Cape Town entrepreneur goes fr

Cape Town entrepreneur goes from broke to thriving using his last R40

If you think R40 doesn’t stretch very far, you’d be right. But not if you’re Lufefe ‘Spinach King’ Nomjana.

Cape Town entrepreneur goes fr

Just four years ago, Nomjana was a volunteer at a community garden in Cape Town. He had R40 in his pocket and not much else – except a business idea, and a desire to succeed.

Nomjana did some research and worked out that selling spinach bread, which is both tasty and nutritious, would be a good way to make some money. Nomjana relied on his neighbor to allow him to use her oven to make his first loaf.

After rejections from everyone he approached about investing in his business, Nomjana decided to start his own bakery – Espinaca Innovations – selling spinach-based goods.

When he started, it wasn’t all about building up his profits – he wanted to educate people about healthy eating, and the benefits of including spinach in a diet.

Initially, he struggled a bit – the business side of what he was doing was difficult to manage, but a five-month entrepreneurial course helped Nonjama realise that he could build a business and help educate his community about healthy eating habits.

In 2014, the 28-year-old entrepreneur won an award that included R90 000, which he used to create a storefront bakery, built from a shipping container.

Now, Espinaca Innovations produces bread, muffins and sandwiches, and even has a bike delivery service. This year, Nomjana launched a second café and bakery in Khayelitsha Mall, with plans to open a factory in August.

Nomjana’s story is one of hope and perseverance. He is evidence that you don’t need a huge amount of capital to start a business. His advice to other entrepreneurs is to work out what resources they have at their disposal and to work from there.

“Life is about having something to give in order for you to receive. And what is it that you have? You’ve got the brains, the intellectual capital and that will actually open many doors for you. So the first capital that you need, more than money, is intellectual capital.”