The Sunday Times, in conjunction with FNB, is fostering entrepreneurial spirit in KwaZulu-Natal by inviting entrepreneurs to participate in the Sunday Times FNB Shark Tank – a tough Dragon’s Den-like contest that encourages entrepreneurs to pitch their big ideas and business plans to prominent business personalities, who will select a winner.
The previous Shark Tank event attracted nearly one hundred entries, shortlisted to ten very ambitious finalists says Greg Ardé, editor of Sunday Times’ SPICE, who is expecting the new competition to be even more ferocious because of the prize: the winner will receive coaching from some of the province’s best business minds, media exposure, and bank assistance from FNB, all to the value of R150 000.
“The Sunday Times and FNB are putting their considerable muscle into this initiative. We need to encourage entrepreneurship in KZN. The finalists will get great exposure through the Shark Tank. The winner will also get financial support and advertising resources that could make a real impact in driving a market for their business,” says Ardé.
Preggie Pillay, FNB Business Provincial Head in KwaZulu Natal, believes that the partnership with Sunday Times is an extension of FNB’s commitment to enabling entrepreneurs. “We recognise the achievements of successful entrepreneurs in the province and acknowledge that success is not limited to major commercial endeavours, but that a wide spread of organisations can contribute to the strength of the local economy.” He further adds, “It’s not often that one gets the undivided attention of eight business leaders in one room.”
The first Shark Tank judging panel included Sharks CEO and former Springbok rugby captain John Smit; Stephen Saad, founder of global pharmaceutical giant Aspen; Hixonia Nyasulu, former chairman of Sasol; Harish Mehta, the chairman of Clearwater Capital and former CEO of Universal Print; Terry Rosenberg, the former CEO of McCarthy Retail and current chairman of Oakbrook Investments; entrepreneur Merlin Stols; Guy Brazier, the head of Deloitte in KZN; and FNB’s Preggie Pillay.
How to enter: Go to www.sundaytimes.co.za/sharktank and fill in a form, present a business plan and be available in KZN on 9 November 2015 to make your pitch if you are selected. Entries close at the end of September 2015. The top 10 finalists will be notified by 20 October 2015.
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