endeavor logo

Monday, 02 October 2017 13:42

Endeavor Spotlight|Shoabna Kassen: EY Associate Director on secondment to Endeavor South Africa

I grew up in a small town on the East of Johannesburg where my family still resides. I am married to an absolutely amazing man who is my best friend.

About Shoabna |

1. Could you give us some personal background? (Where you grew up, single/married, children, hobbies, education etc.)

I grew up in a small town on the East of Johannesburg where my family still resides. I am married to an absolutely amazing man who is my best friend. I obtained my degree in Bachelor of Accountancy from the University of Witwatersrand and qualified as a Chartered Accountant (SA). I enjoy reading books that take me to different places, especially different times in history. Other than reading, photography is something that inspires my creativity so I try and get my camera (mainly my iPhone) out whenever I can. I am also very blessed to have been able to travel to many places across the world, with Singapore and Hong Kong tied for the best place that I have been to.

2. What motivates you/ what is your personal philosophy?

There is a saying that I once read which has stuck with me and it goes as follows: Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take but rather by the number of moments that take your breath away.

I am also a firm believer in the fact that we are all here to learn from others and therefore it is important to be open to all experiences that life has to offer, especially those lessons that seem difficult. Thus playing my part in helping people become better at what they do is what gives me a sense of purpose.

Career |

3. Please share some background on your career leading up to Endeavor.

I completed my articles at EY in Johannesburg servicing many clients across many industries. After completing my articles I worked for a short period in the EY Southampton office. I then returned to EY Johannesburg where I joined the Professional Practice Department. During this period I was fortunate to have travelled across Africa and learn about the many cultures that we have in Africa. I then took on the role of Executive Assistant to the EY Africa Markets Leader. During this time I was afforded a number of opportunities of working with the EY Africa Executive team as well as my colleagues from across the world, working on a range of strategic projects. Always looking for new opportunities, I took on an opportunity to join the Endeavor South Africa team for 6 months to assist with the Excelerator programme.

Endeavor Experience |

4. Why did you choose to work with Endeavor on their Excelerator Programme?

When I met Catherine, MD of Endeavor SA, her passion for the work that she does was just so infectious that I was inspired to join her and the team at Endeavor SA, even if for a short period. The Excelerator Programme in particular really excited me because of the entrepreneurs that form part of this programme. With all the events that are projecting a negative image on South Africa it is so uplifting to be connected with entrepreneurs who spend all their time and energy in not only building up their companies for themselves but also to make an impact on many others through creating jobs, solving for challenges in communities, etc. And it is not only the entrepreneurs that are making a positive difference, it is also the team at Endeavor who work tirelessly to play their part in assisting the entrepreneurs make an impact on the economy.

5. What have you learnt about Endeavor and the team since you have started?

I had no idea of how vast the Endeavor network is, both locally and globally! Everyone that works at Endeavor shares in a passion to assist Entrepreneurs in their journey to grow. It is all about connecting with people from all walks of life. The team in South Africa work hard but there is such satisfaction when an Endeavor Entrepreneur achieves something. It’s like one big family!

6. Would you recommend a career at Endeavor and why?

During my short time at Endeavor I have been exposed to so many different people, different and new industries, unique products/solutions, etc. Endeavor really is an exciting place to be, especially at this point in South Africa’s journey.

Future |

7. What is next?

With all this inspiration around me, who knows what the future holds…