Who We Are

Phaphama SEDI is a non-profit organisation that was started in 2014 by a small group of dynamic UCT students. The aim of Phaphama was to increase the entrepreneurial capacity of small businesses in the Khayelitsha and Philippi area by connecting them with a consulting team of senior UCT students.

Each entrepreneur is teamed for the entirety of the programme with three student consultants. These groups, comprising of diverse academic backgrounds and skill sets, mean that each business owner will receive consistent and specialised attention throughout the year, in addition to the overarching skills-building training they will receive in the module workshops.

In 2014, Phaphama began work with 7 entrepreneurs from Khayelitsha. Over the years we have developed and in 2019 we began the year working with 30 entrepreneurs from Khayelitsha, Philippi, Lange and Belhar.

To date we have worked with over 100 small to medium enterprises and over 300 student consultants. In doing so, we labour tirelessly to make success a reality for our entrepreneurs, at the same time we seek to equip our consultants with practical skills. We want student consultants to experience what it is like to work with the local business community.


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Our Programme

Phaphama SEDI’s business development programme was designed according to six key principles, agreed upon at early strategy meetings and used as a reference point for curriculum-related discussions throughout the year. We are confident that a thorough application of these principles has resulted in a curriculum which systematically adds value for consultants and entrepreneurs while giving future executive members the freedom to build and shift the curriculum as new challenges, feedback and trends in the informal economy arise. The following explanatory statements are taken directly from our 2018 Curriculum Development Portfolio Statement of General Approach.

  • Inclusivity: Designing a curriculum that can assist any committed entrepreneur, understanding and accounting for different personal histories, backgrounds, identity etc.
  • Malleability: Avoiding a “textbook-style”, rigid curriculum that isn’t applicable to all industries, locations and people. It also needs to encourage entrepreneurs and consultants to shift according to trends and shocks, while encouraging the consultants to think beyond frameworks.
  • Collaborative: Encouraging collaboration between consultants, entrepreneurs, community & industry leaders. Avoid “lecturing.”
  • Exciting: Presenting this curriculum as an exciting, innovative knowledge base for future entrepreneurs and consultants. For example, framing record-keeping as a portal for data analysis and subsequent growth rather than a “business studies” requirement.
  • Well-Researched: The final model must be data-backed and vigorously researched, utilising existing publications and expertise such as the Standard Bank SME handbook, previous Phaphama curriculums, McKinsey/BCG frameworks, Street Labs and Bertha Centre.
  • Personal: create an overarching scheme that encourages entrepreneurs and consultants to push themselves, while forming lasting relationships. Establishing value systems, involvement in the community; going above and beyond finances.


Our 2020 Team

Executive Team 2021 Recruitment

Applications are now closed, thank you to everyone who applied.  The new executive will be announced in due time.

2020 Executive Team

Kiren Rutsch


Ryan Anderson

Program Coordinator

Vhonani Sadiki

Entrepreneur Coordinator

Jason Moodley

Consultant Coordinator

Sophie de Bruyn

Consultant Coordinator

Maddy Silver

Treasurer and Logistics

Kayla Kolker

Marketing Director

Catherine Torrington

Monitoring and Evaluations Officer

Nuvika Pillay

Expansions Strategist - Research Team Lead

Guy Bowden

Expansions Strategist

Zak Essa

Expansions Advisor

Caleb Qoyo

Content Contributor


The Board

Rowan Spazzoli

Board Member

Sandiswa Gwele

Board Member

Lawrence Edwards

Board Member

Justine Burns

Board Member

Chalwyn Vorster

Board Member

Mzoxolo Kutta

Board member

Thandwefika Radebe

Board Member


Research Team

Phaphama SEDI Research Team 2021 Launched !

Phaphama is delighted to announce the launch of a permanent Phaphama Research Team opportunity in 2021. The team will consist of two-researchers who will tasked with the challenge of researching South Africa’s greatest asset, its ever evolving informal economy. This opportunity will be offered in partnership with the Chair of the Poverty and Inequality branch of the National Research Foundation and as such shall offer partial scholarships to successful our researchers.

The mandate of the Phaphama research team will be to spark academic interest in the informal sector. The informal economy is a vital source of employment for many South Africans. However, it is under- researched and misunderstood, leading to ineffective policies and support to this part of our economy. The research team will aim to contribute to literature around the informal economy and to spark interest in young academics into this vital sector.

Phaphama SEDI has recently shown the important role that academic research can have in creating awareness on the struggles and triumphs of the informal sector. Our COVID-19 report titled “The Impact of COVID on small and micro businesses” was covered by 15 national media outlets and was used in the creation of a R30 million fund for youth micro-businesses. This shows the impact a research- branch of Phaphama can achieve.

If you are interested in applying for this role, we ask that you please refer to the eligibility criteria set out below and following the application procedure set out below:

Eligibility criteria:

  • Must be a student who has been provisionally accepted or submitted an application to pursue a postgraduate qualification in Economics at the University of Cape Town. Please note that should you be accepted, this opportunity cannot be held for a future year.
  • Excellent academic results in your previous qualification.
  • Can show commitment to the betterment of South Africa or your home country.
  • Must be passionate about the informal economy.
  • While it is not a requirement to have been past-Phaphama consultant, consultants are particularly encouraged to apply.

Applications for the 2021 academic year are now closed. 


Recent News

Stitching her path to couture: AndyB

By Caleb Qoyo and Kayla Kolker 'I really loved clothing but never thought I would have a career in fashion... I grew up a fashionable girl, I loved clothes, but I never thought..' Andy Buthane , founder of Andy B

Six years of Phaphama – Our Story

Written by Caleb Qoyo Phaphama was birthed from the consolidation of three separate student affiliated organisations, (i) the SAB Foundation, (ii) Angel Fund which was under Enactus and (iii) Siyaya. The SAB Fund was created when SAB gave money to

Grace Dila, Nurturing her Community through Dila’s Corner

Written by - Caleb Qoyo Grace Dila, owner of Dila’s Corner had plans and dreams to be here or there, like we all do. She knew what was going to take her there, it was not money nor anybody else. 

Money screams and charity is a whisper

WRITTEN BY - KAYLA KOLKER Power; what is the first thing that comes to mind when hearing this word? In the contemporary and western-influenced mindset of today, the answer most likely has to do with money. L’argent, geld, novac, imali,


2020 Publications


Insights on the SMME sector

Why Women-owned Businesses in S.A Townships Fail

A visual map presentation outlining the decline in female entrepreneurship, the forces driving it and gaps in the solution landscape.


Organizational Overview Document

Document aimed at potential funders that outlines of our structure, impact and 5 year plan.


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