Board of Directors

Senior Management Team | Board of Directors
Photo of Simpiwe Somdyala

Simpiwe Hemming Somdyala


Simpiwe currently holds the Chief Executive Officer position at the Masisizane Fund, an initiative of the Old Mutual Group tasked with the mandate to provide enterprise development finance and support to Small Medium and Micro Enterprises. From 2008 to 2012 he was the Chief Executive Officer at ASGISA Eastern Cape (Pty) Ltd, an organisation which facilitates the implementation of High Impact Priority Programmes by the Office of the Premier. Amongst other positions, he also acted as Capacity Development Manager for Africa at the African Management Services Company as well as Managing Member and Founder of Kenako Development and Business Solutions based in Johannesburg.

Simpiwe holds an MBA and Honours BCom. Apart from English, Simpiwe is fluent in IsiZulu and IsiXhosa.

Photo of Mutle Mogase

Mutle Constantine Mogase

Mutle is currently the executive chairman of Vantage Capital where he oversees all aspects of the group's business with a particular focus on group's proprietary investments with a directorship at Kwikspace.

Mutle commenced his working career as a financial accountant at LTA Construction Ltd. Thereafter, he moved to Nedbank where he was a relationship manager in the corporate banking division. At his next position with ABSA Bank, he was responsible for the implementation of ABSA's micro lending strategy with the creation of Nubank. He started Nubank from scratch and was CEO for 3 years. During this time, Mutle was also involved as one of the five founding members, in the establishment of Real Africa Investments Limited (RAIL), one of the pre-eminent listed black empowerment companies in South Africa. In 1999, Mutle sold his interest in RAIL and started MMR Equity Capital together with Colin Rezek, which after a merger in 2001, was the genesis of the Vantage Capital group. As a pioneer of black-owned private equity fund management, Mutle Mogase was closely involved in the formulation of the Financial Sector Charter ("FSC") on Black Economic Empowerment. Mutle was also chairman of the Micro Finance Regulatory Council (MFRC) and it was during his tenure that the new credit act was developed.

Outside of Vantage, Mutle is the chairman of African Bank. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce from University of Cape Town, has completed an Executive Development Programme at the University of New York and a Graduate Diploma in Corporate Governance at the Institute of Management Technology in Johannesburg.

Photo of John de Wit

John de Wit

Managing Director

John is the co-founder and Managing Director of The Small Enterprise Foundation. After spending four years running the microcredit operations of the Get Ahead Foundation, from 1987 to 1990, John decided to launch his own organization in one of the poorest provinces of South Africa. He was convinced that the solution for the poverty in his country would be found in one of two methods of increasing income – mainstream employment or through small enterprise development. John decided to tackle the latter as he believed that if he helped people to start businesses, they will in turn be able to create jobs for others. As he developed his model, John drew lessons from the Grameen Bank and tailor-made it for the South African context.

John holds a B.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Cape Town and has served as a member of the Policy Advisory Group of CGAP, the Consultative Group to Assist the Poorest, as a trustee of ChoiCe, a South African health sector NGO which focuses on home-based care for people living with HIV/AIDS and TB and as a board member of the Association of Pro-Poor Microfinance Institutions of South Africa.

John is an Ashoka Fellow. In 2012 he received The International Alliance for Women World of Difference 100 Award in the category Champion of Women's Economic Empowerment. He has presented lectures at the University of California, San Diego and Point Loma Nazarene University, and has chaired discussions at numerous conferences around the world. John is fluent in English and Afrikaans.

Matome Patrick Malatji

Matome co-founded the Small Enterprise Foundation in 1991. He is the founder and director of the Itireleng Development and Educational Project, an NGO focusing on capacity building and community institution building, since 1989.

Matome holds a Masters of Public Administration and a B.Admin. in Management Science from the University of the North, as well as a diploma in Human Resource Management from Johannesburg University. Furthermore, he has a certificate in Management of Not-for-Profit Organisations from the New School for Social Research in New York City and a Community-based Development Programme certificate from the University of the Witwatersrand. Apart from his native Northern Sotho, he fluently speaks Tswana, English and Afrikaans.

Photo of Dr. Marié Kirsten

Dr. Marié Kirsten

Marié is an economist with over 20 years of experience in development. She is currently the editor of Development Southern Africa (DSA), the region’s largest internationally accredited academic journal. Marié previously worked at the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) as head of the publications unit, and completed her PhD in Economics in 2011, with a dissertation entitled: "Improving the well-being of the poor through microfinance: Evidence from the Small Enterprise Foundation in South Africa".

Refilwe Mokoena

Refilwe joined SEF as an intern in June 2007, became permanently employed in the Research and Development department in December 2007 and later became SEF’s Research and Development Manager. She left SEF in 2010 and took up a post with the international microfinance organisation VisionFund. Thereafter she worked as Senior Programme Manager: Impact Investing at GreaterCapital, which is based in Cape Town. In 2016 she joined the Graca Machel Trust as a consultant.