Rowan Spazzoli

Strategist. Lecturer. Consultant

About Me

A brief background

Hi, I'm Rowan!

Welcome! Below you'll find a brief description of my work, and my social pages and contact details are listed after that. At the bottom of the page, you'll find my blog posts that were mostly done in 2017, with a few recent updates.

What do I do?
I'm a lecturer and economic development consultant with extensive experience in startup and small business support. I have recently brought my word under my new company, Accendio, which focuses on entrepreneurial programmes and innovative finance research and implementation

I've cofounded multiple startups including SMEgo, a funding platform for startups, Loadalot, a logistics startup and Ayabu, a job platform. I lecture business strategy at the University of Cape Town and I run the regional University of Oxford Map The System competition with the Bertha Centre. I'm a founder and non-executive director of Phaphama SEDI which pairs university student consultants with small businesses.

My current consulting projects include working with Viridian to develop training programmes for South African entrepreneurship hubs and supporting the Innovative Finance team at the Bertha Centre with research and seed fund management. Some of my previous projects include research on the Innovate UK township business programme, economic impact assessments for the UNDP and developing the Atlantis Greentech SEZ strategy.

I hold a Master's Degree in Economic Development, a Bachelor of Business Science in Management Studies, majoring in Finance, and a Post Graduate Diploma in Accounting, with a minor in Economics, all from the University of Cape Town.

Curriculum Vitae
If you'd like to find out a little more, you can access my LinkedIn profile here

If you'd like to get in contact, send me an email at:


Musings and thoughts

Be an asshole

It’s a counter intuitive piece of advice. “Be an asshole” sounds like you’re telling someone to be mean or hurtful. It feels like a move that might impact their reputation or affect their work. But this advice resonated with me deeply today. Why? Well, in my professional life, my default setting is to help wherever […]

Hang on to the light

Life has become more complex and difficult by an order of magnitude over the last year. And I can’t tell whether it’s just because of the pandemic, or because it’s of the passage into the middle part of my life. It’s likely that the answer is that it’s both. It’s left me with a constant […]

A whole new world

The last time I wrote on this blog, the world was a little different. I was in Joburg with my partner and family. We were at the Gauteng champs, watching my little brother row and the Springboks win in Japan. There was plenty of social contact, freely available alcohol and space to travel around the […]

Create your own space

As children we are given vast amounts of our own space. We have break time between classes, we get school holidays and we get plenty of time to do physical activities. These are all just a part of our schooling system, but they still allow us to get our own space fairly regularly However, this […]

Thesis and Thank Yous

Last week I finally got my thesis results, which included some phenomenal feedback from highly regarded academics. And today I submitted my final thesis, with corrections, to the UCT library, which means that it’s officially a wrap for my MCom in Economic Development. I will be graduating in December 🙂 I wouldn’t have made it […]

And life goes on

In April 2016 I had a week where my life seemed to fall apart. So many bad things happened to me in quick succession that it was difficult to keep track of them all. I was overwhelmed and scared and anxious. I handled this by shutting out the world. I hid in my bed. I […]