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women enpowerment
Lowensvlei’s approach to empowerment is different in that we give our staff the skills set, support and referrals necessary to start their own businesses. They continue working at the farm, but in addition to this income we facilitate further income generation by training them in floristry and entrepreneurship and selling flowers to them at wholesale price to do their private work.

When customers enquire about floral designs for functions, weddings or funerals, we refer them to trained staff members who then take the opportunity from there in their own time. They take total responsibility for the success of their own businesses. Our philosophy is that we have given them the training, and we continue to provide guidance if they want it.

We maintain that if they have an entrepreneurial aptitude and the necessary maturity and discipline, they will succeed. Some staff members have responded wonderfully to the opportunity to the level of doing wedding flowers in the local town hall and having contracts with local funeral homes.

We also provide allotments of land for any staff members who have an interest in growing their own vegetables for the home or for sale. They do this in their own time. We provide the irrigation and the compost. Some of them have responded, while others have no interest.

In the past, we trained several male staff members to make rustic outdoor furniture from alien vegetation growing in areas close to their homes. This would be done in their own time. We would then sell the furniture through our retail outlet. This was a very successful project in which the furniture maker received all the money generated from the sale.

Lowensvlei has the attitude of respecting their staff for who they are – not everyone is born to be an entrepreneur, nor has the interest of generating supplementary income. But for those who do have this aptitude and interest, we will give them all the support and encouragement to help them on their way, and if they succeed in starting their own business independent of the farm, we will rejoice with them!