The awards are held to honour small business owners from low-income areas of greater Cape Town.
At the ceremony held at the university’s Bellville campus, Bellville resident Lisa Ndyalivani of WooWfoods, a mobile coffee shop for commuters, students and workers in Bellville, was named the Distell Top Student with the highest mark overall after completing the sponsored SBA programme of the USB.
The nine-month development programme is aimed at empowering small business owners in disadvantaged areas to grow their businesses.
Jacqueline Julie of Mitchells Plain and Vincent Zokufa of Eerste River joined Ndyalivani as the top three small businesses award winners.
Julie, 50, won the Absa Best Business Plan award for her Xcelent Crunchies & Homebakes which has turned a part-time home-baking setup into a growing formal business that supports her family of eight.
The 37-year-old Zokufa, who owns ConnectUs ICT in Eerste River , was recognised for his innovative business model providing training and support to disadvantaged schools to use their IT resources more effectively, with the De Beers Business with Most Potential award.
SBA head Dr Marietjie Theron-Wepener said the three winners had in common a drive to succeed and had demonstrated the ability to innovate and adapt their businesses to changing circumstances.