Soweto Style: Small Business Growing Pains: Abstract
Thabiso Olifants, founding partner of Soweto Style, a small business involved in event organising and apparel manufacturing, sat in his 1983 BMW 325i Coupe in the early hours of a Saturday morning in mid-September 2017, deep in thought. Olifants had just arrived home from a meeting with his partners, where they had finalised plans for the Soweto Style Annual Party. The meeting had also served as a celebration for the success of their 2017 Winter Get Together event. While the evening had been successful, Olifants’ mind was on the discussions regarding the future of the apparel division of Soweto Style.
In November 2015, Olifants and his partners had decided to push the pause button on the apparel sales side of their business, realising that the company had outgrown the business model that they had been using and that change was needed to avoid the risk of reputational damage. Since relaunching the apparel division of Soweto Style with a new business model in April 2017, the demand for their apparel had exceeded expectations. What he was pondering on that early morning was how he and his partners were going to grow the business while dealing with capacity and financial issues.
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