Ebrahim-Khalil Hassen

Ebrahim-Khalil Hassen

Ebrahim-Khalil Hassen is the founder of Zapreneur and Proposal Desk. Each of these websites are aimed at answering this question – Can the Internet help South African small business?

Ebrahim-Khalil started his career at the Gauteng Provincial Government, where he was the manager of the Vusani Amadolobha Grant Fund, which was South Africa’s first public-private partnership fund for urban renewal. The theme of public service reform saw him join the National Labour and Economic Development Institute (NALEDI), a research non-governmental organisation established by the Congress of South African Trade Unions.

From 2007 to 2009, he worked part-time at the Centre for Poverty, Employment and Growth at the Human Sciences Research Council building proposals for employment creation in the public service. In 2011, Zapreneur was launched. As an independent public policy analyst, his clients have included TIPS, NALEDI and the Department of Economic Development. He currently serves on the board of the South African Labour Bulletin, and is a member of the COSATU Economics Panel.

Is the ANC Serious about 'Radical Economic Transformation'?

Picture credit: Citizen Alert ZA Blog Ebrahim-Khalil Hassen - Presidents’ relish shorthand descriptions of the agenda they are implementing. In Jacob Zuma’s first term of office, the term “faster change” played that role. Bureaucrats and politicians quickly took up this term not merely to demonstrate loyalty to a newly installed President, but also because many in public service valued a commitment to accelerating change. The term however faded from usage, buried in inaccessible policies and procedures, and the absence of a...

Six Reasons Why Rushed Cadre Deployment is Bad for the Cabinet and for the Country

Picture credit: Transport Minister Dipuo Peters and Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa during a Cabinet Lekgotla at the Presidential Guest House in Pretoria on 10 June 2014 courtesy GCIS/GovernmentZA/flickr Ebrahim-Khalil Hassen - The African National Congress has recently launched its Imvuselelo (Revival) Campaign. At the launch, President Jacob Zuma indicated it means a “back to basics campaign”. The campaign aims to reconnect with voters and drive membership. The campaign requires new members to swear an oath that they did not join the ANC to advance personal material interests and for branches to conduct community work each Friday. Iterations of this campaign using the same name have been around...

Provincial Centres for Entrepreneurship? South Africa's New Small Business Ministry Gets Off on Wrong Foot

Picture credit: Youth Development Outreach Ebrahim-Khalil Hassen - South Africans of all stripes often lament the general lack of entrepreneurial success and limited support for its development in the country. So when President Jacob Zuma created a new small business ministry, the Department of Small Business Development (DSBD), soon after entering his second term in office, the news was well received all round. The new ministry has its work cut out for it, but its minister, Lindiwe Zulu, appears confident that it will be up and running and producing...

Can South Africa's New Small Business Development Ministry Promote Structural Change?

Picture credit: Michigan Advantage Ebrahim-Khalil Hassen - A curious debate between agency and structure has unfolded in South Africa in relation to “small business” over the last two decades. On the one hand, the celebration of successful entrepreneurs as exceptional individuals has led to an explosion of self-help blogs, courses and books. Successful South African entrepreneurs in every niche are celebrated. There is nothing explicitly wrong with these inspirational stories of success. However, taken to their extreme, these relentless...

Budget 2014: 'The Disconnect between Plans and Budgets'

Picture credit: Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan courtesy GovernmentZA/flickr Ebrahim-Khalil Hassen - Common sense suggests that budgets follow plans, not the other way around. Beyond the headline results of the budget, a closer look at the finance minister’s 2014 budget reveals significant contradictions and suggests a disconnect concerning the relationship between plans and budgets. Consequently, the minister’s budget allocations are far from optimal for us to reach the twin goals of reducing unemployment and decreasing inequality. Minister Pravin Gordhan once tabled the idea...

NDP Inadequate to the Task of Addressing South Africa's Inequality

Picture credit: Trevor Manuel, Minister of the National Planning Commission, responsible for the development of the National Development Plan courtesy World Economic Forum/flickr. Ebrahim-Khalil Hassen - “A rising tide lifts all boats.” This aphorism means that in a growing economy everyone benefits, and by extension that government’s role is to focus on the macroeconomic environment. Moreover, it suggests that distributional changes occur after economic growth. In the days following the end of the cold war, this was the conventional wisdom emerging from the World Economic Forum. Today, that singular faith in the power of economic growth is fraying, even at Davos....