- Sphelele Memela and his colleagues started the Youth Empowerment project
- The group grows spinach and bakes muffins to sell to retailers
- They return 30 percent of their proceeds to the community
Seeing that the youth in the country are struggling against high unemployment rates, lack of access to education and training and consequent poverty and crime, a group of young bright woman and men from KwaZulu-Natal decided to take their futures into their own hands.
26-year-old Sphelele Memela from Lamontville founded the Youth Empowerment group in 2013 along with four other members., Briefly.co.za learned.
While the group have an eclectic mix of skills and talents, what they have in common is their disadvantaged upbringings.
Although they did not have the opportunity to further their education, the group dreamed of being their own bosses and starting something that could become a legacy. They thus decided to start their own business.
The genius of the Youth Empowerment group is that they understand their community and know exactly what it wants and needs.
Noticing that people desire healthy and fresh fruit and veggies, but cannot easily access and afford upmarket grocery centers, the group figured that growing their own vegetables to sell would be the ideal solution.
The company supplies delicious muffins and raw spinach to shops and restaurants.
The true purpose of the project is to support the community, so the group donates a portion of its products to the disadvantaged residents of Lamontville.
Their initiative, which is clearly of great value to the community, was funded by the National Youth Development Agency. The group were then able to buy the necessary equipment, tools soil and seeds in 2015, the Sowetan Live reported earlier.
With their garden, their business grew and was soon winning awards for its creativity and potential to support the youth.
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