In line for top award

A local entrepreneur has been announced as a finalist in a national competition.

The Entrepreneur of the Year competition, sponsored by Sanlam and Business/Partners, has announced the shortlist of 15 standout entrants who have made it through to the final round of this year’s competition.

According to Gugu Mjadu, spokesperson for the 2018 edition of the competition, the 189 entries that were received this year really upped the game in terms of entrepreneurial talent.

“Every year, we think that we’ve seen it all, but each year we find ourselves being further blown away by the level of talent being exhibited by the South African entrepreneurs who enter the competition.”

Among the finalists is Cape Town CBD-based Louw Barnardt, founder of Outsourced CFO.

Outsourced CFO is a financial management company that renders technical and visionary chief financial officer (CFO) services to emerging tech and innovation businesses. The idea came about when Barnardt, a chartered accountant, noticed a gap in the South African market for high-level, yet accessible financial consulting.

Barnardt says that after running for just under five years, Outsourced CFO has emerged in Cape Town’s market and beyond, as a trusted CFO service provider and thought leader.

“We are scaling rapidly, achieving an 87% growth rate year-on-year for the past four years, with new employees joining the team almost monthly, and have no plans to slow this growth.”

Outsourced CFO provides a range of financial management services, an offering which Barnardt says is constantly evolving.

“Our three main service offerings are currently CFO services, cloud accounting services and fundraising services. Our team is always on the lookout for the best tech, the best resources, and the most efficient ways to execute on tasks and deliver value. Our differentiating factors are the entrepreneurial professionals we employ, the top-end technology we leverage and the high quality and innovative service we provide to exceed client expectations.”

While Outsourced CFO was voted as one of the Fast Company Most Innovative Companies in SA in 2017 and one of the top three Emerging Companies in the Western Cape Province at the Premier’s Entrepreneurship Awards in 2016, Barnardt says he prefers to gauge the business’s success through the success of their valued clients.

“We have helped our entrepreneur clients raise over R400m in seed and growth finance, which has led to exceptional growth and job creation across the client pool. Through this business, I am managing to live out my passion for entrepreneurship and realising the impact thereof.”

The finalists stand the chance to win prizes worth R2m, which include cash prizes of R70 000 per category and R200 000 for the overall winner.

“Beyond monetary prices, previous finalists have benefited greatly from the various networking opportunities and associated media exposure that the competition offers. Past winners have also gone on to win international awards and form valuable partnerships as a result of their success in the competition­.”

The winners will be announced on Wednesday 5 September.