It took Sihle Maphalala three years to muster the courage to leave his full-time employment as an IT consultant with a major bank to open his own branding and digital design studio in Umlazi township, south of Durban.
The enterprise established in 2018 services other small enterprises from around the sprawling township and surrounding areas, offering a one-stop service for digital solutions from invoice printing, website development and management. It's a business that has experienced a fair share of ups and downs in its three years of existence, from surviving a major break-in during its first year of operation to cash flow challenges.
However, the ongoing power outages pose the biggest existential threat to the young business. Electricity is the lifeblood of SM Design as every piece of equipment can't function without power.