Fourth-generation farmer S’negugu Hadebe is changing the face of farming. The 29-year-old is the founder and CEO of Imbewu Farmers, an agribusiness dedicated to sustainable development, especially among small-scale rural farmers.
Imbewu supplies fresh produce to supermarkets, local restaurants, members of the community, street vendors, maize millers and B&Bs. The organisation offers a unique opportunity to other farmers by selling their products through its markets.
S’negugu was a top 10 finalist for the Nestlé Needs Youth 2022 agripreneur competition and she and Imbewu were selected to be part of the UCT Graduate School of Business venture launch 2022 cohort. She graduated from The London Academy of Professional Training from which she received a scholarship to study agribusiness as well as a programme endorsed by the US embassy in South Africa and Arizona State University in partnership with the Africa Women Innovation & Entrepreneurship Forum.
S’negugu is a community activist who runs literacy programmes in her community and is a World Literacy Foundation ambassador. “I would tell my younger self that, ‘Some people are going to throw dirt at you and some people are going to throw flowers at you. Let it all be a garden that you grow from — grow to your full potential!’,” she says.
- BA, majors in psychology and sociology, University of Freestate
- Postgraduate Diploma in Agribusiness, London Academy of Professional Training
- Dreambuilder entrepreneurship networking and mentorship, Thunderbird School of Management
- Venture Launch training, UCT Graduate School of Business
- 2022 Nestle Nestlé Needs Youth agripreneur pitch competition top 10 finalist
- Academy for Women Entrepreneur 2022 cohort
- UCT Graduate School of Business venture launch 2022 cohort
- 2021 Ignite program cohort
- South African Brics Youth (SABYA) member.
We grew up milling our own maize meal from maize we had grown and harvested ourselves. I want to have my own maize meal in SA supermarkets.
I would tell my younger self that,”Some people are going to throw dirt at you and some people are to throw flowers at you. Let it all be a garden that you grow from, grow to your full potential!”
I would like to see a sustainable South Africa in five years’ time. I would like to see a South Africa where communities can sustain themselves and their resources, where youths are encouraged to come up with sustainable development solutions and are also supported, and where entrepreneurship is encouraged and supported more. I want to see a South Africa that focuses on solutions to our problems that are of a South African context.