Mandy Muchnick (Benjamin), 32

While Mandy is a transactor in the private equity industry, she spends a significant amount of time investing in the future of the continent through her role as the Africa Chair for One Young World (OYW), her non-profit imagine.nation, and as the co-chair of the FinBiz2030 Task Force.

OYW is the leading global forum for young leaders. The annual summit convenes the brightest talent from over 190 countries across every sector, working to accelerate social impact. Delegates are counselled by some of the most influential political, business and humanitarian figures such as the late Kofi Annan, Dr Jane Goodall, Paul Polman and Professor Muhammad Yunus.

Mandy’s passion for not only contributing to society through her own work − she has built and supported two crèches providing a safe learning environment for over 100 children annually and reaching over 20 000 vulnerable children together with her team through initiatives such as their annual Winter Warmer since 2014 − but for wanting others to be given the opportunity she had to attend OYW and gain access to the platform led her to becoming a formidable asset to the OYW organisation since she first attended a summit in 2015. She was selected to be the coordinating ambassador for Southern Africa, a role that requires holding the community together and acting as the linchpin between OYW HQ in London and ambassadors. Under Mandy’s leadership, the region went from being relatively fragmented to a highly connected, constantly engaged community of over 500 ambassadors who are delivering results on the ground. In OYW co-founder Kate Robertson’s words: ‘We always knew Southern Africa had the potential to be a leading hub globally and it had now not only been done, but the pace had been set for the continent. Since her tenure, the cohorts of coordinating ambassadors throughout the continent turn to her for guidance and support and we continue to see Africa move from strength to strength.’

Mandy loves investing in people, and this is at the centre of her investment philosophy at work and in her upliftment initiatives. She feels strongly about identifying and nurturing talent in others, believing that maximising individual growth is not only core to a meaningful life, but also critical to solving the world’s main challenges. As the chair for OYW in Africa, she has the ability to do just that as she seeks out organisations and individuals across the continent who share the values of OYW, guides their talent to the annual summit, and most importantly, beyond into solving the goals as set out by the SDGs from within their companies.

Mandy explains that at OYW they ask themselves, ‘What would the world look like today if global leaders had been friends when they were 25?’ For that reason, they are working towards a dream where the heads of government in every African country and the African conglomerate CEOs are OYW ambassadors.

Mandy has played an integral role launching FinBiz2030 and establishing a task force committed to tackling our most pressing issues. She has proven that one does not need to quit one’s job to make a difference and that working in a corporate provides a strong platform from which to effect societal change.

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