Growing the future

2017-12-19 06:00

“Your circumstances and the community you come from shouldn’t determine what you can achieve in life.”

These are the words of a proud 35-year-old resident of Hanover Park.

Renshia Manuel, a single mother of four, has walked off with third prize for her local business, “GrowBox”, at this year’s Engen Pitch and Polish entrepreneurial workshop and competition.

The six-week workshop was hosted by Engen Petroleum Ltd and Nedbank, powered by Raizcorp and supported by national media partner, Caxton Local Media. Manuel says the exciting programme was based on teaching entrepreneurs from across the country to present a winning pitch that is clear and focused and to give local communities access to professional guidance. The finals were held in Johannesburg last month where the winners were ­announced.

Manuel’s win comes from manufacturing and supplying fully stocked vegetable boxes for the individual with a small or limited land space, giving them the opportunity to grow their own food within small spaces. Her boxes come fully stocked with the grow-medium and vegetable seedlings in a hassle-free veggie garden setup.

The shy local says she worked as a librarian for six years before losing her job in 2015.

“The school could no longer afford to keep us due to an increase of kids who could not afford school fees. This was a really hard time for me and my kids, having to survive with support from my family and friends. During this time I had to knock on doors with CVs that were never answered,” she says.

She says being unemployed was frustrating and during her time at home she started growing her own food. This is where her nursery idea came to life. She started taking it further by growing all sorts of vegetables in her backyard, a space which few have in the area due to structures being erected for accommodation.V Continued on page 2.

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