POSITION: Raymond Ackerman Academy Director
Elli Yiannakaris is the director of the Raymond Ackerman Academy (RAA). The Academy was established in 2005 with funding from one of South Africa's most successful entrepreneurs, Raymond Ackerman, to afford youth from under-resourced backgrounds an opportunity to pursue tertiary studies and a career in entrepreneurship.
Yiannakaris holds a honours in Business Science from the University of Cape Town (UCT) and is currently enrolled for a Masters in Commerce at UCT in the field of youth entrepreneurship. Elli is responsible for the management of the RAA Cape Town campus. In the time she has been director of the RAA she has built a respected and credible program with measurable success.
Her duties include managing the 6 month entrepreneurial development program and the Graduate Entrepreneur Support Service for RAA Alumni entrepreneurs. She is responsible for student selection, curriculum development and design, stakeholder relationships, marketing and the strategic management of the RAA in ensuring the Academy provides a quality education in entrepreneurship.
Furthermore, her role involves business idea assessment during the course and helping students to develop and test business ideas while on the program. Yiannakaris provides a support base for RAA alumni and keeps up to date with their progress. She also grows and maintains good relations with RAA stakeholders and describes her job as "inspiring" and "rewarding".
Yiannakaris's comes with a wealth experience in the advertising industry, previously working on brands such as Old Mutual, Allan Gray and the NSRI. She was previously the assistant to the director in the Corporate Learning Division at the UCT Graduate School of Business.
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