Unemployment and poverty are widespread problems across South Africa, especially since COVID hit and left even more people without jobs. Unfortunately, a significant portion of South Africans constantly wonder where their next plate of food will come from. If you are thinking about starting a business with both the purpose of making a profit and making a difference in the lives of the individuals within your community, why not consider starting a community garden? Here’s how to go about it.

Starting a community garden

You need to put plans together before you can spring into action.

Give some thought to what you’ll name your community garden, what start-up capital you’ll need, who you’ll be targeting, and how much you’ll charge community members for your produce – remember to keep affordability a top priority!

If you’re keen to maximise profits, it’s also worthwhile to investigate selling produce to independent grocery stores and restaurants.

Spruce up your skills

Obviously, in order to ensure a thriving garden, you’ll need to have pretty decent gardening skills and a thorough knowledge of how to care for your plants. If you don’t have money to spend on professional training in this regard, another avenue to explore is scoping out a mentor from within the community. You’ll be surprised to discover how many people grow their own produce to feed their families – and have become quite good at it, too! Many will be happy to share some tips and tricks.

Build a team

While you’ll probably manage to tend to your garden and your customers on your own initially, you might find that you’ll need an extra few hands as your business grows. This is an opportunity for you to create jobs for those in need and to continue making a noticeable difference within your community.

Shaping the world’s future

Entries for the Zayed Sustainability Prize for sustainable businesses closed at the beginning of May 2021, but we encourage you to follow the journey of other entrepreneurs and consider entering your own innovative business solution in 2022. You might even find the inspiration for your own business idea.

Follow the entries and prizewinners here: https://zayedsustainabilityprize.com/