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South African weekly newspaper the Sunday Times and First National Bank (FNB) have teamed up to launch a Dragons’ Den-style contest for entrepreneurs in KwaZulu-Natal.
The Sunday Times FNB Shark Tank (Shark Tank is, incidentally, the name Dragons’ Den goes by in the United States), is set to take place in November and will see the winner 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 Sunday Times’ SPICE editor Greg Ardé.
According to Ardé, the previous Shark Tank event attracted nearly one hundred entries, a number he expects to grow in 2015.
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.
Many of these judges are set to return to the panel for this year’s event.
Entries for Shark Tank, which can be found online, close at the end of September 2015. The top 10 finalists will be notified by 20 October 2015.