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.
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.
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)
Ryan AndersonProgram Coordinator
Vhonani SadikiEntrepreneur Coordinator
Jason MoodleyConsultant Coordinator
Sophie de BruynConsultant Coordinator
Maddy SilverTreasurer and Logistics
Kayla KolkerMarketing Director
Catherine TorringtonMonitoring and Evaluations Officer
Nuvika PillayExpansions Strategist - Research Team Lead
Guy BowdenExpansions Strategist
Zak EssaExpansions Advisor
Caleb QoyoContent Contributor
Rowan SpazzoliBoard Member
Sandiswa GweleBoard Member
Lawrence EdwardsBoard Member
Justine BurnsBoard Member
Chalwyn VorsterBoard Member
Mzoxolo KuttaBoard member
Thandwefika RadebeBoard Member
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 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.
Insights on the SMME sector