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

2021 Executive Team

We are excited to announce that the executive team that will take Phaphama forward has been finalized. Here they are:

Kiren Rutsch – Retains his role as president

Catherine Gwynne-Evans – Program Coordinator

Poloko Kome – Entrepreneur Coordinator

Jonathan Boulle – Consultant Coordinator

Mulisa Bugana – Treasurer

Nandipha – Monitoring and Evaluations Officer

Gemma Allan – Marketing Director

2020 Executive Team (outgoing)

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 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.

Meet the 2021 research team 

Sophie de Bruyn

Sophie  will be researching access to capital for businesses operating in the informal economy, as well as the impact of financial literacy on the informal economy. Through her research she aims to identify the challenges surrounding access to capital, and to provide relevant recommendations in order to drive inclusive growth in this sector.

Catherine Gwynne-Evans

Catherine will be analysing the informal economy using Isenberg’s Domains of the Entrepreneurship Ecosystem to get a more nuanced and holistic understanding of entrepreneurship within South Africa than is currently available. Through this, her investigation aims to identify limiting factors to growth and potential support structures that can be implemented to improve opportunities for entrepreneurs to flourish within the informal economy.


Recent News

What Phaphama Means – a short reflection on the year gone by

With the Phaphama program for 2020 done and dusted we sat down with a few members of the Phaphama community and asked them what Phaphama meant to them this year. These were some of their answers: “The word Phaphama means

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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