Volkswagen Group South Africa (VWSA), in partnership with Lionesses of Africa, have announced the winners of the Volkswagen’s Lionesses Den competition.
The panel of judges selected the top three pitches after calling on female-owned businesses in South Africa to share a two-minute pitch to win a total of R175 000.
The winners are to use the capital to invest in their businesses.
The first prize of R100 000 went the Ntokozo Mbuli. Sugar Bean Pictures is a television production company that hopes to change the world by “creating purposeful content that builds, grows, teaches, and heals”.
Mbuli aims to use television to contribute towards changing the world’s perspective of Africa.
“I’d like to invest the money towards acquiring the resources needed to develop ideas to take advantage of funding and commissioning opportunities,” she says.
The second prize of 50 000 went to Sarah Morrow. Little Leaders Pre-School is an owner-managed school that creates a home-like environment for all children “to grow and learn with confidence”.
Morrow says she is passionate about building an inclusive holistic environment that caters for all children from all walks of life by partnering with various nongovernmental organisations and communities.
She says she would like to expand her outreach programme by incorporating accessible autistic classes since there are not many affordable and inclusive preschools that cater for autistic children.
The third prize of R25 000 went to Bathabile Mpofu of Nkazimulo Applied Sciences.
This company brings science to life by producing portable science kits for use by learners at home and school so that they can perform science experiments wherever they are.
The inspiration to start the company is based on Mpofu’s own experience as a young learner at a disadvantaged school with no access to science kits.
She plans to develop more kits in other subjects by hiring teachers to offer online courses and acquiring basic equipment for online teaching.
In addition to cash prizes, the winners will also have access to entrepreneur development programmes, mentoring programmes, business tools and networking resources to continue their business journey.
“We wanted to grant an opportunity to female entrepreneurs to access capital amid the current challenges in the South African economy and, in particular, to assist them to stay afloat,” says VWSA marketing head Meredith Kelly.
The Lionesses Den forms part of Volkswagen’s Drivel Local campaign, launched in June, aimed at supporting local manufactured goods and local businesses.