The annual awards, which have been held for 13 years, honour achievers in the context of the Jewish community and culture with the aim to recognise and reinforce the role of humanity and history in achievement, while rewarding innovation and initiative in order to value enterprise and expertise.
Sternberg adds his name to a prestigious list of past winners in the various categories, including Nelson Mandela, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, Gill Marcus, Dr Ali Bacher and Raymond Ackerman, among many others.
Sternberg, who shares the award with Jonathan Goldberg, CEO of Global Business Solutions, says he is incredibly proud to have won the award and hopes that his achievement serves as a motivation to all young and budding entrepreneurs in South Africa.
“Given the current dire situation of unemployment in South Africa, it is important to profile the successes and achievements of young entrepreneurs. It shows the youth that by identifying a gap in the market and putting time and effort into a sound business plan, they too can make it as a local entrepreneur,” says Sternberg.
Leading the way
Spark ATM Systems, which was founded in 2005 with no external funding, is the country’s leading independent ATM deployer with sales and technical operations across South Africa providing secure and convenient cash withdrawal solutions to consumers in retail, hospitality, leisure and rural locations, among others. The company has grown significantly since its inception and now has a national footprint of over 1500 ATMs and employs 87 people.
Sternberg recognised the opportunity and need for convenient access to cash in South Africa when he returned from his time spent working in Sydney, Australia. The idea sparked when he needed to pay for a bill with cash and realised there were no nearby cash withdrawal facilities, whereas in Australia convenient ATMs were widespread. Following this, he set out to extensively research the convenience ATM market locally as well as internationally, and as a result Spark ATM Systems was founded.