Entrepreneurship promoter The Lions Den announced the winner and runners-up of their entrepreneurship movement, The Black Lion, this week. Aimed specifically at black South African entrepreneurs, The Black Lion launched their entrepreneur-inspiring movement with a competition inviting black entrepreneurs with existing businesses to enter to win R140 000 worth of prizes including cash, coaching and support.
With over 4200 entries received, winners were narrowed down to a top 10 after which a panel of judges selected an overall winner and 4 runners-up. CEO of The Lions Den, Leon Lategan, announced Luthando Dyasi from Dine With Africa as the overall winner, who will receive R50 000 cash and R50 000 worth of services to assist him in building a sustainable business. The runners-up will each receive R10 000 worth of training and support. “We looked for innovative businesses that will work well in South Africa, that show they have longevity and the possibility to grow,” he explains. According to Lategan, the calibre of entries was extremely impressive and selecting an overall winner was not an easy task. “By ticking off all the boxes, Luthando stood out for us as an overall winner. Dine With Africa shows incredible promise and we believe that with the right mentoring, coaching and steering, together we will see a very successful business.”
The 4 runners up were: Thandie Mcoki from Lucid FitPlanet, Mpho Mohaswa from Precious and Pearl Brands, Khuveni Sipula from Nu Africa Hair Industires and Kedibone Tsiloane from Ramtsilo Trading.
According to Lategan, entrepreneurship has not in the past or traditionally been encouraged in South Africa, and South African black entrepreneurs have historically faced many injustices and still today continue to face challenges. “A lack of infrastructure, business literacy, funding and finance are still huge barriers to entry into the business world, and with our massive unemployment rate, we are facing an unemployment epidemic,” he points out.
The issues facing Black Entrepreneurs including information from the Global Entrepreneurial Index are:
- The lack of the basics: electricity, water, roads, working spaces, etc., especially in townships
- The environment in which previous inequalities still hinder growth & access to networks
- The lack of business literacy and education in entrepreneurship
- The lack of physical infrastructure such as business hubs
- The exorbitantly high cost of living
- The lack of intent to start a business amongst those of working age
- The threat of automation, artificial intelligence and robotics on jobs, and
- The lack of access to funding and finance.
Commenting after the results announcement, the excited winner, Dyasi said “Winning this competition comes as assurance that me and my team are sitting on top of a rough gem. It’s our responsibility to clean and polish it so the rest of Africa can benefit. For me personally it means taking full advantage of the tools and resources being exposed to us by The Black Lion Team and learning as much as I can from Leon Lategan. The Dine with Africa team will use this platform to roar on behalf of all Black Lion entrepreneurs… and the world will hear us, that I promise”
The Lion’s Den has launched the Black Entrepreneur Movement, with the purpose of “creating, coaching and inspiring 100 000 black entrepreneurs in the next 12 months in building sustainable businesses which are both profitable & remarkable, and to live better & more fulfilling lives,” says Lategan.