The Miss Earth South Africa walked away with top honours in the Young Entrepreneur category at the Inaugural South African Premier Business Awards held at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg recently. The awards, initiated by the Department of Trade and Industry, Proudly South Africa, and Brand South Africa, recognised top businesses in a wide range of categories, including Woman-Owned Enterprises, SMME, Technology, Rural Development and an Investor Award to name a few.
The Miss Earth South Africa was founded in SA, 2003 by National Director, Catherine Constantinides. Her vision for a women empowerment programme that would leave a lasting green legacy has seen her traverse the country, seeking young South African women with the passion and drive to continue that legacy.
Now, more than decade on, the Miss Earth South Africa touches thousands of lives each year through programmes that inspire, empower and activate community development. Their dedication to climate change, greening issues and the empowerment of women within the environmental sector has seen these young entrepreneurs impacting both on the green industry, creating sustainable change and leaving their green footprints across SA and the globe.
Some of these programmes include; their food garden projects, greening of under greened township and rural areas, their annual Stationery Drive, which this year has reached in excess of 12,000 learners in underprivileged communities. This social enterprise has also implemented various successful education programmes over the years that have focussed on sustainable living, energy efficiency, water stewardship and recycling.
On receiving the award, Eco-preneur Constantinides was humbled and honoured and said, “It’s a collaborative effort. We have been able to achieve our objectives because of an amazing team and incredible partners. This award is dedicated to all who have believed in my dreams and the green future I believe we can all share in.”
The Miss Earth South Africa’s Educational Project Coordinator, Ella Bella, was also present to receive the award: “Catherine’s guidance is invaluable to us; We all live, breathe, eat and dream our passion to develop and grow not only those around us but the communities in which we serve. We are so proud to have been given such an accolade by the Ministry of Trade and Industry and the associated partners.”
The top Award for the evening, a “Lifetime Achievement Award”, was presented to South African entrepreneur and businessman, Dr Richard Maponya. He was recognised for his significant contribution to the development of South African business – as well as his contribution to the community – during his lifetime.
The Department of Trade and Industry, Proudly South African and Brand South Africa – who hosted the Awards – have congratulated the winners and lauded them for promoting the spirit of success, innovation, job creation, good business ethics and quality.
Catherine Constantinides, founder of Miss Earth South Africa, with Minister of Trade and Industry Dr Rob Davies and Ella Bella, Miss Earth South Africa Educational Project Director.