MIM Leadership in Action - 2024 - Cape Town

Project Information supported by Reciprocity Consulting and 7th Sense


    Over the next weeks, you will be immersed in the business environment and economic landscape of Cape Town. You will be challenged to question your personal assumptions and ideas, looking at innovations and traditional business models differently. The focus is to support the development of existing small organisations currently manufacturing and selling products in Cape Town.

    Due to the particular nature of the interactions you will have over the next weeks, the assignment will require you to immerse yourself (at first remotely) in the business environment and economic landscape of Cape Town and South Africa, doing as much desk research and topical reading as possible: On South Africa, on your client’s particular sector of activity, and on the broader continental and global trends that form the backdrop of your assignment.

    Your focus remains to facilitate the growth of these small businesses all having a strong social component, owned and / or managed by passionate individuals. This type of consulting experience is likely to transform your outlook on opportunities in emerging markets, including the typical challenges that entrepreneurs face in this type of environment.

    This website will provide you with your client profile, as well as resources dedicated to help you throughout your mission. Visit often, as the website will be updated regularly.


    International economic measures lead the apartheid regime to be considerably isolated from the rest of the world. During that time, the racist regime had developed infrastructures and capacities - such as textile production in Cape Town - allowing for a relative independence from imports.

    The regime change to a democracy in the 90ies marked the end of the international economic embargo in South African. The country opened to globalisation, international trade and sometime fierce competition from other countries.

    Whilst some industries within the South African economy strongly benefited, others suffered. Imports to South Africa from countries equipped more competitive infrastructures, less constraining labour laws, manufacturing at a cheaper cost, increased drastically. The South African textile manufacturing industry suffered from

    A number of public and civil society structures, such as the “Made in Cape Town” movement, are nowadays fighting to revive an ecosystem allowing for small South African businesses to produce locally.

    Small businesses are often considered the backbone of an economy. In the current economic context they have to show resilience and display agility to overcome a wide range of challenges.

    Indeed, as a young democracy, South Africa struggled over the past 30 years to reduce inequality and poverty, and create jobs. Indeed, many of the mostly inherited challenges remain daunting: They include persistent poverty, (49% of the population), a staggering 35% unemployment rate, slow economic growth (barely reaching 1% a year), and extreme inequality, with a Gini coefficient of 0.7, mostly along racial lines.

    Basic economic indicators have worsened after the outbreak of the covid-19 pandemic and the Ukraine war, and the challenge ahead to recover lost ground, never mind make progress, is daunting.

    South Africa is subject to macro-economic The success of small businesses manufacturing locally, and selling in South Africa or abroad, appears as one of the ways to employ more South Africans, develop skills, generate tax revenues.

    Your client is a small Cape Town based company facing many challenges that have to do with both the economic and social context in South Africa as well as a particularly challenging international environment. Your support is highly valued.


    Before your journey to Cape Town, we encourage you to both listen and read as much as you can on South Africa. So many things are available online to help you better understand the local context.

    Radio garden (link) will provide you with a quick access to a selection of radios in Cape Town including the talk Radio “Cape Talk”.

    News 24 (link) is one of the most visited breaking news websites in the country, whilst the Cape Times (link) counts amongst the widely read newspapers in Cape Town. For deeper political and economic analysis on South Africa, we would rather encourage you to read the Daily Maverick (link) and Business Day (link).

    The StatsSA website (link) can be a excellent source of information when trying to understand the local context through data. We also highly recommend Wazimap (link) for its digestible display of both the Census 2011 and the Household survey 2016 data. Stats from the latest census (2022) are now available on this website: link.

    Last but not least, the UCT Liberty Institute of Strategic Marketing released “Marketing to South African Consumers”, an open-access resource that can possibly help you during your consulting journey. The document was published in January 2021 but we wouldn't consider it outdated. To download, click on the thumbnails below: https://openbooks.uct.ac.za/uct/catalog/view/29/43/1430-1

Meet Your Client

Our team has identified and interviewed twelve organisations interested in working with you.

From the interview sessions, it is apparent that these organisations could benefit significantly from your expertise, skills and knowledge.

Below are your clients profiles, along with a short video providing an overview of their business, and the challenges they face (please refer to materials in your team pages)

  1. Rock Paper Scissors
  2. EnviroKid
  3. Law of Leather
  4. Project Dyad
  5. Asha eleven
  6. Alovesupreme
  7. ZaEtc
  8. Growbag Upcycled
  9. Nalientle Glam Bags
  10. Jeanius Platform
  11. Izaza Eyewear
  12. Ivy Grace

Rules of the Game

This Section is intended to assist you in understanding how the consulting Week will be conducted, and define the role of each of the stakeholders: Clients, Consultants, SA Team Members and Coaches.

The MIM LIA consulting projects will run remotely from Monday 12 February to Friday 26 February. It will be preceded by a contact point during the week of January 29th.


As you know by now, your clients are Enterprises and Entrepreneurs manufacturing and selling products in Cape Town and are willing to work with a team of consultants on a project as defined in the project brief - available on this website.

South African Team Member

A South African ‘team member’ will be available to each consulting team and will be working with you. His or her role is to assist the team with background information on the South African context, and facilitate the team’s research as much as possible.

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He or she is also expected to participate in discussions with Clients and Consultants as and when required. Navigators will be available to the consultant team for up to 5 hours per day and will typically meet you at the Hotel at 9:00 till 14:00.

He or she should be able to provide additional background work and facilitation, make local calls, for example in order to conduct market research.


A Reciprocity coach will be available to each consultant team, to provide whatever support and guidance may be needed on the project, and ensure delivery of project within scope and timeframe. The coaches will not join consultants on meeting with the client, nor are in charge of organising their meetings or managing their relationship with clients.


You will be referred to as Consultants, and will be working in teams on the project brief defined over an interview with your client. Consultants can expect to typically work a total of 8 hours or more per day on the brief, including a daily meeting with their client (generally one to two hours).

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conditions and interactions with the client, SA team members and coaches. Consultants are expected to maintain high standards of work and professionalism throughout the project and a high quality deliverable, in line with their client’s brief, at the end of the project week on February 16th.

In practical terms, consultants will arrange the place and time of their first meeting with their client before the start of the project, during the week of 29th January. Thereafter, daily contacts with the Client during the project week will take place at times mutually agreed, via an appropriate and convenient channel. We recommend using Doodle for scheduling meetings.

Consultants should be working with their South African Team member and to check in and exchange with their Reciprocity coach on a daily basis during the project week.

Expectations towards the consultants could be summarised in 3 keywords:

  • Autonomy
  • Professionalism
  • Flexibility

Dates and Timelines

We acknowledge the fact that a short presentation presentation in a lecture theatre may not give justice to your full week of work on your client’s case, your findings, your recommendations and suggestions, or the quality of the tools that you would have developed for you client. We therefore highly encourage you to start your handover when meeting with your client the day before the presentation, on Thursday 15th February.

You will be in charge of confirming with Travis Mager your time for the presentation and informing your client.

Week of February 22nd

Introduction call with your assigned coach and SA Team member.

Week of February 29th

Consulting teams to familiarise themselves with their client brief and start desktop research. Introduction call with your client.

February 12-16th:

Daily contact with your client, arranged on an ad hoc basis,

February 16th:

Final presentation and handover to your client.

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