Heavy lifting behind this sweet success
ENTREPRENEUR: Owner of Native Nosi Mokgadi Mabela
The former government bureaucrat’s beekeeping venture is a return to her roots, but she is using a modern method to draw in investors and expand her business
Mokgadi Mabela can aptly be described as being as busy as a bee. She has set her sights on growing her beekeeping business, Native Nosi (nosi is the Sesotho word for honey bee), into Africa’s biggest within 20 years. The development stage of the Polokwane-based business she began in 2015 is over, and Mabela has moved into the first expansion phase. "I have 140 beehives and want to [own] 650 in 2018," she says. Expansion does not come cheap, and Mabela has turned to crowdfunding to finance her ambitious plans. South Africans can invest in her business by buying a beehive through a crowdfunding campaign hosted by The People’s Fund. The minimum contribution is R1,200 — the cost of a new hive. Mabela’s target is R1.2m. Halfway through the 90-day campaign, she has raised R161,000, enough to buy 134 hives. "I am aiming high and even if I end up [not achieving that goal] I will be happy," she says. The reward for those backing Mabela is a net R32.40 for every kilogram of honey harvested an...