SLF is collaborating with Assistant Professor Joel Bothello from the John Molson School of Business, Concordia University to research organisational resilience in informal markets. Joel was awarded an Insight Development Grant from the Government of Canada to investigate this topic in Delft South. SLF is the local collaborating partner. The research builds upon the results of our 2015 small area business census of Delft South wherein we identified and interviewed over 1600 micro-enterprises.
To update this research with qualitative insights, Joel was accompanied by Antony Muteti into the field to interview entrepreneurs as well as members of local community organisations. A big thank-you to the Delft Neighbourhood Watch for assisting him with the research. One of the interviewed entrepreneurs was Giovanni, who runs a mechanical workshop. Giovanni is a highly skilled mechanic and famed throughout the Cape spinning circles for his skill in modifying cars and participating in spinning events. Joel has submitted a case study of Giovanni’s business to a Business School competition for original research into the challenges of business succession. In the interview Giovanni said that his business philosophy was to work on only one car at a time: “I can look after one car, but I can’t look after ten. If your work comes back, you work for free, so everything must be done professional the first time”.
As part of his induction to the township economy and informal business, we took Joel to Aneesa’s restaurant in Wynberg to experience the taste of their ‘full Gatsby’. Joel has vowed to make a return visit to Aneesa’s on his next visit to Cape Town.
Andrew Charman, July 2019