Much against the common belief that doing business with family or friends is a recipe for failure, Penang Shirindza and his childhood friend, Dean Mokoena, have extended their friendship to business and founded Urban Play.

Urban Play is the digital advertising business through which Shirindza won in Category One of the Entrepreneurship Intervarsity competition finals in September. Category One represented the Best Innovative Business idea. He won an R10,000 prize which he intends to plough into the business. Shirindza is studying for a BCom in Information Systems and Economics at Rhodes University, whereas Dean Mokoena is pursuing a BTech in Human Resources management at the University of Johannesburg.

Born in Tzaneen, in the Limpopo province, Shirindza explains that “Dean and I met in Nelspruit, Mpumalanga. We both went to the same pre-primary school and have been friends ever since. It made sense to start the business together. We knew each other well, and, most importantly – trusted each other.” He believes that the base of any relationship, and a business one at that, is trust. “One does business with people one trusts. Customers also return because of the level of trust they feel in a business, service or product.”