Helping a small business to grow can be challenging, especially when growing is the business itself.
No one understands the challenges of urban agriculture better than Mary Phillips, a woman who went into business to make some serious green — in the agricultural sense, that is.
Thanks to a generous local landowner with capital to invest in community agriculture, Phillips was entrusted with a half-acre plot that became Roots Memphis in August of 2012.
“Memphis,” Phillips explains, “is both the hungriest and most obese city in America. Roots Memphis is in the middle of a community that lacks access to healthy good, so my farm’s success is not only good for me, it’s good for my city.”
In hopes of planting a seed for a bountiful year of business in 2013, Phillips recently entered Intuit’s Small Business Big Wishes campaign.
“I need a greenhouse!” Phillips revealed in her wish entry. “A greenhouse will allow me to start my own seeds, grow food earlier and later in the season, and grow a wider variety of fruits and vegetables. $5,000 for a greenhouse will save my farm thousands of dollars annually.”
This week, Mary Phillips got her wish.
“I can’t even tell you how excited I am right now,” she says. “I want people in this neighborhood to have access to fresh food.”
Despite only being in business for three months, Phillips has already established solid relationships with local farmers markets and restaurants. A number of community members even work in the Roots Memphis garden in exchange for fresh food.
According to Phillips, a greenhouse will allow locals to enjoy the fruits of her labor — literally — well beyond the traditional growing season. And if all goes as planned with the anticipated expansion that should come from having a greenhouse, Phillips will even establish an outdoor classroom at her garden site.
“I grow vegetables and I teach classes,” the jubilant agriculture enthusiastic summarizes. “I love it!”
Do You Have a Small Business Wish?
Have a wish? It just may come true! During the month of December, Intuit will grant one wish a day for 15 days to deserving small businesses. Submit your wish online for a chance to win. Winners will be selected based on the number of votes the wish receives, the wish’s feasibility, and the transformational impact it would have on the business. To learn more, click here.
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