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Mbewu helps you shop with purpose from real farmers

Mbewu meaning ‘a seed’ in IsiZulu is a platform that allows African small-scale farmers and agri-businesses to sell directly to their potential clients.

Founded by Kearabilwe Charmaine Monama, Mbewu invests a lot of time in vetting incredible small-batch producers so they can bring customers the best.

Monama says, “I’ve always been curious about the healing power of food and I was particularly interested in revisiting indigenous African cuisine that has sustained the generations before me. My great-grandparents were farmers and I am intent on continuing their legacy.”

She adds that she wanted to merge business/making a profit with creating meaningful social impact. This was what got her into entrepreneurship. “I achieve this by giving small-scale farmers and agri-businesses a marketplace to sell their beautiful products. I also get to share my passion for the healing power of food with consumers who buy our products,” adds Monama

She is motivated and driven by elevating other people. This is why with each purchase an SMME is uplifted and in turn creates employment in poor communities.

Furthermore, small-batch products get discovered and they provide nutrient-dense produce from small-scale farmers who practice sustainable farming.

The journey takes patience

As viable as the business model is, it does have its challenges. Monama explains that capital is the biggest challenge for any small business owner – capital to stay afloat, to scale, and to hire talented human resources.
Fortunately, this has taught her a few lessons, one being that she has to be very intentional and choose wisely when it comes to where she focuses her limited resources. “And not to want to do everything all at once but rather to take everything one step at a time,” she adds.

From one entrepreneur to another

When asked what advice she would give aspiring entrepreneurs, Monama says never wait for perfect. “Whatever idea you have, just launch and learn forward. There’s no such thing as the perfect product or idea. You must be willing to learn from and adapt to the market demands as you go,” she emphasises.

According to Monama, the formula to becoming a successful entrepreneur is CONSISTENCY! “It’s about staying focused on the vision and purpose and executing diligently.”

For Monama, her favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur is when her farmers and agri-processors tell her that their sales are growing. Even more, when her customers share their stories of changed eating habits and improved health.

For most entrepreneurs getting approached by established brands to do work for them is an achievement, however, for Manama, its validation that being all about Black Producers pays and that their business model makes sense.

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