In these times of high unemployment among vulnerable groups, and as migration towards cities intensifies, there are those who see the potential that small business and rural communities can harness through entrepreneurship. Mpho Mtsi is an actuary by profession, with only one exam to be written this year to qualify as one of very few South African black female actuarial fellows today.
To bridge the investment skills and knowledge gap, Mtsi is empowering herself to empower communities — especially women. She is currently completing her Master of Science in Global Finance as one of the youngest people accepted into the programme, based between Hong Kong, New York and Shanghai.
Mtsi has established herself as a consummate professional, now taking on the world of investments and being one of the few actuaries in this industry who encourages the growth of local businesses, genuine and broad-based transformation as well as socially responsible investment practices.
She has mentored several young actuarial science graduates locally and globally while working to challenge the stereotypes and reservations international investors and professionals may have about Africa; having represented, worked with and been invited to speak for the Howard University/Maryland Sister State Women in Stem events at the Essence Festival in Durban, South Africa and the World Bank in Washington DC.
As the land debate moves towards expropriation and the question of food security, she has now embarked on farming projects in rural Eastern Cape in order to create investment opportunities, as well as allow those who own the land and little else to reclaim the dignity of being able to provide for their families. Mtsi is serious about utilising the organic knowledge of communities to revive the entrepreneurial spirit.
She continues to be recognised and supported globally for her efforts as she quietly establishes herself as an advocate for women in science, educational opportunities for Africans and the support of African entrepreneurs to effectively change the trajectory of this (human) resource-rich continent. — Sifiso Buthelezi