Giving a great idea a kick-start
When a man gives a woman a rose, he symbolises his love for her and her beauty. Isn’t it such a pity then when the rose wilts away after a few days?
This was probably the sad fate of the rose before Mr Viljoen – owner of Iluba Long Life Fresh Flowers, stepped in. He created a technology that extends the vase life of a freshly cut rose from about seven days to at least six months, and up to two years! When Mr Viljoen approached Seda, all he had was a patented idea and had no resources to roll it out in a business model.
Seda identified that there was definitely a need for Mr Viljoen to re-engineer his business processes and get the appropriate machinery to improve productivity.
Seda realised this potential, helped Mr Viljoen with the necessary pre-grant interventions and approved a grant of R500 000 for equipment. Iluba Long Life Fresh Flowers started operations in 2009 with small scale production and market testing.
Today the roses are sold in countries like Japan, France, Holland, Italy, the Caribbean, Germany and Spain. Turnover since the start of the business has increased by 600%! Employment in the business increased from 2 to 70, and the business supports about 20 other SMMEs who act as middle men. The world is one step closer to realising the true meaning of the assertion “Roses are Forever”, thanks to Iluba Long Life Fresh Flowers.