PIETERMARITZBURG-BASED manufacturer of toilet and shower-cubicles, Cubicle Solutions, has won the prestigious Best New Business 2012 Award at the Africagrowth Institute’s annual 2012 Africa Small, Medium and Micro Enterprise (SMME) awards. The Awards — held in Stellenbosch recently — are open to entrants across the African continent.
Director Sue Hadcroft said that they are extremely proud of the initial nomination and selection as a finalist, as well as the award itself. “It’s a huge achievement and accolade,” she said. To enter, they had to provide detailed information of the company’s three-year history, from audited financial statements to marketing plans. “We also detailed how our product range had increased during this time and what capital expenditure we had made to facilitate the growth,” said Hadcroft. She added that they have worked in a number of African countries, including Botswana, Namibia, Swaziland and Mozambique. “It is hard to put in to words just how delighted we are to have won this award. It is the culmination of nearly four years’ extremely hard work, determination and extremely long hours, often away from home, by Alan [Hadcroft] and I, but in addition we cannot thank our team enough for their commitment to our company and to us personally — we are all so proud.” Sue said the Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda) has been instrumental in the impressive growth experienced by Cubicle Solutions. Seda initially assisted the company with brand identification, as well as a grant for setting up their website. Cubicle Solutions is currently working with Seda to impart knowledge and experience on exporting products. The company was established in 2009, and now employs 15 people. It also manufactures lockers and benches. Its products have been used at various KZN shopping malls, as well as the Durban beachfront and uShaka Marine World. President of the institute, Professor Nicholas Biekpe, stressed that the SMME sector needs all the encouragement it can get. Businesses that enter the awards are expected to be well established, in good financial shape and enjoy a reputation for quality, integrity and service. They should operate in a socially responsible manner, support their communities and create a sustainable work environment.