“God set it up!” shares excited up and coming entrepreneur, Jean-Pierre Malgas, when asked about his recent win at the Port Elizabeth leg of the 2015 Engen Pitch & Polish competition which was held at the Feather Market Centre in Port Elizabeth on Saturday, August 15 2015. “I thought it was a workshop with a competition on the side and I was just going there to learn!”
Wild card entry
The 25 year old qualified Chartered Accountant (SA) entered the entrepreneurial competition as a wild card on the day of the event, after deciding to attend it at the last minute. “There was one wild card seat open and myself and a few other people from the audience had to compete for it.” Malgas won the wild card seat and joined the four pre-selected entrants, getting the chance to pitch his business idea to the workshop delegates and then a panel of judges who are looking for business ideas that are innovative and different.
He had gotten the idea of a financial services software package, which would assist start-up business entrepreneurs, after observing that there is a need. “The idea is to eliminate the administrative burden of tax and accounting for start-ups, small and medium sized business enterprises.” He explained. “It was something I had been thinking about since the beginning of this year.”
The NMMU BCom graduate believes that God has been preparing him for the competition, even setting up opportunities for him to brush up on his public speaking, earlier this year. “A while ago I was a guest lecturer at NMMU for three weeks. I had to address the B.Com Chartered Accounting stream students and I really believe that this helped to prepare me to speak in public.”
An avid worshiper, Malgas sees God’s hand in his opportunities and constantly receives revelation of how God is working in and through his life. “I feel like ‘ah, now I get it!’ when I think about how this whole thing played out.” He explains. “God is so cool, He just does things, we don’t even understand it!”
“Sometimes when you feel like you are spending a lot of time on your own plans and what you think your purpose is, and you are not seeing results, if you know that God is in it, keep doing what you are meant to be doing and keep believing.”
Malgas will join the other semi-finalists in the countrywide showcase in October 2015, where he will pitch his idea with the hope of making it to the finals. The 2015 winner of the Pitch & Polish challenge will walk away with lucrative investments and assistance towards turning the winner’s business idea into a business success.
Run by Raizcorp, Africa’s only unfunded for-profit business incubator model, Pitch and Polish is a business competition with the vision to assist with exposing would-be entrepreneurs, like Malgas, to enterprise development training and thinking. The organisation, founded in 2000, has become Africa’s premier business incubator model, supporting in excess of 240 companies. Along with sponsor’s and organizers, Hope Factory, BayFM and Engen, the Pitch and Polish competition will expose selected entrepreneurs to a high-touch support programme.