PALESA MABIDILALA (MAKANDA)
Palesa Mabidilala (Makanda) has extensive experience developing SMMEs which includes both funding entrepreneurs as well as providing non-financial support with multi-national companies. Palesa is the CEO and founder of EnziAfrica, a black women owned organisation that is built on the philosophy that Africa holds great opportunity and has the potential to thrive even further if African solutions are applied to build the continent, particularly through sustainable entrepreneurship. EnziAfrica applies an innovative methodology that ensures that SMMEs are built for sustainable success to play in the mainstream economy. Her previous roles include being a Director of Entrepreneur Services at Endeavor, which is a global organisation aimed at accelerating the growth of high-impact entrepreneurs. Prior to that she worked at GroFin and Business Partners, which are multi-national specialist SME finance and development companies. She has also worked for two of the Big Four Auditing firms, namely Deloitte and Ernst & Young in Analytical Forensic and Business Advisory Services.
Palesa’s vision is to achieve sustainable economic growth through education and assisting entrepreneurs through the various stages of their business cycles. Her passion and enthusiasm for education, mentorship as well as her commitment to developing entrepreneurship in South Africa has led her to do voluntary work as a mentor, mentoring young aspiring entrepreneurs in all aspects of business management, and motivating them to transform themselves and their communities by drawing on their entrepreneurial strengths. Palesa currently serves as a board member for Enke Make Your Mark, a youth development organisation that inspires and empowers South Africa’s young leaders to make their mark on their community, their country and their world.
She has also done an extensive amount of public speaking both locally and internationally. Palesa was requested to be the Master of Ceremonies at two of the prestigious African Leadership Network (ALN) seminars held in Ghana and Mauritius. The ALN is a network of influential African leaders that aim to celebrate and promote entrepreneurship in the continent as well as providing a platform to build relationships between African leaders. She has been invited as a guest speaker by the likes of the Innovation Summit, the Department of Trade and Industry and the South Africa Breweries Foundation to share her insights in the challenges faced by entrepreneurs, as well as the entrepreneurial ecosystem issues and opportunities.
Her passion and mission to drive an entrepreneurial culture in the formal education sector has led her to conduct talks at WITS and UNISA discussing entrepreneurship to aspiring and growing entrepreneurs. She has been requested to share her industry knowledge by the Association of MBA’s at the Global Leadership Conference held in Stellenbosh, the London Business School, and Emory University – Goizueta Business School to inspire MBA students about entrepreneurship. She was invited as a judge at the African Leadership Academy Anzisha prize as well as the TechnoServe Youth Empowerment through Entrepreneurship Programme judging young entrepreneurial business plans.
Palesa has facilitated entrepreneurial workshops at Ernst & Young, as well as the Global Entrepreneurship Week – State of Entrepreneurship Summit. Palesa has also been featured at the Succeed Magazine and was invited to provide expert commentary on Khaya FM, the Making Moves television programme as well as BBC Africa.
Palesa is accredited with a Bachelor of Commerce Degree as well as a Postgraduate Certificate in Enterprise Management both obtained from the University of Cape Town. She is also accredited with the Management Development Programme Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment qualification obtained from the University of South Africa. Her achievements also include being nominated and shortlisted for the prestigious Desmond Tutu African Leadership Initiative Programme.