Likeleli Monyamane is the founder of Inspire Innovation Business Consultants, a professional services company that provides services in consulting, learning solutions, and research and insights in southern Africa. She uses her professional status to serve her community in Lesotho.
While completing her articles in South Africa, Likeleli served as a member of the Free State chapter of the Association for the Advancement of Black Accountants of Southern Africa (ABASA), rising through the ranks to become its first female chairperson. She also served as the youngest member of the council of the University of the Free State, as well as on its audit and risk and finance committees. In 2016 she co-founded the annual Lesotho Entrepreneurship Expo, and she oversees the administration of The Entrepreneurs’ Network, which organises a monthly pitching competition, The Hook-Up Dinner (THUD) Maseru.
‘When I worked for PwC Bloemfontein, I would be assigned to Lesotho clients, and this is where I got to interact with trainees from a Lesotho firm,’ Likeleli says. ‘I realised how underdeveloped the CA profession was in Lesotho at that time and it became a passion of mine to try and transfer skills and build a collaborative spirit between the Lesotho and South African teams.’
Recalling her studies at the University of the Free State (UFS), Likeleli says she didn’t have too many challenges until she failed in her honours year. ‘It was a tough year, and I struggled with the confidence to see my studies through. Failing felt like a death sentence. I tried going back full time but was denied a bursary, so I had to start working. That was probably the best thing that happened because I genuinely enjoyed working and studying and challenged myself to qualify within the three years of articles, which I managed to achieve.’
She recommends studying for the CA qualification in South Africa because of how well-developed the programme is. ‘The fact that SAICA has an accreditation process for universities, training offices and training officers, as well as SAICA assessors, means that all these institutions have to adhere to high SAICA standards to provide the best training experience for trainees. This is something that South Africans take for granted but having worked in Lesotho, I can tell you that there is enormous value in it.’
In 2020, Likeleli joined an insurance company as Head of Strategy, Projects and Innovation while continuing to run her own company. It’s a position she was appointed to because of her CA(SA) background and after she had served the company as a consultant for two years.
‘I have also served in various governance roles by virtue of my qualification, such as a former council member of the University of the Free State and currently a member of the Central University of Technology council. The finance skills that I have gained in my journey continue to benefit me even as I have transitioned out of a career in accounting and auditing.’
Likeleli runs several skills development initiatives for entrepreneurs and young professionals. ‘We trained about 200 entrepreneurs in the past two years in collaboration with The Entrepreneurs’ Network and have supported entrepreneurs in professional services through the UNDP’s Enhancing Youth Empowerment for Sustainable Development project. Through our Inspire Mentorship Programme we have reached close to 50 professionals in 2020 and thousands through our social media platform #mentorshipmonday. I also co-founded an environmental advocacy initiative called Keep Lesotho Clean that has influenced the government of Lesotho to embark on a national cleaning campaign this year.’
She aims to have an even greater impact on skills development in Lesotho by contributing to training graduates and young professionals in skills that can help them to remain future-ready and relevant as the world of work evolves and to develop leaders who can shape the country.
‘I would like to see some of the businesses we support scale beyond Lesotho into other African markets − especially business in agriculture and manufacturing. I would like to see the Keep Lesotho Clean Campaign grow to be a value that we embody as a nation, and that we can position Lesotho as a major tourist destination in Africa