Tashmia Ismail-Saville is the CEO of the Youth Employment Service (YES), a joint initiative between business, labour and government, which addresses South Africa’s youth unemployment challenge, by creating 1 million work experiences in South Africa. She founded Boundless World, which focusses on strategy and innovation, inclusive business models,  mobile digital skills and economic and behavioural research.

Tashmia is a PhD fellow at UNU-MERIT in Maastricht and adjunct faculty at GIBS, where she has held faculty positions in the field of innovation management and inclusive business. She has extensive consulting experience with a range of global and local businesses such as Unilever, Roche, GSK, Mahindra and the DBSA.

YES Initiative CEO

Through her business school involvement, Tashmia found and headed the GIBS Inclusive Markets Programme from 2010 to 2016, here, and through her consulting practice, she developed and implemented inclusive strategies and business models for companies, wrote, conducted research and designed learning programmes on economic inclusion, design thinking and innovation.

Tashmia co-authored the book New Markets, New Mindsets, which examines successful business practices and strategies in developing markets. She has published multiple articles and case studies on inclusive innovation, ranging from technology-based start-ups in India to rural financial models in Kenya. Recent research, commissioned by C-GAP (World Bank), focused on customer centricity in organisations toward promoting financial inclusion.

All her projects have promoted innovation in subsistence markets, job creation, entrepreneurial activity and economic inclusion.

For three years, Tashmia worked on an eleven country European Union innovation networks project (INGINEUS) to inform EU policy on global knowledge networks. She qualified as a dentist at Wits Medical School and ran a successful surgical dental practice for a number of years. After exiting practice, she completed an MBA at GIBS in 2009. She was the recipient of the Corporate Finance prize and achieved a distinction for her final dissertation on macroeconomic factors impacting mergers and acquisitions in developing markets. Since then, Tashmia has taught and consulted in various countries, including the Erasmus Rotterdam School of Management in the Netherlands and Kelley School of Business in the USA.


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