Enhancing the enterprise development capacity of SMMEs: Evaluating the impact of Phaphama SEDI
The growth and success of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMMSEs) has been pivotal in advancing economic and social development for many low- and middle-income countries. While gains have been achieved in unlocking the potential of SMMEs in South Africa, serious challenges remain. These challenges appear to be more acute for SMMEs operating in the township economy. These entrepreneurs suffer from a sever lack of enterprise development capacity, business training and mentoring, and financial capital. Phaphama SEDI is a student-led innovative social development initiative that is registered as a non-profit organization. The objective of Phaphama SEDI is to provide a comprehensive set of interventions that include consulting services, business skills training and mentorship to entrepreneurs and small business owners located in the townships of Khayelitsha and Philippi in the Western Cape. Phaphama SEDI also provides an add-on business plan competition that provides entrepreneurs and business owners the opportunity to win funding for their business. The use of students as consultants is a novel approach to the provision of consulting services and is the focus of this proposed study. Moreover, the study will conduct exploratory research that will determine the viability of an RCT evaluation research design to study the impact of using student consultants on a range of business performance outcomes.