Volkswagen in partnership with the Lionesses of Africa is presenting the Lionesses Den competition in search of the best business pitch. They are calling on women-owned businesses in South Africa to share a two-minute pitch, with the top three entrepreneurs then winning a total of R175,000 in capital to invest in their businesses.
Apart from the financial impact of the virus, many female-led businesses have been struggling to stay afloat because of the shortage of cash injections. Martina Biene, Head of the Volkswagen Brand in South Africa, said more needs to be done to support women entrepreneurs who are helping to alleviate unemployment and poverty. “Volkswagen’s Lionesses Den is a chance for female entrepreneurs to use the capital to pay salaries, upskill, purchase stock, invest in marketing or proper infrastructure,” said Biene.
The aim of the competition is to give female entrepreneurs a chance to access capital amid the Covid-19 pandemic that has had a negative impact on the small businesses sector. The competition also forms part of the company’s “Drive Local” campaign to champion Proudly South African products and services.
Melanie Hawken, Founder and CEO of Lionesses of Africa, said access to markets and funding are two of the biggest challenges facing women entrepreneurs, and that the pandemic has made both of these challenges even greater. “At this critical time the difference this cash injection will make to the winners, especially in light of this time of ‘business unusual’, will be substantial, said Hawken.
Female entrepreneurs who are part of the Lionesses of Africa network, across all industries, may enter the competition by submitting a two-minute video business pitch on the Lionesses Den website. The competition closes on August 2 and the winners will be announced on August 21 during the Lionesses’ Lean-In event.