Elli Yiannakaris, the Project Manager of the Basic Package of Support project, is a youth entrepreneurship specialist and business mentor with over 10 years’ experience in the field.
She served as the director of the Raymond Ackerman Academy (RAA) of Entrepreneurial Development at UCT’s Graduate School of Business from 2008 – 2019. The Academy was established with funding from one of South Africa’s most successful entrepreneurs to support youth from under-resourced backgrounds to embark on a career in entrepreneurship. Elli built a respected and credible programme with measurable success, and has presented and published internationally on the topic of youth entrepreneurship. Under her leadership the RAA was awarded a Youth Economic Participation Initiative (YEPI) demonstration grant by the MasterCard Foundation and the Tufts University Talloires Network. It was one of eight institutions selected globally for doing pioneering work to put young people on a path to financial sustainability.
Since 2017 she has been a business coach on the Further Entrepreneurship Programme (formerly Red Bull Amaphiko) supporting social entrepreneurs in various sectors and, most recently, she acted as the head of marketing and operations of the Mauritius Africa FinTech Hub. Elli also contracts and advises to various youth and entrepreneurial initiatives.
She holds a Honours in Business Science from UCT and a Masters in Commerce (with distinction) at UCT in the field of youth entrepreneurship education.