As regular readers of this site will know, we are strong advocates for the building of uniquely different African brands that can export products successfully.

In our list of the best businesses to start in 2020 - the food and beverage category features prominently, so the story of the Setsong Tea Crafters - Indigenous tea experiences is clearly an exciting one for us.

Tea around the world is big business. You just need to spend some time in Taiwan or India to get a sense of the growing global demand and interesting for unusual teas is significant. And from our limited experience and circumstantial evidence - teas from South Africa [Rooibos and Buchu tea] are highly sought after in the East.

'Retang Phaahla is the co- founder of Setsong Teas, a three-year-old tea manufacturing business. She uses indigenous knowledge to make artisanal, hand-crafted tea made from wild African flora.

Phaahla was the top female entrepreneur, coming in third place, at the SA Innovation Summit and Small Enterprise Development Agency's Pitch & Perfect competition, winning technology incentives to the value of R100,000.' - via

The Setsong Tea Crafters story is a great one - with the ultimate aim being to build a strong export sales pipeline. Here's hoping that it's a beacon on the horizon for similar ventures and a great example of why the national narrative should be around building strong local brands rather than jobs.