closely with the entrepreneurs as the competition progressed, was impressed with Hlangwane’s business. “He was consistent and has such determination to build his company. He’s also one of the few who’s getting into an industry that does not have many black players and his model is to own that space by getting the current players to be on his platform! That’s bold,” said Tsotetsi.  

Second prize went to Sindi's Best for All, and third to Minatlou Trading 251 (see below for more info).

The prize 

The prize is worth over R500 000. Hlangwane and Loyal1 will receive 12 months free office space for up to four people, free Wi-Fi, free phone rental, free business insurance and business advice, as well as all risk equipment insurance, free tea and coffee, free usage of meeting and board rooms, free security and 24-hour access, free parking and a new laptop. 

Other useful business prizes have been added too. These include a brand new responsive design website and content management system, logo and corporate identity design, SEO and social media set up as well as training in how to keep digital collateral up to date, worth R25 000.00 from Web Artist. 

Opulentus Wealth are offering the winner a Bespoke share portfolio for the business worth R10 000, Business life stage Risk Assessment, estate plan for the directors and shareholders valued at R15 000 per plan, advice on managing and improving cash flow with the business (R10 000) ?and tax advice for the business (R5 000). 

Oxigen will build the company a compelling ?brand communication strategy as well as offer two strategic sessions worth over R50 000.



Judges in The Workspace/MiWay Business Insurance Entrepreneur Competition were so impressed with the finalists that they decided to award second and third prizes.

Two women have taken those places, with Sindi Molete’s Sindi’s Best for All coming in second place, and Mpho Mpatane and her company, Minatlou Trading 251 winning third place.

“We have gotten to really know these people and their businesses and when you get to the point of only choosing one winner, it gets really difficult as you see the need and you see the potential in each of them,” said Mari Schourie, CEO of The Workspace.

“We need to assist these small businesses and we need to help them where we can. If one office in our serviced office facilities can make such a big difference to one start up business when you knowingly understand what this can do for them, then why not? I am very excited to keep walking a journey with these entrepreneurs and to watch them grow!” she added.

Schourie said you only have to meet Sindi to understand “best for all is really who she is, she genuinely wants to deliver the best to all she works with”.

Talking about Mpatane’s business, which supplies tailor-made personal clothing and equipment solutions, particularly in the mining and construction industries, Schourie said: “Minatlou Trading needs this hand; they have a great business concept and their passion for their industry and hard working woman in South Africa is extraordinary. They are touching a section in their industry that I believe is really necessary. There is a big job creation opportunity within their business and a willingness for skills development in the youth that makes them extra special.”

Second prize

• Two-man office free for six months valued at R26 400.00 ex VAT
• Financial Strategy offered by Phakiso Tsotetsi worth R15 000
• Business assessment and business cash flow analysis worth R5000 offered by Nicci from Opulentus Wealth
• Consulting sessions and high level guidelines by Oxigen Communications R15 000
Third prize

• Two man office at The Workspace in Village Road, free for three months valued at R12 000.00 ex vat
• Business Strategy offered by Phakiso Tsotetsi at R15 000
• Business cash flow analysis worth R2 500 offered by Nicci from Opulentus Wealth
• Consulting sessions and high-level guidelines by Oxigen Communications worth R15 000.

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