Agripreneur 101: Making it in the spice business

Entrepreneur Kgodiso Lebea gives us some insight into the spice-making business

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In 2018, Kgodiso Lebea was having difficulty balancing her diet. As a student, the future spice-blend entrepreneur needed all the nutrients she could get, nutrients she believed existed in the moringa plant. 

“I tried moringa and with some experimenting, I found the best way to do this was to create a spice blend where I can put it in my food and get the nutrients all in my one meal”. 

Her experimenting eventually led her to create a variety of spices, which she now sells through her Limpopo-based business called JK Foods.  

For those who want to enter the agripreneurial world of spice-making, Lebea has the following tips: 

Do your research

In 2018, when she made her first spice, Lebea packaged it for sale to other students. She received many complaints, and the spice did not sell.  

“People have certain preferences and your customers are the ones who know what they like.”

“That is why it is so important to do your research. Having a refined palate and a love of food also comes as an advantage.” 

Have some sort of accounting knowledge:  

Lebea says that the aspiring business owner does not necessarily have to have that knowledge for themselves, but they need to at least access it through a team member or advisor. “This is because finances can be tricky and sometimes it can be confusing. Use all resources available to you and find out what funding opportunities are available.  

Use your own funds to validate your idea

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Lebea encourages aspiring agripreneurs to invest their own money into their business initially, before approaching financial institutions or funders.

“Once you have validated your ideas, you can approach funders and get investment as you would have a working product and business model.” 

Believe in yourself and do not be afraid:  

“Just believe in yourself and work very hard. It’s a very competitive in business. I would also like to advise female entrepreneurs not to be afraid of going into business. They will find many challenges, but once you find success, it all becomes worth it.” 

Start!  

“The things you are passionate about will be what you work very hard on to perfect. Starting small is better than never starting.” 

ALSO READ: Indigenous plant opens doors for young agripreneurs

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