VWSA in partnership with Lionesses of Africa announced their winners of the Volkswagen’s Lionesses Den competition at a virtual VWSA Lioness Lean-in event on August 28.The competition encouraged women-owned businesses across South Africa to share a two-minute pitch for a shot at a total of R175,000 in cash for their businesses.
The winners will use the cash injection to invest in their businesses which, in the context of the coronavirus pandemic, will in turn help to drive the SA economy forward.
“We are delighted with the entries we received, which reflected the talent in this country and the impact female entrepreneurs have in their respective communities,” Lionesses of Africa founder and CEO Melanie Hawken said.
The first prize of R100,000 went to Ntokozo Mbuli, Founder of Sugar Bean Pictures, a television production company. “I’d like to invest the money towards acquiring resources needed to develop ideas to take advantage of funding and commissioning opportunities, “said Mbuli.
She aims to use the medium of television to help change people’s lives by creating purposeful content that builds, grows, teaches and heals.The second prize of R50,000 went to Sarah Morrow of Little Leaders Pre-School.The school creates a home-like environment, where children can grow and learn with confidence.
Marrow is passionate about building an inclusive, holistic environment catering for children from all walks of life, which she achieves by partnering with different NGOs and communities.She is keen to expand her outreach programme by incorporating accessible autistic classes since there are not many affordable and inclusive preschools catering for these children.
Bathabile Mpofu, the driving force behind Nkazimulo Applied Sciences, received the third prize of R25,000. Nkazimulo brings science to life by producing portable science kits for use by pupils at home and school so they can perform science experiments wherever they are.
Mpofu’s own past experience as a pupil at a disadvantaged school with no access to science kits inspired the initiative.She plans to develop more kits in other subjects by hiring teachers to offer online courses and acquiring basic tools for online teaching.
Furthermore,the three winners also have access to entrepreneur development and mentoring programmes, business and networking resources to continue their business journey.
“We wanted to grant an opportunity to female entrepreneurs to access capital amid the current challenges on the SA economy and small businesses, in particular, to assist them to stay afloat,” VWSA marketing head Meredith Kelly said.