Projects Abroad | Business

Cape Town & Swaziland: Business Development and Product Design Project

Cape Town & Swaziland, South Africa


Location: Available in both Cape Town, South Africa and Swaziland

Duration: from 3 weeks

Start Dates: There are start dates on the first and third Monday of each month

Cost: from £1.328 GBP

Includes: all food, accommodation, airport pickup, orientation and all project related activities

Does not Include: flights, travel insurance, visas and vaccinations


  • Supporting the local people in developing new skills and gaining economic empowerment to provide for their families
  • Developing your own creative flair and African style
  • Experiencing the vibrant life of a South African Township
  • Embarking on a red bus tour of Cape Town and learning about its history, enjoying the sun and the beaches and hiking up Table mountain
Costs Explained


With its apartheid past behind it, the South Africa of today is a rainbow nation which boasts beautiful natural scenery – wildlife and beaches, lively and culturally diverse cities and some of the world’s most exciting attractions. A city like Cape Town exemplifies a lot of the famous South African cultural diversity. It offer a unique combination of history, breathtaking mountains and sandy beaches, amazing culture and vibrant urban life.

Even though much progress has been made to move forward, South Africa still struggles with the highest economic inequality in the world, high unemployment, poverty, substance abuse, HIV/AIDS and TB infection rates. Access to basic amenities such as water, electricity and toilets is a daily struggle for a large number of people. This complex socio-economic situation reflects heavily on the lives of vulnerable children and women and much work is needed to make a significant change.

This project aims to improve the lives of South Africans in the Hout Bay area by creating jobs and opportunities and sharing skills with members of the local community. A socially responsible company works with the community in the creation of a range of unique high quality handmade products and you will be providing them assistance with the general business management or with product design and marketing. You will develop your own skills and knowledge in the fields of business, marketing, creative and corporate social responsibility while supporting the local people in developing theirs and gaining economic empowerment in order to provide for their families. There is a focus on skill sharing between the volunteers and the staff and you can contribute with new ideas in addition to assisting in the daily operations of the shop and the production centre. Your particular skillset will be taken into account and your role will vary depending on it.

In the area of marketing, you can join in the development of the marketing mix including creating marketing plans, pricing strategy, product line development, website design and support, and the expansion of social networking outlets. In terms of business development, you can get involved in logistics and production support, designing and implementing new business practices and systems, improving human resources via staff development and relationship management, and contributing to the development of sound financial practices. Regarding creative product design and innovation, you can join in developing the artistic product line with painting, sewing and photographing the people and the products. The company is always looking for new creative ideas and products to support the local community and your art skills, creativity and interest in crafts can be put to good use.

Interns will begin helping out with day to day tasks, such as assisting with making or packaging the products, making tea and taking notes at any appropriate meetings, helping with guided tours and sales. Once you have settled into the role and know more about the business, you will meet with the business manager to come up with a suitable project or task, which you can complete during the remainder of your placement. The project will depend on your previous skills and may be marketing related such as taking photos for promotion, developing the website or Facebook page; or Human Resources of Finance related such as assisting with providing staff training, or with HR or Financial management practices. Those with creative skills may assist coming up with new art or creative techniques or product ideas, or training staff to improve their skills.

Support the local community and develop your skills while enjoying the vibrant life in a South African township, learning about the history of Cape Town, exploring the beautiful beaches and mountains!

Daily Life

Our team members will greet you upon arrival at Cape Town International Airport and will transfer you to Hout Bay Backpackers, your accommodation during the project. The trip takes around 45-60 minutes from the airport to Hout Bay. On your second day you will participate in an informative presentation briefing you on everything you need to know about the country and the culture, what to expect and how to contribute effectively during your volunteer experience. An expert local guide will lead you on a Township Tour in Imizamo Yethu in the afternoon. You will begin your volunteer project on your third day with the assistance of the Project coordinator. In the afternoon you will embark on another tour, this time through the Hangberg community lead by a local leader who lives in the community and is involved in many youth interventions encouraging positive development.

Your fourth day on the project is your first work day and it starts with breakfast on the deck overlooking the beach and Hout Bay Harbour. At 7:30 you will travel to your placement and get ready to begin your day. Your work day starts at 8:00 when you will join your chosen project with marketing activities, shop displays, market research, financial management, business systems support or staff training. At 12:30 you can enjoy the lunch you packed in the morning together with your new work colleagues. You will resume your work at 13:30 and return back to your accommodation at 16:00 where you can go for a swim or spend time with the other volunteers. A delicious evening meal awaits you at 18:30 followed by more time to relax.

On your first weekend you will have a one-day ticket to the open top red bus tour so you can explore Cape Town and the many activities in which you can engage. Some of the stops are Camps Bay, Table Mountain, V & A waterfront and Cape Town City Centre. We recommend upgrading to a two day pass for a small additional fee. On the other weekends you are free to relax and explore the scenery and the activities on offer. You can choose among many options including Cape Peninsular Tour, a guided table mountain hiking tour, abseiling off Table Mountain, sand boarding, tandem paragliding off Table Mountain, shark cage diving, a tour of Robben Island, township and Cape Town city tours, wine tasting and more.
If you have signed up for a four week project then Day 29 will be your time to return home. You will leave the backpacker lodge in Hout Bay and transfer to Cape Town International Airport with the assistance of our team.

If you have more days for participating in your project, you will continue as already described and enjoy more time to experience the beautiful Cape Town.

Book with Confidence

Travel & Accommodation

The award-winning lodge Hout Bay Backpackers opposite the sandy beaches of Hout Bay will be your home during your stay. It is located in a valley on the Atlantic seaboard of the Cape Peninsula, twenty kilometers south of the Central Business District of Cape Town, a short bus ride away. Bordered by Table Mountain and a white sand beach, the lodge has a stunning view over Hout Bay beach and is within walking distance from local shops, markets, restaurants and amenities. Hout Bay is one of the Western Cape’s busiest fishing harbours with an established fish industry and wonderful fish restaurants. Our staff will help you organize trips and excursions to local sights.

The shared dorms where you will sleep have communal bathrooms, and bed linen and pillows are provided. There are also communal living spaces, kitchen and terrace are waiting for the volunteers to enjoy together. There are three meals a day provided and they can be eaten together on the communal decking area in the summer or in the dining room during the winter.

The self-service breakfast offers a selection of cereals, bread, fruit, yogurt, eggs and spreads. You will prepare your own lunch and bring it to the project to eat. There are bread, ham, salad and fruits available. Dinner is a cooked meal which you can assist in preparing on a rotational basis. The types of dishes include pasta, stir-fry, curry and stew. A vegetarian diet and most food allergies are taken into consideration.

Fundraising Help


  • Minimum age 18
  • Minimum 3 weeks commitment
  • Be able to communicate in English
  • Be open minded, patient, adaptable and willing to embrace the challenges of the project
  • Have a positive attitude towards living in a rural setting and working in a team
  • Good mental and physical health – an appropriate level of fitness
  • Necessary flights & visas
  • Full travel & medical insurance – full assistance will be providing in arranging everything should you choose our Placement Support Package
Premium Support Upgrade


4 weeks £1,328
5 weeks £1,508
6 weeks £1,688
7 weeks £1,868
8 weeks £1,933
9 weeks £2,098
10 weeks £2,264
11 weeks £2,430
12 weeks £2,596

* Currency conversions are approximate.
** All payments incur a 5% bank transfer fee.
*** Places are confirmed with a 3 week deposit

What’s Included:

Project Fee includes food, accommodation, airport pickup, orientation, in-country support and project activities.

What’s not included:

Flights, insurance, visas (if applicable) and vaccinations. Full assistance will be provided in getting all these arranged if you choose our Premium Support.

Premium Support Upgrade

We understand there’s a great deal to plan and organise for your trip. When booking a Placement, many of our participants choose to purchase our Premium Support Upgrade to benefit from the expertise, knowledge and experience of our Project Coordinators.

We can provide the personal advice you need to ensure your trip is organised with excellence and planned with efficiency; ensuring the very best experience possible. Read more about how we can help you.

Note: Map coordinates are approximate