Motoring company Volkswagen has teamed up with the Lionesses of Africa, a huge, all-women business network in Africa, to hunt for winning business pitches in a competition titled Lionesses Den.
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 and, in the process, help push the SA economy forward.
The initiative is a chance for women business owners to access capital amid the Covid-19 pandemic that has knocked the SA economy and small businesses in particular. 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, says 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,” Biene says.
The initiative forms part of the company’s “Drive Local” campaign to champion Proudly South African products and services. Women 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.
Melanie Hawken, founder and CEO of Lionesses of Africa, says 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, Hawken says.
Volkswagen’s Lionesses Den competition closes on August 2 and the winners will be announced on August 21 during the Lionesses’ Lean-In event. Need your company’s good news story told? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.Volkswagen’s Lionesses Den competition closes on August 2 and the winners will be announced on August 21 during the Lionesses’ Lean-In event.
To find out how to become part of the Lionesses of Africa network visit www.lionessesofafrica.com and to enter the Volkswagen Lionesses Den initiative, visit www.vwlionessesden.co.za