Scene 9: Collaboration for Future Implementation

Friday, December 12th


After the Low Income Energy Strategy Task Team presentation last week, it was suggested that we share our entrepreneurial business model with the Social & Early Childhood Development Department and the Economic Development Department of the City of Cape Town. Therefore, the model can be further implemented by collaborating with different organizations within the government. It also gave the team an opportunity to gather feedback from those that work closely with Early Childhood Development Centers and get a better understanding of the economic aspects associated with executing this model. Rachel and Tati attended this meeting to give the presentation.

Cast of Characters

The Social & Early Childhood Development Department works to improve the social issues within communities. Specifically, they work with Early Childhood Development Centers to ensure the wellness and education of children.

The Economic Development Department (EDD) works to improve economic growth and reduce poverty. They focus on creating jobs and monitoring inequalities.

The Energy Resource Department works to improve environmental sustainability within the city. They are working to implement the City’s Integrated Metropolitan Environmental Policy and manage nature reserves.


The meeting took place on the thirteenth floor of the Standard Bank Building within Cape Town. It was held in a boardroom within the Economic Development Department. The room had a long table at the center of the room with numerous chairs surrounding the table and lining three walls. On the front wall, shined a projector for the presentation.


Once all the members of the departments had arrived, Colin, part of the EDD, introduced himself and explained why this meeting was called. All ten attendees proceeded to introduce themselves and the department they represented. Rachel and Tati then began presenting the entrepreneurial business model and the results from the Pilot Programs.

All representatives of each department were excited about this new idea and saw the potential in this distribution method. They thought it was great that is was bringing together three departments for a project that addressed each of their goals for the communities in Cape Town. They began discussing the necessary process to carry out this model and the concerns they foresaw.

One that stood out to Rachel and Tati was the health concerns they had. An attendee from the Social & Early Childhood Development Department shared that there was a product similar to the Wonderbag that was used and caused bacteria to grow in the food resulting in many community members, especially children, becoming ill. Therefore, the City of Cape Town needs to ensure that the products that are introduced through this entrepreneurial model are safe and explained correctly, otherwise it has a negative impact. It was suggested to add the Health Department to the group to address this issue.

Someone from the Economic Department then expressed some concern with the storage of the products and explained that the locations need to be visited prior to starting the model to ensure there was a place to keep products safe. Next, it was discussed how to ensure that this model was sustainable as it is important for economic growth. A suggestion was that instead of starting with one product, a variety of products can be presented and the entrepreneur can pick a few to sell based on the particular needs. This expands their market and promotes the sustainability aspect of the model.

Rachel asked an Economic Development Department representative if they believed there was a maximum price above which products will no longer sell in low income communities. The person said that it depends on the product, but in theory there is no cap. The most important factor is showing the market the product value and how long it takes to pay off the high initial cost. If the paybacks are appealing, any product can be sold as long as it is effectively advertised.

The departments discussed the next steps to move forward once the new year starts. They evaluated the strengths of our efforts here so that they can be replicated in the 45 Early Childhood Development forums that each have between 100 and 150 teachers. Andrew, from the Energy Resource Department, explained that the Pilot Programs started are continuing into the new year and will be evaluated for a few months after the team leaves by the Office of Sustainable Livelihoods. This will provide more data to improve the entrepreneurial business model and assess what was successful and areas for improvement. Colin expressed that the most promising aspect of the Pilot Program start-up kit was the initial seed capital in form of products instead of money. He suggested that the departments collaborate to endorse certain products by the City of Cape Town and create an Initiative to get funding to continue to provide products as initial seed capital. He also said that having a “Sales Team” to pitch the entrepreneurial business, similar to the Energy Team, is needed to promote the idea and demonstrate the products. The Social & Early Childhood Development Department mentioned that they will also look into other locations within communities that may be able to successfully implement this model, like churches, and reach out to their department to involve them in the next discussion.

The meeting came to a close with a meeting planned for January to further discuss what can be done in order to effectively implement this model into various crèches throughout the city of Cape Town.

Reflection and Learning

This meeting reassured the team that this model had the potential for great success. It was exciting to see three different departments come together and push this idea forward to get it implemented in Cape Town. It was interesting to see concerns arise within the discussion that the team had foreseen and found ways to overcome. Hearing the amount of crèches the City of Cape Town is connected to showed how many individuals this model has the potential reach and the effect it can have to improve the livelihoods of those in low income communities. We are excited that the three departments are collaborating to further develop and implement our entrepreneurial business model.

Scene 10: Keep Smiling