Executive Director at The Unconventional CA

ameel Khan is a CA(SA), mentor, business coach and recovering addict committed to inspiring entrepreneurs with his story of hope and purpose to make a positive, sustainable, and purpose-driven impact by holistically supporting entrepreneurs and their businesses.

His journey started in 2016 when he came out of rehabilitation after struggling with addiction. At this point, he was already on his way to becoming a CA(SA) and thus continued the journey which provided him with purpose and hope for a better future.

He completed his articles at Mazars and decided to join SAICA instead of pursuing a career in corporate. Whilst at SAICA, through his ability to network he identified that SAICA Enterprise Development (ED) presented him with an opportunity to empower and develop entrepreneurs, which he has found to be his passion. He joined SAICA ED in March 2020 as Head of Programmes.

During his time at SAICA ED, he realised that a significant percentage of entrepreneurs in South Africa struggle to build sustainable businesses not only because of business challenges, but also due to personal and mental challenges that stem from their childhood, circumstances, and communities. He therefore wanted to focus on both entrepreneurs and their businesses, as he believed this would result in more sustainable businesses being built in our country.

He decided to take a leap of faith and pursue his passion for helping others and co-founded The Unconventional CA (UCA), an entrepreneur and venture-building organisation. At UCA, he draws on his experience as a CA and a recovering addict of seven years to inspire and support entrepreneurs and has impacted the lives of over 150 entrepreneurs since embarking on this venture.

UCA works with corporates to leverage their Enterprise and Supplier Development (ESD) and CSI budgets to craft impactful programmes to develop enterprises and convert these enterprises to suppliers on the corporate supply chain.

The founders have also built and launched their own coaching technology and platform which provides a specific, customised methodology that leverages neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) principles to comprehensively assess both entrepreneurs and their businesses. The tool is being enhanced to allow for a dedicated focus on ESG factors.

  • In addition to his role at the UCA, Jameel is a mentor and coach at various organisations locally and internationally:
  • Tech Start-up mentor at Techstars Atlanta powered by JP Morgan (based in the US) to support tech start-ups looking to scale into Africa
  • Business Coach at Fetola Circular Economy Accelerator programme and FNB SEIL socio-economic impact lab programmes
  • Miller Centre for Social Entrepreneurship situated in Santa Clara, USA to support international SMMEs in incubation
  • Judge at start-up bootcamp: African Tech-Startups
  • Coach on the Seriti Mines and Zevoli coaching programme

Check out his LinkedIn profile at www.linkedin.com/in/jameelkhansme to get a deeper insight into his journey of impact!