Trailblazer

Zama Khanyile

“ I've always wanted to see black people flourish and create space for women at table. ”

Powerhouse Zama Khanyile is a Fund Manager at the National Empowerment Fund (NEF) with expertise in development finance, financial analysis and risk mitigation.

The qualified chartered accountant leads a team that enables wealth creation and maximises value for ordinary people, companies and organisations.

Through teamwork and dedication, Khanyile's team has contributed significantly to catapulting the development of black entrepreneurs and job creation.

Since its inception in 2005, the NEF has approved more than R10 billion for black entrepreneurs supporting in excess of 12 000 jobs.

“We are under no illusion that the entrepreneurial opportunity in South Africa and greater Africa is massive. This is particularly the case among young people. Our work is influenced by a strong desire to be part of this journey towards inclusive economic development, not just as spectators but as deeply immersed participants, helping make that vision a reality,” Khanyile says.

She was recently elected President of the African Women’s Chartered Accountants (AWCA) forum and has led a team that proposed an SME strategy for the BRICS nations. She was featured in the June 2018 Destiny Magazine powerhouse section and was recognised by the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants as one of the Top 35 CAs (SA) under the age of 35 in 2018.

One of the broader challenges she has faced and sadly continues to face is being undermined for being black, for being young, and for being female. This brings about the added burden of having to prove herself but has taught her to work even harder despite the discrimination.

Khanyile's future plans include extending AWCA's reach to encompass the SADC region, as well as to increase the proportionate share of women-owned and youth-owned businesses.


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