The Lions Den, organiser of the Scooler movement, announced their second entrepreneurship platform, specifically aimed at black South African entrepreneurs, with the launch of The Black Lion Entrepreneur Movement.

The Black Lion launched with a competition inviting black entrepreneurs with existing businesses to enter to win R140 000 worth of prizes including cash, coaching and support.

The competition has received over 1 200 entries within the first week.

According to Leon Lategan, CEO of The Lions Den, entrepreneurship has not in the past or traditionally been encouraged in South Africa, while South African black entrepreneurs have historically faced many injustices that continue today. “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.

“Our purpose and, even more so, our responsibility is to create more entrepreneurs in this country,” he says. “The Black Lion’s objective is to create, coach and inspire 100 000 black entrepreneurs per year to build sustainable businesses, both profitable and remarkable.

“Jack Ma (the founder of Alibaba) confirmed at a recent investor summit in Johannesburg the importance of what he coins ‘The three Es of a successful business”, being efficient government, entrepreneurship and education. The latter two are our main focus points at The Black Lion.”

The Black Lion competition is open to all black entrepreneurs who have an existing and operational business. Lategan advises: “We are looking for innovative businesses that will work well in South Africa, that show they have longevity and the possibility to grow.”

The business that shows the best potential will receive R100 000, comprising R50 000 cash and R50 000 worth of services and marketing, including a website and personal mentorship. Four runners-up will each receive R10 000 worth of coaching and training.

Entrepreneurs have until 10 December to submit their entries via the website Top 10 finalists will be notified and announced on 17 December and the winners will be announced on 19 December 2018.