Nabihah and Ziyaad Plaatjes, founders of iloveza.com, announced the Top 20 Finalists for their first annual SMME Competition – The After Fajr Grind Awards. iloveza.com is South Africa’s only information highway and online store.

The two founders who have also been struggling like many others with a limited source of income during lockdown, have been running their Digital Media, Marketing and Advertising company iloveza.com for over 5 years, and have assisted many SMMEs in the process.

In 2017, Nabihah was recognised for her contribution to women leadership and empowerment through the work that she does at iloveza.com and received a Play Your Part Award from Owami Women and Brand South Africa.

iloveza.com also scooped the award for Tech-Savvy Business of the Year in the Roshgold Young Business Achiever Awards in 2018.

The After Fajr Grind Awards was created from one of iloveza.com’s hashtags #AfterFajrGrind which means to work hard after dawn, as Fajr means dawn in Arabic.

The idea for the Awards came about after Ziyaad had written an open letter to South African President Cyril Ramaphosa in April 2020 regarding the government’s relief plans for SMMEs because iloveza.com like many other businesses, did not qualify for any of the relief plans proposed by the South African government.

The competition opened on 1 June 2020 for SMMEs to enter their business to WIN a share of Half a Million Rand worth of Digital Marketing and Advertising, which the two founders of iloveza.com funded from their own pockets.

As the competition started to gain momentum, Nabihah and Ziyaad decided to offer each confirmed entrant to the competition R40 000 worth of Digital Marketing and Advertising. This amounted to a total of over R1.2 Million given away by iloveza.com, through the duration of the 3 months of the Competition.

The thought behind the extra boost during the competition was to assist the SMMEs through lockdown with FREE Marketing and Advertising, so it was one less business expense that they needed to worry about.

The SMMEs had two months (June and July) in which to enter the competition and for the month of August, the public was asked to vote for their favourite SMME.

In September, four judges who also run and are involved with SMMEs, Dr Zaheera Jina Asvat, Raees Kajee, Selloane Maletsatsi Moleli, and Christel-Michel Kruger, assisted Nabihah and Ziyaad by scoring each of the SMMEs entry forms.

Businesses and individuals from around the country have also assisted by sponsoring additional prizes, some of the Sponsors include MasterDrive, Showtime Management, Krispy Kreme South Africa, SingularityU South Africa, The Party Planner, Starburst Promotions, and For the Love of Burfee.

On 15 September 2020 in a digital announcement on their website www.iloveza.com, the Top 20 Finalists were revealed.

The Official Digital Awards Ceremony to announce the winner of the grand prize will also be streamed on www.iloveza.com on 24 September 2020 at 15:00.

The Top 20 in Alphabetical order are:

1. 4aKid
2. Baking Belles
3. Coated Chocolates
4. Crochet For Days
5. Glitter & Toast
6. Harry Monkey
7. Hijabella Hair Studio
9. LA Consulting Engineers
10. LaMaZing Maskz
11. Las Paletas
12. LuLu’s Bakery
13. Rj Style with Substance beauty boutique
14. RME Virtual Assistant Services
15. SecretEATS
16. Seedat’s Braai
17. Silver Lining Workshop Facilitation
18. The Midnight Bakery
19. TNC Marketing and PR
20. Wonderbooks

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