Local farmer goes from Zero to Hero

Agri-entrepreneur earns the Angels Business Hero Award  Spring Harvest 2022!

Congratulations to Refilwe Nerinda of Heaven on Earth Enterprises. She is a very deserving recipient of the Angels Business Hero Award! 

Our Angels #businessheroes are entrepreneurs from our various mentoring programmes and friends of angels groups.  We are very proud to celebrate their achievements:

Refilwe owns 4ha of land near Ntsweletsoku in Zeerust, and also has several plots in the Motlhaka Horticultural Farm where she grows her vegetables. She recently started a school gardening project, together with pupils at Ngotwane High School, where a small pilot garden has been successfully established.

Agri4Change mentor, Chris Vermeulen was so impressed with Refilwe for being the first agri-entrepreneur to harvest her crops this season! Refilwe started by harvesting her cabbage crop, bringing in 250 cabbages on the first day and then went straight to market to start selling them the very next day! Such a proud moment.

When we told her about her about her Business Hero award she was quite overwhelmed that it was really happening, but also very excited saying, “I can’t quite believe it is real. I am actually harvesting the first crop that I have ever planted.”

Refilwe happy to be harvesting her cabbages

Based in Zeerust, North West Province South Africa, Heaven on Earth Enterprises is a mixed farming business. Refilwe farms chicken, geese and crops like cabbage, red and brown onions. Farming was something that she learned to love while growing up in a farming community. Being a person who likes to do things for herself, she started small by farming with livestock only, but when Covid-19 hit she was pushed into doing crop farming as she realised the need for food sustainability and availability in her community. Since she was motivated to learn how to run her own crop farm, but did not have the resources to do so, she enrolled in the Angels Agri4Change programme to help get established.

Refilwe is passionate about nutrition and, after starting a successful food garden project at a local high school, she wants to implement more food gardens in schools and pass on what she has learned in her farming practices to the next generation. She aspires to become an organic farmer and would love to develop further in this area, especially about the importance of what you feed your animals.


When asked how Angels mentoring has helped with her business, she had this to say, “I  wouldn’t be where I am now without Angels.” The business mentoring she received has enabled her to develop her business into crop farming and she realised that working with livestock stock and crops went hand-in-hand, as she could grow her own feed for her animals and her animals produced manure that she could use as compost for her crops. Angels support was the helping hand she needed to get established as she had no idea how to start and no resources to buy seeds to start off with, but her training programme equipped her and sponsored her first cabbage seedlings, helping her prepare her ground for planting and growing her crops.

Refilwe’s advice for entrepreneurs who want to start their own businesses is to look for opportunities to get started and be prepared to do the work needed to make it happen! 

“I would like to get more schools involved with what I’m doing to encourage them to start growing their own vegetable cropss and teach them about farming and nutrition. I’d like to increase awareness and educate the next generation and especially to promote farming as a career choice amoung the youth, who don’t seem to know what opportunities there are here for them.”

Well said Refilwe! Angels are looking forward to seeing you fly – all the way to market!  

Refilwe’s journey from preparing her ground in May 2022 to harvesting her first crop of cabbages in September 2022. 

” We are so grateful for the opportunity to partner with Zeerust Solar of EIMS Africa Renewable Energy Projects and make a positive impact into vulnerable rural communities of South Africa.”

Lizelle Coombs CEO

Through their sponsorship of the Agri4Change entrepreneur training and mentoring programmes, facilitated by Angels Resource Centres, they are encouraging business skills and enterprise development and positively impacting this community, through our hardworking agri-entrepreneurs!

Refilwe Nerinda of Heaven on Earth Enterprises with her family at her first cabbage crop in Zeerust South Africa

Contact Chris Vermeulen to find out more about our Agri4Change programmes or how you can be part of the change with us by supporting rural entrepreneur development in South Africa!

Angels Resource Centres  Tel: 0861 111 950| Email: angels@angelsinc.co.za


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