Standard Bank Business Banking Award winner Reel Gardening walks away with R 2 million in cash

Reel Gardening, represented by Claire Reid, won the top prize. Photo: Supplied


Three months of fierce competition culminated with the announcement of the 2021 Standard Bank Business Banking Awards winners on Thursday, October 14.

Business owners who had competed in the awards from across South Africa gathered at a virtual event in hopes of winning their share of Rand 4.5 million in future growth capital. The 1st prize winner was announced as Reel Gardening represented by Claire Reed, who took home R 2 million in cash; the second winner of one million rand was Elamaswazi Projects represented by Lihle Ndlovu; and the 3rd recipient of R500,000 was The Awareness Company, represented by Priaash Ramadeen.

In the specialist categories, Crismo Enterprise, represented by Major Cindi Gama, won the Rising Star award, and Corium Skincare, represented by Vuyi Zondi, won the award for best female-led business; the two specialist award categories each won R500,000.

All winners will also receive support from Standard Bank in the form of banking solutions, business assistance, market access, transcontinental networking platforms as well as EY specialist support business coaching services.

Through these Business Banking Awards, Standard Bank has sought to inspire businesses to explore their potential as a driving force in the South African economy while fostering connections and increasing collaborations within their ecosystems. The National Awards were intended for any South African business 3 years or older, which required investment and mentorship to accelerate its next phase of growth.

As the grand winner of the Standard Bank Business Awards 2021, Reed said: “I would like to thank Standard Bank for this incredible award. I look forward to embarking on this journey of scaling and growing my business with the help of Standard Bank. I couldn’t have made it this far without my amazing team at Reel Gardening.

Founded in 2019, Reel Gardening sees agro-education and complementary products as an essential tool to create systemic change in the quest for food abundance. The organization has been actively involved in the agricultural space since its inception in 2009 and has been recognized as one of Africa’s leading social innovators.

Reel Gardening’s patented Seed Tape Kits allow anyone to start a growing journey. The simple, technology-driven process takes someone from seed to harvest in a simple, daily step-by-step process that allows for a greater chance of success with limited resources.

“We congratulate the winners and everyone who entered the competition. As Standard Bank, we promote a culture of entrepreneurship and celebrate the success of our local businesses. We remain steadfast in our drive to help create an inclusive economy and celebrate those who make a positive contribution to the country and our home in Africa, ”said Simone Cooper, Head of Standard Bank Business Clients South Africa.

In the spirit of Standard Bank’s commercial proposal entitled “Africa banks on business. Business banking on us ”, the Business Banking Awards saw Standard Bank partner with influential entrepreneurs and thought leaders who shared their views on business sustainability as well as critical factors to consider for growth and expansion opportunities.

Standard Bank believes that doing business the right way not only promotes profitability, but also sustainability. “We believe that growth must be sustainable and nurture the communities in which we live and work,” says Cooper.

“We were very impressed with the quality of the submissions – it made the judges’ job very difficult. The high level of innovation of entrants has highlighted the incredible entrepreneurial potential that we have in the country.

“We are proud to be the authors and owners of the Standard Bank Business Banking Awards for 2021. It is important for us to be a partner who helps drive the sustainable growth of our clients’ businesses. As a bank committed to Africa’s growth, our role goes far beyond simply serving the banking needs of our customers, ”concludes Cooper.

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