published on: 10 May 2010
The M'hudi team and I would like you to share in our joy of being the 2009/2010 winner of the highly contested Emerging Tourism Entrepreneur of the Year Award (ETEYA), which takes place at Indaba, the tourism expo in Durban in May.
This is an annual event, which recognizes emerging entrepreneurs for their ability to start up and run viable businesses. The aim of the awards is to enhance job creation, financial sustainability and product development among black-owned small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) within the tourism industry in order to migrate them from the “second economy” to the mainstream economy. ETEYA is open not only to accommodation establishments, which have won most of the awards to date, but also to cultural villages, game reserves, restaurants, tourist attractions, adventure products, conference centers not attached to accommodation, tour operators, travel agents, car rental companies, coach operators and tour wholesalers. Entries are received from all over the country, after which semi-finalists and then finalists are chosen from each of the nine provinces. The final, national winner is chosen from the nine provincial finalists.
Mhudi Wines was announced at a glittering award ceremony on 7 May at the TOURISM INDABA in Durban to be national winner of the highly contested 2009/10 Award. I accepted the award on behalf of the company as ETEYA’s 10th award winner as the programme also celebrated a decade of achievements as well as the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Developing M’hudi wines into a sustainable business has been incredibly challenging, and I am delighted to have achieved this. I am excited about the award as it represents the recognition of the daring and Herculean effort we made to enter and stay in the competitive wine industry that even now has only a 1% black presence. It speaks of achievement against energy- apping odds and of our determination to create a viable wine company and grow it into a tourism venue of choice. It celebrates the support we have received from many people throughout the world, especially this Wine Club that has been the backbone of our presence in the USA. I hope that the future will see you make M’hudi a household name and a byword for courage, commitment, excellence and collaboration. From these humble beginnings we must together aim to blaze a path others can follow in developing women-led black businesses.