Podcast: Pure desperation made her start a backyard business

Don't miss this episode of Mzansi's favourite farming podcast

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On episode 46 of Farmer’s Inside Track, we connect with a phenomenal woman in agriculture, our mover and shaker of the week, Renshia Manuel. Manuel is the CEO of GrowBox, a wholesale nursery in Hanover Park, Western Cape.

“GrowBox started in 2016 and it was sparked by me struggling and having to feed my four children. I was unemployed at the time and out of pure desperation I started a food garden in my own backyard,” Manuel shares on this episode of South Africa’s favourite agriculture podcast.

An opportunity at Youth Start, a non-profit company aiming to improve training in under-resourced communities, inspired her. Initially, Manuel submitted a proposal to start a nursery in Hanover Park. “But all through the competition they emphasised to find your niche, find what makes you unique. They also emphasised social impact,” Manuel explains.

“I thought, how could a nursery impact my community? Many households don’t have a space to grow food, they don’t have land available. So how do we take food resources to people who have none?” Manuel said. “That was the inspiration and the drive for GrowBox.”

With the prize money Manuel received from Youth Start for her GrowBox submission, she registered her company, bought a second-hand computer and bought her first start-up stock. “And that prize was the validation I needed that my idea was not as crazy as it sounded in my head.”

Winning the Youth Start 3rd prize for social entrepreneurship was just the start for Manuel, as she has grown to be a phenomenal entrepreneur in her community and has won multiple awards for her initiative.

Read more about Renshia Manuel’s story here: Social entrepreneur combats food insecurity with portable veggie boxes

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In the Farmer’s Inside Track agripreneurship slot we continue our talk with MC Loock, senior manager of agribusiness at Standard Bank. So far, we’ve looked at off-farm income and the role it can play in business, partnerships and the role that can play in assisting you, as well as off-farm investment opportunities.

In this episode Loock talks about diversification and how it can benefit the agricultural sector, especially at farm level.

Farmer’s Inside Track also looks at some innovation from the farms that feed us. Syngenta recently launched a new product called MIRAVIS Duo which controls the fungus that causes early blight in potatoes. André Labuschagne, campaign lead for potatoes and subtropical fruit at Syngenta South Africa, tells us more about this exciting new product.

Are you in need of a great Mzansi inspired recipe to satiate your summer cravings? Well, you’re in luck! Dané Vermeulen, foodie and systems leader at Food For Mzansi’s digital partner, Yehbaby Digital, shares her secret to a perfect home cooked South African meal. We also receive a secret top tip from nutritionist Andrea Du Plessis.

On the top of our reading list this week is Lessons from an African Entrepreneur by Ian Minto. His book is described as a practical guide for entrepreneurs wanting to start their own trading business in Southern Africa. Minto’s book is written in an accessible style and is aimed at South African entrepreneurs specifically.

Farmer’s Inside Track is proudly brought to you by Food For Mzansi. The show, ranking high-up on South Africa’s weekly podcast charts, is hosted by Dawn Noemdoe and Duncan Masiwa. It promises to bring you up to speed with the latest movements in the fascinating world of farming and agriculture.

How to listen to Farmer’s Inside Track

Option 1: Click here to listen on Spotify (all mobile and other devices).

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Option 3: Click here to listen on Google Podcasts.

Option 4: Click here listen using this player. Just click “play”.

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