By Nicholas Wightman

As with many other small businesses, 2020 was a roller coaster ride for Greenspace Zambia. We had to think critically about our core business, the plant nursery, after we realised how vulnerable it was to the shifting economy brought about by the current covid pandemic.

We experimented with several different business ideas including developing Greenspace Zambia online plant sales, corporate plant rentals, interior plant retail and online video content creation. We learned many lessons from the process and as a result, we are keen to grow the online video content side of the business into an entity that is not only self-sufficient, but one that will have an actual impact by changing attitudes and behaviours towards gardening, farming and the environment.

One of the observations we made is that companies that did well, were those that were able to easily transition to the demands of the current pandemic era including deliveries, medical and food supplies and online services.

We have realised that any modern business needs to have online facilities integrated into its business operations, whether it’s online sales, customer service, virtual meetings with clients, or shared online workspaces. We ourselves experienced the benefit of an increased online presence last year with our YouTube videos which translated into greater company recognition and plant sales.

For a small business like ours, increasing our online presence not only allows us to reach a greater audience who could potentially buy our products, but it increases our influence over a much larger proportion of the Zambian horticultural landscape.

Our Greenspace Zambia Online platform produces video content to educate people on how to choose plants appropriate to Zambia’s climate, how best to grow those plants and garden sustainably and be environmentally friendly.

Our goal is to improve our content and produce several video series that not only inspire and educate but also complement our existing business.

*Wightman is co-founder of Greenspace Zambia

The JamLab Accelerator is a six-month hothouse programme for journalism and media innovators. It is based at Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct in the heart of Johannesburg.

 

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