Millycent Mashele, 34

‘Should I wait until I’m rich to give back?’ This is what Millycent always envisioned until she realised who she truly is. Her mother did not have much according to society standards, but she moulded Millycent into the woman she is today − a chartered accountant who is a symbol of hope for village boys and girls.

Having been born and raised in a village in Mpumalanga, she knew from an early age that education is the only way to impact. She wanted to be a CA(SA) to change lives, and this is a role she plays excellently as a businesswoman and an education activist.

Being a CA(SA) empowered her to take a brave decision and start her own consulting firm. The business has since provided employment opportunities to more than 10 young professionals in the accountancy field, three of whom are now entrepreneurs who own their own businesses. The business is proudly part of building the economy of South Africa by working with SMMEs driving employment creation.

Highly passionate about women empowerment, Millycent started a mentorship programme for the advancement of women in business.

Being an entrepreneur, she has identified a need for a focused empowerment towards women. Women face unique challenges when in business, because of the historical nature of business. She provides mentorship, financial literacy training and business support to women in rural communities and says that it is such joy to experience the impact of these businesses on the community.

She has trained numerous students as a lecturer at Tshwane University of Technology (TUT), but her responsibility as an educator goes beyond the classroom, providing mentorship and coaching to young professionals that aspire to become CAs(SA).

As a village girl herself, education is a tool she uses to inspire village girls and boys to believe in their dreams, work hard and use the power of education to change their lives, regardless of their background. Focusing her community work on public schools through career guidance and talks, it is her mission to be the voice of hope to these learners from rural communities who have limited access to information.

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