House flipping (buying, renovating and selling houses at a profit) is the business venture that Lavender Lifestyle will embark on in Cape Town, South Africa. Lavender Lifestyle is not just an ordinary business, but a business with a social mission to help the poor and underprivileged in the townships of Cape Town. Both Dyon and Nasra Vosmer who will be setting up this social business have some experience with house flipping and would like to make this their core business. At the same time, they will be concerning themselves with the need that exists amongst the underprivileged in society. An important part of the profit that will be generated by Lavender Lifestyle will be used to finance these social projects. This they believe is a key to sustainable help to those living in poverty.
Political and socio-economic situation
South Africa has 4 main population groups, namely the indigenous black inhabitants, the coloureds, the white (of European origin) and the Indian inhabitants. The country experienced major political upheaval during the years of apartheid. After the abolishment of apartheid in 1994 the political and socio-economic situation changed for the better especially for the black inhabitants. The post-apartheid government has placed the focus on restoring the wealth to the black inhabitants at the cost of other population groups especially the coloured people. Most of the coloureds live in the Western Cape. About 30% live in poverty in townships and have been neglected by the current government. The unemployment rate in these townships is more than 50% and affects mostly the youth and single mothers. Against this background Lavender Lifestyle will be set up in Cape Town.
The company will be focusing on selling houses to middle income groups. Market research has shown that there is a need for aesthetically appealing houses for this target group. By setting up the business in Cape Town, Lavender Lifestyle will provide jobs for local renovators and will employ those who have excellent track records.
What is Lavender Lifestyle’s unique selling point?
The vision of Lavender Lifestyle is to change the landscape of house flipping by turning a house that needs improvements not just into a renovated house but into a home. To achieve this, the renovated houses will be staged with unique pieces of furniture, kitchen cabinets, drapery, etc made by local artisans who will have the opportunity to showcase their pieces. The potential house buyers will have the option of buying some or all the furnishings. The renovations will be carried out in such a manner that it will do minimal harm to the environment. This is in line with the company’s belief concerning good stewardship of the planet. Built-in cupboards, fixtures, vanity’s and baths removed from houses that will be renovated will be given away to low-income groups or to NPO’s who can make good use of them. Built in cupboards and other wooden features that are not usable for a specific project will be recycled. Wood that can be salvaged will be converted into usable items such as coffee tables, shelving, etc.
‘We will do whatever we can to sow seeds of hope into the lives of the poor and underprivileged. Doing nothing is not an option. Without sowing there will be no reaping – that is just one of the amazing laws of nature.’ – Dyon en Nasra Vosmer, initiators Lavender Lifestyle
Projects to help the poor
Projects will be set up to help the poor in the townships. This will be done under the banner of the foundation, Issachar projects. The main thrust of these projects will be the setting up and maintenance of a community garden in the township of Lavender Hill. The aim of the garden will be the provision of a wide variety of fresh vegetables and fruit for the most vulnerable members of the community. In this way an important contribution can be made to improve food security for the poor. The garden will be set up and maintained in a sustainable way by for example employing rain capturing methods, making compost with green waste, avoiding the use of chemical pesticides and using hydroponic techniques.
Impact on township
The community garden will not only provide vegetables and fruit for the community but will also provide training and jobs for a number of community members. Educational programs will be provided and will include the importance of a healthy diet, healthy cooking on a low budget, setting up a backyard vegetable garden, sustainability, the importance of being good stewards of the planet. Developing these necessary skills will help the community members to become more self-reliant.
The community gardens will provide in the creation of green space which will improve the appearance of the township and give the members of the community a sense of pride in their neighbourhood.
One of the long-term goals is facilitating in the setting up of co-operatives for workers of the community garden who have the necessary skills and talent in the area of gardening and management. Furthermore, this model can be easily expanded and duplicated in other townships so that surplus organic vegetables and fruit can be brought to market or sold to restaurants.
To achieve their goals Dyon and Nasra needed start capital to the amount of $205,000. They have invested $40,000 in the business. With mediation assistance from MissionInvest they were able to find investors to finance the remaining amount of $175,000. The loan will be paid off over a period of 5 years with an interest rate of 4% per annum.
‘As investment mediator Wim had our best interests at heart. He was able to communicate our vision in a meticulous way to investors. We have a great appreciation for his work ethic and how he carried out the work on our behalf in a goal and result orientated manner. As a result of this he has succeeded in matching us with the right investors. By embracing our vision of giving hope to the poor in Cape Town, MissionInvest has helped us pursue that which lies dear to our hearts.’ – Dyon & Nasra Vosmer