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 The annual Accountancy SA 35-under-35 competition brings to light the sheer volume of successful CAs doing well not only in their careers, but in their personal lives and communities too. All of this year’s finalists were selected for their positive contribution in terms of leadership, career achievements and CSI initiatives. This post features the story of finalist Dwayne Smith, Vice President at Musa Capital.

Dwayne was among the Top 20 in his BCom Accounting class and was selected to do his academic articles at the University of Cape Town. During this time, he was a member of Habitat for Humanity and was involved in building homes in previously disadvantaged areas in the Western Cape.

As part of his job at Musa Capital, Dwayne is involved in the start-up and development of various business ventures, three of which are social impact investment projects in the agriculture and construction sectors. He works to develop and integrate black-owned and managed SMMEs within private equity portfolio company supply chains by providing skills development, input financing and business formalisation. The aim is to create sustainable small businesses and bridge the gap between the formal and informal sectors, with a total of R180 million allocated to the projects over a three-year period. In its first year, the projects enrolled 25 SMMEs and created more than 200 jobs, largely drawing on rural communities. The initiative also aims to foster empowerment and community upliftment from grassroots up.

Dwayne played an integral role in the Agri SMME development project, which was highlighted by the South African Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (SAVCA) as a stand-out initiative and was included in the annual SAVCA ESG publication. The publication showcases initiatives that the South African private equity industry is making toward positive environmental, social and economic development in the country.

In Grade 11 Dwayne burst an artery in his leg on the verge of being selected for the first rugby team. After extensive surgery and many months of rehabilitation, he literally had to learn to walk again. Although he missed the rest of the season, he was determined to come back with greater impact in his matric year. This proved to be an experience that would instil in him the ethos of dedication, commitment and diligence. He matriculated with five distinctions, earning him full colours for academics and sport – for rugby.

 

 

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