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Financial independence for single mothers
Single mothers, Lettie Leshaba and Happy Ndlozi, worked hard to achieve financial independence, enabling them to provide financially for their children and siblings. Both these phenomenal ladies are farmers at Timbali Technology Incubator Agri-park R close to Lydenburg.
Lettie is a 24-year-old single mother of a 2-year-old girl. She was unemployed and financially dependent on her parents before joining Timbali. She failed matric and had no sure future to build on for her family. When joining Timbali in 2015, Lettie was not really interested in farming, to her it was an opportunity to be employed after months of unemployment. Lettie soon had a complete shift in her perception of farming – she loved what she was doing and she was really good at it.
26-year-old single mother, Happy Ndlozi, takes care of her child and supports her family financially. Happy passed matric and obtained a Business Management Certificate after school. She was earning an income being employed by a family retail store, before joining Timbali. Happy wanted to be an entrepreneur and not feel dependent on a job and for her, Timbali was the opportunity. Happy joined Timbali in January 2016 as an incubatee.
Both Lettie and Happy had no farming experience, no tools or knowledge about farming. Everything these ladies know, they learned through training, mentoring and hands-on experience at Timbali.
Being a farmer demands long hours and hard work as both these farmers can affirm. They have regular technical skills transfer session with other farmers on the different aspects of farming. These include scientific farming practices, business management and financial management. The farmers gain knowledge on fertilising, irrigation, chemicals and pests. They gain knowledge of basic financial accounting, including budgeting on a business and personal level and are guided on how to write their business plans.
The farmers have daily, weekly and monthly access to their dashboards, showing their progress and targets. This empowers them to make data driven decisions regarding their crops and planting and harvesting schedules. Because Timbali believes in a holistic approach they provide Life Skills training for all their farmers. These skills support them to become successful entrepreneurs, as life skills help them to accomplish their ambitions and live to their full potential.
Both Lettie and Happy are working on their own blocks, in the same cluster, on Agri-Park R. They produce export quality, Green Peppers. Lettie produces an average of more than 100 crates of Green Pepper a day and Happy harvests an average of 150 crates per day from her two blocks. These farmers are improving their social well-being, building their own successful businesses and making a profit with the support and mentoring of the Timbali Business Unit Managers (BUM’s).
Timbali Technology Incubator has developed a model for connecting low-skilled unemployed young farmers to sophisticated Global GAP certified Markets. They use a “cluster” model to improve economies of scale for small-scale start-up farmers. The model was developed to ensure that small-scale farmers can be successful. 100% of Timbali’s farmers make it through their first and second year of business. The results of their farmer’s success speak for itself.