29 Nov 2010

Entrepreneurship has always been around me.

My father and grandfather started their own engineering firm out of a cow shed, and I can remember as a young child visiting the mines and the factory and helping with counting the cents for the wages.

My mother and grandmother started a home industries shop, and I remember helping to deliver the thirty chocolate cakes and dozens of sausage rolls every day.

My work history has involved quite a few start ups, and ground-breaking projects which were the first of their kind.

So it's not much of a surprise that I find entrepreneurship so fascinating, and ended up starting my own business seven years ago. Then the one matchstick project followed, with the aim of not only helping my own business with some office space, but also with the ultimate and more important goal of helping other entrepreneurs to get their businesses off the ground, by offering some of the office space to them.

This journey has led me to meet many more amazing entrepreneurs. Two of those entrepreneurs who I traded with for 375 T-shirts are Eran Eyal and Eric Edelstein of Springleap.com, who provide a platform for up and coming designers. And my story also reached Allon Raiz, an entrepreneur who runs Africa's only unfunded for-profit business prosperator, touching many other entrepreneurs lives by helping them develop and grow their businesses (including my own).

Eran and TelanaEric and Telana

"Entrepreneurship is not just about business. It's about the birthing of an idea, the tension between fear and hope, and the ability to live in the space between what could be and what is." – Allon Raiz

Allon Raiz and Telana

Why I mention these three entrepreneurs here is because of how our paths have crossed- again. Allon, together with Eran and Eric are now running a competition to find a T-shirt design that encapsulates entrepreneurship. How exciting!

And they are giving the winning designer R10 000 (US$1250) in cash, an inspiration pack and worldwide exposure. Wow!

So I'm calling all designers and entrepreneurs: here's an opportunity to have some fun! All you need to do is express your understanding of this phenomenon called entrepreneurship in a black and white design, and submit it by the 8th December 2010, and you could win!

For all the details and rules and dates and suggestions, check out the "I am an entrepreneur" competition page.

Have fun, and let me know which design is yours, I'd love to check it out and possibly vote for it to win!

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