A group of Activators recently had the opportunity to present their business plans to a panel of corporate leaders and potential investors at a Lion’s Den forum in Johannesburg for the first time.
An initiative started by Thabang Mabuza of human resources company, Ulwazi Resources, in Kwa Thema on the East Rand in 2013, the Lion’s Den is a monthly platform where young entrepreneurs can engage with business leaders who provide them with the acumen and insight to turn their ideas into sustainable undertakings, says Mabuza.
The Activators who participated in the first Johannesburg-based Lion’s Den were:
- Sidney Mathebula, founder of Five Star Sky,
- Nonhlanhla Zondi of Activate! Youth App,
- Goodman Moeti of Ubuntuvation,
- Sibusiso Jele of Phepha Scam Awareness,
- Mdu Tshabalala of Sebokeng Bird Park,
- Frans Ntsoereng of Citizen Link,
- Edward Thela of Township Potato Project,
- Moses Ntuli of Ulwazi App,
- Tleane Matsetsebale of Young Hands Education
The event provided exceptional insight into the requirements for on-going success, says Mathebula, whose Five Star Sky project, an astronomy-based tourism and educational undertaking, was chosen as the event’s best business proposal for its innovation, creativity and sustainability.
“In order to address challenges that we face as a community we believe that there needs to be innovation, Lion’s Den gives those with innovative ideas an understanding into the business challenges. The whole concept of Lion’s Den is based on stimulating project planning and problem-solving techniques while marketing your ideas to potential investors.”
“It is a grueling process, it puts you on the spot and you need to really understand your own business model. However, it was a process that gave us all an incredible insight into what is required to be successful.”
The panel comprised entrepreneur and owner of Big Break Legacy, Tebogo Mafodi, , Nirvan Bhudai of the Business Development Unit at Future View, Tello May, manager of Business Development for Gauteng Enterprise Propeller; marketing manager Anele Ndlovu, CEO at SAA Technical, Musa Zwane and Martin Manmohan, manager at Sasol.