Veliswa Ngedle | Sabahle Sonke
Programme sponsor: Bayer
“With everything I know now, I can definitely call myself an entrepreneur”
In the town of Kariega, Veliswa Ngedle was struggling to find employment, and so she decided to start her own business. “I bought hundreds of day-old chickens and raised them until they were four weeks old. Then I sold some of the chickens and the eggs,” Veliswa says. When she saw what a success that was, she decided to expand; she bought vegetables to plant and a few farming tools to get her going.
“I went to the Department of Agriculture and explained what I was doing. I asked them how they could help me grow my business. They suggested that I register my business as a co-op and see if I could find some partners,” she says. “I did just that. I hunted for farmers that I thought were passionate about business and we registered a company.” Once her business was registered, the Department of Agriculture supplied her with bags of feed for her chickens.
Veliswa wanted to expand again. She started planting maize and used the proceeds from her first harvest to increase her hectarage. “I approached the community and signed a ten-year contract for 15 hectares in their fields. I’m up to 22 hectares now,” she says proudly.
In 2020, she was selected for a Bayer-sponsored business-development programme powered by Raizcorp. Through learning and guiding sessions, Veliswa learned to record everything in her business, including finances. “I learned how to write a business model document. Using my document, I secured a grant,” she says. Her business has continued to grow from strength to strength. Since starting on the Bayer-Raizcorp programme, her turnover has increased by 39%. She employs 12 permanent staff and four extra contractors during harvest season. “I even bought a tractor. With everything I know now, I can definitely call myself an entrepreneur,” she says.
In a message to her sponsor she says, “Thank you so much for this opportunity. You have really opened my mind and supported me in my growth.”