How itworks?

Record a two-minute video pitch about your business and why it should win a capital injection. Once your two-minute pitch is submitted, our panel of judges will evaluate all entries that meet the rules.

Cindy Leah

The rules

  1. You must be a female entrepreneur with a registered South African business or organisation.
  2. You must be a member of the Lionesses of Africa network.
  3. Your pitch must be no longer than 2 minutes.
  4. Your pitch must include your name and your company name.
  5. You must explain what your business does, what makes it unique and what problem or need you are trying to solve through your business.
  6. Share the impact your business has made and/or your vision for the business.
  7. Motivate why you and your business should win this competition.
  8. Be engaging and authentic.
  9. Capture the attention of the judges.
  10. Entries to the Lionesses Den are now closed.



The winners

There will be a total of three winners. All winners will also experience a one-on-one mentoring session with Melanie Hawken, Founder & CEO of Lionesses of Africa.

Winners will be announced at the Lioness Lean In event in August 2020.

1st priceR100 000

2nd priceR50 000

3rd priceR25 000

Meet the judges

Meet the judges

Learn more about our female pride of judges.

Martina Biene

Martina Biene, born in 1974 – the same year as the inception of the Golf 1, proudly considers herself a child of the “Golf Generation”. She studied Protestant Theology in Germany and the Netherlands before joining Volkswagen in Wolfsburg in 2001. Since then, she’s fulfilled various roles at the trusted automotive supplier, including Strategy and Sales of premium vehicles, Area Sales Manager (for Belgium and Luxemburg), Head of Product Planning for Germany as well as Head of Global Product Marketing. In October 2018, she was appointed as Head of the South Africa Volkswagen Brand. Known to live by her motto: “Work hard, play hard” – when Martina isn’t hard at work, she can usually be found hiking, running, reading a good book, enjoying great food and wine or travelling.

Hlubi Mboya Arnold

Hlubi Mboya-Arnold is the Lioness Lean In Ambassador Southern Africa. She is an entrepreneur and an award winning film and TV actress, social justice advocate, athlete, Executive Director of Future CEOs, and Director of Sunshine Cinema which has established the Sunshine Cinema/Hlubi Mboya Arnold Scholarship, for a full time higher certificate in film production at the SAE Institute South Africa. She is a Founding member and sub committee member of Mentorship and Skills/Sisterhood Cinema for SWIFT (Sisters Working in Film and TV). Since 2005, she has been a Global Goodwill and African Ambassador against Hunger with the United Nations’ World Food Programme and has travelled throughout South Africa as a 46664 Global Ambassador of the Mandela Bangle. Hlubi is the Non Executive Director of the Mandela Education Programme where she is responsible for Donor Relations and Funding. Hlubi is the MD Mboya Associates (Pty) Ltd, which specializes in African Healthcare, Education and Training. She is a lifelong learner who believes in always seeking knowledge from the cradle to the grave.

Siya Madikizela

This creative, intelligent, straight-talker and ambitious go-getter hails from the Eastern Cape where she graduated with a Journalism qualification from the Nelson Mandela University. She started her career in radio and moved on to join Volkswagen South Africa nine years ago in Uitenhage (outside of Port Elizabeth). Three years ago she moved to Johannesburg to take over the role of PR Manager for the People’s Brand and during this time not only has she overseen the successful media launches of models like the Polo, Arteon, Tiguan Allspace, Golf, Touareg and the T-Cross; the Volkswagen PR department has been also voted as being the ‘Most Efficient’ in the automotive industry in South Africa.

Margaret Hirsch

Margaret Hirsch, Executive Director and Co-founder along with her husband Allan, of the Hirsch’s Group is the enviable recipient of over 40 international and local awards for her business, social and charitable work that has helped uplift people from many communities around Southern Africa and further afield. Margaret regards herself as a “jack of all trades”. She has done selling, invoicing, demonstrating, deliveries, installing and generally taking care of almost everything at Hirsch’s for the past 41 years. She is passionate about empowering women and helping entrepreneurs to find the right path to building successful businesses.

Lynette Ntuli

Lynette Ntuli is the Founder and CEO of Innate Investment Solutions, a professional services firm that provides property, asset and infrastructure development and management solutions, headquartered in South Africa. She has held executive leadership positions in diverse sectors and sits on the boards and working groups of various listed, unlisted and industry organisations. A multiple industry and business award recipient, business thought leader and strategist, Ntuli is passionate about diversity, inclusivity and socio-economic development and drives various initiatives in the Education, Entrepreneurial and Skills Development arena in Sub-Saharan Africa on platforms her organisation curates.