When Three is not a Crowd: Tri Toad Nursery couples with Standard Bank’s Crowdfunding

When Three is not a Crowd: Tri Toad Nursery couples with Standard Bank’s Crowdfunding

Nestled in the heart of Cape Town's picturesque farmlands, Tri Toad Nursery is a thriving wholesale seedling nursery with a unique story to tell.

Seeking grants for a small business
Seeking grants for a small business/ iStock
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Founded in 2022 by Sheena Paulus, it has quickly risen to become the Western Cape's premier supplier of high-quality vegetable, herb, and flower seedlings. But this success story is more than just about plants; it's a testament to the determination and innovation of a female-owned emerging enterprise breaking barriers in a male-dominated industry, with the assistance of Standard Bank’s unique Crowdfunding platform.

Sheena Paulus, the visionary behind Tri Toad Nursery, embarked on a mission to make a difference in her community. Identifying a need for organic vegetables to supply local retailers and facing the challenges of limited funding and gender inequality in the industry, she knew she needed a solution. 

Sheena's journey took an exciting turn when she discovered the Standard Bank Crowdfunding partner page, which offered her a chance to turn her dreams into reality. Her primary challenge was securing the financial backing necessary to sustain and expand her nursery. Despite initial support from the Department of Agriculture, Tri Toad Nursery needed additional funds to thrive in a competitive market. The Standard Bank Crowdfunding campaign became Sheena's beacon of hope.  

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Standard Bank’s Bongiwe Nonjola, Head Enterprise Banking Propositions said, “Crowdfunding is an integral part of our alternative funding initiative, aimed at assisting small businesses that require capital for expansion but face challenges accessing traditional lending solutions. Tri Toad Nursery received campaign support through our partner, Thundafund, and successfully raised R50 900 by mobilising public support. To further support their growth, we provided matching funds of R50 000, resulting in a total of R100 900 available for their business needs. We pride ourselves in being there for our clients in moments that matter whether they are in the starting, managing or growth phases of their business.”

Sheena Paulus, owner at Tri Toad Nursery expressed her gratitude. “Standard Bank's support was a game-changer for us. The matching funds provided the financial support needed to manage nursery operations. We successfully supplied our first retailer and experienced significant growth, expanding our customer base. To small businesses like us this proved to be a lifeline to sustained growth.”

Tri Toad Nursery, initially a one-woman operation, now employs nine staff members. Sheena Paulus, the Managing Director of Tri Toad (Pty) Ltd, remains committed to her mission of making a positive impact on food security and community development. She plans to purchase a nursery as part of her expansion strategy, all while involving her daughters in the agricultural industry.

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Tri Toad Nursery has expanded its product range to include pot plants and seedlings. Sheena has also ventured into growing peppers and chilies and is exploring vertical soilless hydroponic systems. The future holds exciting prospects as Sheena plans to delve into the Cannabis industry and aims to procure Landorf Nursery in the coming 2-4 years, maximising current space and economic opportunities.

Tri Toad Nursery's journey highlights the transformative influence of Standard Bank in nurturing emerging enterprises and is a testament to the power of determination, innovation, and community support. Standard Bank’s Crowdfunding platform, that matches an amount equivalent to that raised through crowdfunding, helped Sheena and her team grow into a successful business. As they continue to cultivate success, Tri Toad Nursery stands as an inspiring example of what can be achieved when passion meets purpose.

Sponsored by Standard Bank

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Image courtesy of iStock/ @Olivier Le Moal

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