Business Activator aims to be the Western Cape’s best business partner for entrepreneurs from under-resourced backgrounds, enabling them to realise their full potential and profoundly improve lives, communities and economies.

We are working towards this vision by a) building the Cape Flat’s most innovative incubator program for entrepreneurs who live within our catchment area and b) providing the most holistic and appropriate content for a micro-enterprise development program in South Africa.

Business Activator has recently moved into new premises, a flagship and innovative property development, and the subject of a R90m partnership between Business Activator and the Bertha Foundation. These new premises, named Philippi Village (PV), are intended as the beginning of a South Central suburb for Cape Town and the home of investment for entrepreneurs in Philippi, Nyanga, Gugulethu and Crossroads



Our Story

BUSINESS ACTIVATOR is a South African NGO with skilled personnel who provide free business support services to grow local businesses. 

Our Enterprise Development programs have assisted over 4,000 entrepreneurs throughout the Cape Flats 

Our Enterprise Development initiative has assisted over 4,000 entrepreneurs throughout the Cape Flats and we understand the market need within Philippi.

Our experienced team has successfully operated at a small business park at Philippi Village where 27 businesses reside. 

BUSINESS ACTIVATOR is a joint partner with the Bertha Foundation in Philippi Village.

Our Challenge

As South Africans we continue to face the critical challenge of low growth coupled with high unemployment and bad education. Reasons:

The education system is one of the worst in the world and is ranked at the bottom of both mathematics and science education surveys of 39 countries (2015).

Education impacts entrepreneurial activity, and every year fewer adult South Africans are involved in starting businesses (-34%, 2013-14).

Informal businesses contribute about 20% of South Africa's GDP, yet 67% of SMMEs provide employment opportunities for their owners only, 50% fail within the first 2 years and 85%  within the first 10 years.​

Our Community / Catchment Area

Business Activator is reaches township communities on the Cape Flats ("The Flats"), an expansive and low-lying, flat area situated to the southeast of Cape Town.

The Flats is home to much of the population of Greater Cape Town due both informal settlement and forced government

relocations during the apartheid era.

Almost all of the communities of the Flats remain poverty stricken, to one degree or another. 

A wide range of community empowerment organisations work to combat poverty, crime and health problems, and the role of civil society in the many townships is relatively strong.

Our History

We've been addressing this challenge / the challenge of poor education and unemployment since 2004, when we started offering a range of mostly free entrepreneurial support services and short training courses every year to over 1,000 small business owners from some of the poorest parts of the Cape Town metropole.

Our services have been making an impact — e.g. in 2015, our clients averaged 23% increase in turnover, 16% increase in asset values, and 21% increase in jobs created.

Our Enterprise Development program's participants in the Philippi Village Container Walk perform much better than other Philippi Village tenants: they stay, pay their rent, and their businesses grow.

Since 2015, we've evolved from a small business services provider (The Business Place Philippi) and have re-branded as a pioneering business incubator and educator, Business Activator.

In this regard, we consider our new Enterprise Development (ED) programs to be making a critical contribution to addressing South Africa's unemployment crisis and alleviating poverty in townships.

Over the past 2 years, our team of 15 staff have been running several ED programs that are transformational in helping entrepreneurs develop the behaviour and habits required for running successful businesses.

In contrast to our free business support services, the ED programs require business owners to respond to weekly 1-on-1 training, coaching and mentoring sessions, for at least 2 years — from the incubation of their business ideas to its actual profit-making stage.

We use proven life skills and business development tools to ensure personal transformation — e.g. Global Priority Solutions used in more than 70 countries.

Our ED programs are judged innovative and effective by thought leaders such as Mike Herrington of the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor.​

Our Evolution

(c) 2018 Business Activator NPC 2002/018506/08

Public Benefit Organization 930021695

Website by eMotion Design (2017)

and Sardis Media (2018)

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BUSINESS ACTIVATOR • Tel. 021 371 3350 • Email • Philippi Village, 1 Cwangco Crescent, Philippi 7781, Cape Town, South Africa