Volkswagen and the Lionesses of Africa are on the hunt for three exceptional business pitches to win a total of R175 000 cash.
As part of its partnership with Lionesses of Africa, the one-million-plus-strong all-female business network in Africa, Volkswagen has introduced 'The Lionesses Den' and is calling on female-owned businesses in South Africa to share a two-minute business pitch.
The top three will win capital to invest in their businesses.
This offers an opportunity for female entrepreneurs to access capital amid the Covid-19 pandemic, says Volkswagen Group South Africa (VWSA).
According to a 2018 survey conducted by Facebook, in partnership with the World Bank and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, female entrepreneurs are in a minority within the entrepreneurial landscape and, even though half of South Africa's population is female, only 34% of small, medium-sized and microenterprises are led by females, notes the vehicle manufacturer.
In addition to this, regardless of the financial impact of Covid-19, many female-led businesses have been struggling to stay afloat during the pandemic because of a lack of cash to invest into operations, skills, marketing and infrastructure.
Martina Biene, head of the Volkswagen Brand in South Africa, says a lot needs to be done to support female entrepreneurs to continue their role in helping to alleviate unemployment, poverty and drive the economy forward.
"Volkswagen's Lionesses Den is a chance for female entrepreneurs to use the capital to pay salaries, upskill, purchase stock, invest in marketing or [build] proper infrastructure.”
Female entrepreneurs who are part of the Lionesses of Africa network, across all sectors and industries can enter the competition by submitting their two-minute recorded video business pitch on the Lionesses Den website.
Interested business owners can follow the link for more information: www.vwlionessesden.co.za
“Two of the biggest challenges facing female entrepreneurs on the entrepreneurship journey are access to markets and funding,” says Lionesses of Africa founder and CEO Melanie Hawken.
“In light of the current pandemic, which is severely impacting the ability to do business as usual, both of these challenges have become even greater. So, 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.”
Volkswagen's Lionesses Den competition runs from July 1 to August 2.
The winners will be announced on August 21 during a Lionesses Lean-In event.