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Simbarashe and Nonhlanhla Chimhandamba

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Entrepreneur
Simbarashe and Nonhlanhla Chimhandamba
Company
Urban Grown
Industry
Agriculture
Year Selected
2017
Jobs at selection
8
Company Snapshot

With the consumers being more health conscious there is a growing need for organic food. The problem for the farmers is how to efficiently produce organic food given the increase in demand. Urban Grown farms organic vegetables using a hydroponic farming system which, is a method of growing plants in a water based, nutrient rich solution. Hydroponics does not use soil, instead the root system is supported using an inert medium such as perlite, rock wool, clay pellets, peat moss, or vermiculite. Currently the company is producing micro greens, chillies, lettuce, spinach, tomatoes and cucumbers. The size of the vegetable market in South Africa is estimated to be around 150 billion rands.

Urban Grown is owned by Nonhlanhla and Simbarashe Chimhandamba. Nonhlanhla’s interest in business and particularly in agriculture was piqued when she worked in the nutrition business, where the importance of nutrition, health and wellness as well as the necessity for food security in South Africa struck a chord. The turning point in her career was when she met her husband and partner – Simba Chimhandamba, a true innovator to the core – whose vision merged with hers and was indeed the catalyst to the entrepreneurial spirit that brought Urban Grown to fruition. The couple decided to take the leap and utilise personal savings to start the farming site at Riversands Incubation Hub in 2015. Nonhlanhla is a UCT schooled Financial Accountant turned Marketer with 10 years’ experience as brand manager and Marketing manager for leading corporates, DSTV , Colgate Palmolive, Unilever as well as Nestle Nutrition where she fell in love with agriculture when she was exposed to the value chain. Simbarashe obtained his Marketing qualification at Boston Media House/ Unisa, he has 11 years’ experience in Marketing, Sales & Sponsorships, He has worked for Primedia, FIFA’s Hospitality Division, Phillip Morris, Supersport and Sky Sports Network, Simba manages the growth plans, business operations daily, securing clients for the business.