By | June 29, 2017

South African Cultural Observatory SA launches local leg of global creative business cup

A GLOBAL model for rewarding outstanding creative and design thinking has made its way to South Africa with the launch of the Creative Business Cup South Africa concept to the South African market.

The Creative Business Cup is an international competition that celebrates entrepreneurs in the creative industries by connecting them to investors and global markets, and strengthening their innovative capabilities to the benefit of industry and society. It falls under the Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN) banner and Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) in November where 10 million people from 160 countries participate annually.

Creative companies and individuals battle it out, Dragon’s Den style, to qualify to represent their country in a coveted spot at the global finals each year, in Copenhagen.

Leading the drive to bring the competition to life in South Africa are Mvuyo Ngqulana and Rick Ed – both established creative entrepreneurs with a passion for encouraging the growth of the industry – who have successfully lobbied to secure the rights to the event.

“Companies, and the public in general, are known for not recognising or appreciating creatives as professional business people.   It is harder for creatives than it is for most other entrepreneurs to be taken seriously,” said Ngqulana.


“Many creatives are also guilty of not recognising themselves as business people who make a valuable contribution to the economy and to society – and being respected and paid as well as people in other professions. We hope this competition will showcase our local creative talent – but also contribute toward changing people’s view of the creative industries.”

Start-up businesses in any of the fields of design are invited to enter a pitch battle to pronounce the best emerging design business after applying online with their design idea. Applications are open now and will close on 31 July, 2017.

Eligibility criteria include that applicants must:

  • have a registered South African Company;
  • present a new and original business idea from the creative industries;
  • have a business idea that has a strong market potential and will appeal to investors;
  • be a good investment;
  • be based in Gauteng; and
  • be able to travel to the global Creative Business Cup competition in Denmark in November 2017.

In September, finalists will spend two days refining their pitches, participating in a business skills boot camp delivered by experts and a gruelling workshop to prepare them for pitching to a panel of top flight judges.

They then do battle against each other for the chance to represent South Africa at GEW in Denmark where winners from more than 60 countries are pitted against one another.


The finalists also network with top creatives from around the world and are exposed to international investors and market opportunities.

The local winner will be announced on September 2, 2017. “This year, we are focussing on all the design disciplines – for example: product, interior, jewellery, digital, graphic design.  From 2018, we will extend the scope to include all the creative arts and the competition will be open nationwide.

To register, visit the Creative Business Cup website page (