The Entrepreneur of the Year® (EOY) award aims to celebrate entrepreneurial excellence honouring those who are truly successful as heroes of our society. With reportedly low levels of total entrepreneurial activity, South Africa desperately needs more entrepreneurs. EOY helps to shine the spotlight on successful entrepreneurs with the aim to inspire others to venture into and succeed in the world of business. Entrepreneurship is defined as a willingness to take risks, develop, organise and manage a business venture in a constantly evolving competitive global market. Entrepreneurs are pioneers, innovators, leaders and inventors.
At this year’s 2017 award show, Joe Public United, a 100% independently owned and a proudly South African brand and communications agency consisting of five specialist companies, saw founding partners Gareth Leck and Pepe Marais nominated as one of the top five finalists for Medium Business Entrepreneur of the Year amongst 173 business entries.
“This accolade is truly a celebration of the calibre of the product we deliver every day to our clients, partners and people who have built our agency to be one of the most reputable businesses in South Africa’s advertising industry,” said Gareth Leck, Group CEO of Joe Public United. “Our success comes from our business purpose and our values which drive our culture and of course our long-term vision of creating an organisation that inspires greatness.”
Joe Public United embraces an approach based on a clearly defined business purpose, one that is evident within the business and through the creative product. “We understand that although money is the oxygen of business, we have always put our clients and our people above profit. We believe this is the fuel behind our 30% growth over the past year in a very challenging economy,” added Pepe Marais, Group Chief Creative Officer of Joe Public United.
In addition, the agency lives out a meaningful transformation strategy. From creating and supporting an NGO, One School at a Time, to hosting learner workshops and internship programmes to black ownership representation, as well as selective procurement and focused socio-economic development, Joe Public United proves that, “transformation is seen as more than a licence to do business, it is a fundamental part of Joe Public’s DNA.”
“This accolade showcases we are living our values and purpose, it is one we are not only incredibly proud of, but is one we hope will inspire others to do the same,” concluded Marais.