When Justice Lebotsa started Warm Nest Enterprise, his aim was to bring out the best in the agricultural sector from his Limpopo village. Knowing full well the struggles small-scale farmers face in accessing markets, his platform came up with a solution to help them. Lebotsa’s business is based in Ga-Moloi in the Sekhukhune District.
The 19-year-old told Vutivi News that the website provided a middleman service for growers and small-scale farmers in the area. “Warm Nest is the connection between the farmer and the customer. We help small-scale poultry and fresh produce farmers get customers by providing our customers a platform to buy their produce online,” he said. “We list the products on our website, and when someone places an order, I collect it from the supplier and deliver it to the customer.”
Lebotsa, who has been working as a call centre agent since last year, used his salary to start the business. He believes that his platform is revolutionary and will change how businesses connect with local growers. “Involving e-commerce in agriculture is a relatively new industry, which has the potential to grow in a short period of time,” the entrepreneur said.
“My vision for this business also seeks to optimise the value chain, which will not only reduce the unemployment rate but will also result in contributing to food security as we deliver fresh produce from our grower. “Agriculture in Africa needs strategies to achieve high levels of production, and by involving technology I have brought meaning to the lives of the growers,” Lebotsa said the growers had reported a significant change since the platform was introduced.
“They are now able to reach a lot of customers and this means that the many households that depend on small-scale farming, have a chance to feed their families,” he noted. Lebotsa believes his company has a lot of growth potential, and as a young entrepreneur, he is learning a lot. “This business taught me, through the process of acquiring knowledge and experience, how to be more professional, how to run a successful organisation, how to set my goals, mission and my passion,” he said.
“I have received offers from entrepreneurs looking to buy my business, but I’ve turned them down because it’s not about building a business that one can sell but building a business one can grow with.” Lebotsa is currently in talks with a few supermarkets in the district and will start supplying them with produce before May. Currently, his business supplies spaza shops and businesses in Ga-Moloi.
“I’m still trying to make a name for myself, but my aim is to be recognised by supermarkets and businesses in Polokwane, which will introduce me to a larger market in the province,” he said.