Home Entrepreneurs Agribusiness WATCH: Lavender gives gang-ridden community a fighting chance

WATCH: Lavender gives gang-ridden community a fighting chance

Marcelle du Plessis overcame personal and business struggles through social entrepreneurship


This week’s video episode of Farmer’s Inside Track features Marcelle du Plessis, the co-founder of Lavender in Lavender Hill on the Cape Flats. The 31-year-old Cape Town agripreneur has dedicated the last ten years of her life empowering aspirant, female entrepreneurs in a gang-ridden area with the gift of lavender.

Through her initiative Du Plessis supplies aromatic lavender oil to women in the Lavender Hill community who make artisanal goods ranging from soaps, home-made biscuits and scented candles from the comfort of their own homes.

READ: Lavender is changing lives in gang-ridden Lavender Hill

In her discussion with Food For Mzansi, Du Plessis touches on her business operations, personal struggles with mental illness and the light at the end of the tunnel – social entrepreneurship.

“Having something to work towards and having something where you’re helping other people, helps you get out of bed in the morning,” she says. “Even the process of just working on a business, you grow so much as a person every single day and that helped me overcome many personal struggles.”

Du Plessis advises youth looking to break into entrepreneurship to be willing to ask for assistance, but moreover be willing to accept assistance.

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“Even though I had the book knowledge I had very little experience of how to actually run a business. My biggest challenges were really just not knowing what to do next. It was very important for me to go to groups and surround myself with people who knew better and just to learn as much as possible and implement that.”

Once she entered the world of social entrepreneurship Du Plessis says her outlook on life shifted. “My heart started changing once I started working with these people and I realized that you can do business while still doing well and helping other people.”

Since the project’s inception, Du Plessis adds that helping the women in Lavender Hill has added purpose to her life.

“The women would tell me amazing stories of how they could buy shoes for their children this month or how it just came at the right time where they needed to buy food so things like that really motivate you to carry on.”

She further advises youth in Mzansi to take the leap into entrepreneurship which she describes as “no man’s land”. She adds that the benefits in the ever-booming agricultural industry are infinite.

“Embracing opportunities in agriculture and in the environment is a very unique place to be in right now. At the moment we need young people to make a change. We need people to start being responsible and do things that are going to help our planet.”

READ MORE: Lavender is changing lives in gang ridden Lavender Hill

The Farmer’s Inside Track podcasts and videos are recorded in both Cape Town and Johannesburg and are available on different platforms, including a weekly e-mailer, a WhatsApp line and a bustling Facebook group.

To get free access to all the exclusive content on Farmer’s Inside Track, head to farmersinsidetrack.co.za and sign up. To join the WhatsApp line, either click here or send a WhatsApp with the message “Sign me up for Farmer’s Inside Track” to +27 81 889 9032, providing your name and surname, e-mail address and province.

  • Farmer’s Inside Track is proudly brought to you by Food For Mzansi, Africa’s Best Digital News Start-up. Advertisers who wish to explore opportunities on any of the Farmer’s Inside Track channels can e-mail ivor@foodformzansi.co.za and kobus@foodformzansi.co.za.
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Noluthando Ngcakani
Noluthando Ngcakani
With roots in the Northern Cape, this Kimberley Diamond has had a passion for telling human interest stories since she could speak her first words. A foodie by heart, she began her journalistic career as an intern at the SABC where she discovered her love for telling agricultural, community and nature related stories. Not a stranger to a challenge Ngcakani will go above and beyond to tell your truth.


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