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Imraan Noorbhai

Standard Bank KwaZuluNatal has announced that the bank will again sponsor the KZN Top Business Awards in 2021. The event will boast a hybrid presentation format and include new categories that recognise the impact of Covid -19 on the people and economy of the Province of KwaZulu-Natal. Currently, the Standard Bank KwaZulu-Natal team is capably led by Head Consumer Client Coverage, Imraan Noorbhai and Head Business Clients Coverage, Hameed Noormahomed. “As a leading financial services partner, we understand that our commercial success, social relevance and sustainability over the long term depends on our team having a deep understanding of the business sector in KwaZulu-Natal. We are a catalyst for much needed economic growth and job creation in our province.

Our sponsorship of the Standard Bank KZN Top Business Awards allows the bank to share in the achievements of the business sector and to inspire more businesses to demonstrate excellence, which is good news for KZN,” said Noormahomed. “The global pandemic has created very difficult times for many of our businesses. We believe that in response to Covid-19, recognising and rewarding business excellence is even more important and that this event will provide the appropriate platform to do so in KwaZulu-Natal. As such we are pleased to announce that they will again sponsor the KZN Top Business Awards in 2021,” commented Noorbhai. Grant Adlam, CEO of KZN Top Business said, “We are proud to be once again partnering with Standard Bank to present the KZN Top Business Awards. In common with many businesses, Standard Bank has had a challenging time and it speaks to the strength of their relationship with the business community that they are supporting the KZN Top Business Awards as the major sponsor in 2021.” The impact of Covid-19 persists in South Africa, where the number of confirmed cases and deaths continue to rise. In addition, the ongoing effect of Covid-19 on our lives and businesses is expected to continue during 2021.

In the light of these facts, the 2021 Standard Bank KZN Top Business Awards ceremony will be a hybrid awards ceremony, which will allow for both a limited number of people to attend in person, and for the event to be streamed. A streamed component has the advantage of enabling a much wider audience to participate in the awards’ ceremony. “We know how much the Awards mean to businesses in KwaZulu-Natal and we have found a way to deliver an awards programme with the prestige and excitement that our business community has come to expect,” explains Noormahomed.

The Standard Bank KZN Top Business Awards traditionally acknowledge business success, innovation, and ethical practice. In particular, the awards recognise companies and organisations that integrate responsible business practice into their mainstream operations, which result in a positive impact in the marketplace, environment, community, and workplace, creating a better life for all in KwaZulu-Natal.

However, the Covid-19 pandemic has brought new challenges, different opportunities, and changed ways of working for employees and employers. Many businesses have been forced to embrace new technologies and innovate both their service delivery and products to prosper. Significantly, businesses have done so with excellence and with full cognisance of the responsibility that they have to all their stakeholders. Consequently, the categories to be awarded in 2021 have been revised and will recognise the achievements of individuals and companies in KwaZuluNatal in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The nine categories are as follows:

1. BUSINESS PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR The Standard Bank KZN Top Business Leader’s award is an honorary award given to a businessperson who has demonstrated exemplary business achievement, industry influence and is a true inspiration to others.

2. BUSINESS INNOVATION For businesses that can demonstrate an innovative or inventive approach to people, products, or processes, which has contributed to the success of the business.

3. ENTREPRENEUR RESILIENCE This award is aimed at young business leaders who have shown exceptional leadership and exhibited entrepreneurial flair.

4. DIGITAL/SYSTEM IMPLEMENTATION The winner of this award will be innovating in the digital sector to provide customers with results that have real impact. This award is for those businesses that employ digital thinking and technologies for client engagement.

5. EMPLOYEE WELLBEING This award is for businesses that go the extra mile to engage with their staff members and the difference this makes to the business. This may be through in-house training, flexible working, personal development, workplace wellbeing activity and teambuilding.

6. SMALL BUSINESS START-UP This award recognises startup businesses in 2020 that have translated an idea into a successful business venture in response to Covid-19.

7. COMMUNITY AND SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY INITIATIVE This award is open to businesses or social enterprises that have made a significant positive impact on the community and region they operate in. 8. FAMILY BUSINESS Open to businesses where the majority ownership remains within a family (or multi-family) structure, and where more than one generation contributes to the success of the business.

9. KZN TOP BRAND The top homegrown brand in KwaZulu-Natal is awarded based only the results of a poll. In 2021 this process will be managed through a SMS voting system. “These categories give us an important opportunity to do things differently. Through the Standard Bank KZN Top Business Awards 2021 we want to share the stories of success in KZN,” said Adlam. “Furthermore, the new format of the awards emphasizes that “It can be” which is Standard Bank’s slogan,” concluded Noorbhai.

Entries for the Standard Bank KZN Top Business Awards will open on 1 March 2021 and close on the 14 May 2021. The event will be held on the 10 June 2021. Visit for more information or email

By Zambezzi

As an influencer my team and I create content or co-create content to support brands, endorse product and services with the intent to increase brand awareness and drive sales.

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