Leadership is changing at least one person’s life, resulting in making a difference in their family’s circumstances.



The ASE Foundation

Andrea Angelique Erasmus, 33, is the founder of The ASE Foundation, which provides career guidance, upliftment and strategic direction to assist pupils, students, young professionals and adults from all walks of life. Andrea says she didn’t have role models growing up or see a lot of chartered accountants in the area where she lived.

“Through all my failures and successes, I told myself I would one day become the mentor I had needed.” And that was when her idea of The ASE Foundation was born. Her aim was to make a difference in at least one person’s life. She has done more than that. The person who nominated her for the 200 Young awards had just become a father, was struggling with his second year of Bcom accounting, and was studying at home online because of Covid-19. “I am now working at one of the big four firms,” he says. “My dream of becoming a chartered accountant was reborn because of The ASE Foundation.”

Andrea meets her mentees every quarter and makes them document the goals they would like to achieve within each quarter, up to a year. They then go through each goal and break down how these can be achieved. Her job not only focuses on their career paths but also the goals in their personal lives. Andrea’s parents could not afford to pay for tertiary education so she had to ensure that she either obtained a bursary or asked for a student loan. She is now a chartered accountant registered with the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants. She is also the general manager: finance at Bayport Financial Services.

  • Chartered accountant registered with the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA)
  • MCom in taxation, University of Pretoria 
  • Senior management development course, Milpark Education

  • 2023: Promoted to general manager: finance at Bayport Financial Services
  • 2023: Deputy chairperson of the transformation committee at Bayport Financial Services  
  • 2020: Top 35 under 35 SAICA finalists
  • 2019: Golden Key International Honour Society Chapter award winner in recognition of superior scholastic attainments and outstanding academic merit.

When I was in grade nine, we had to write an entrance exam to qualify to have accounting as a major subject from grades 10 to 12. I remember the teacher’s face and the question she asked me: “Do you have what it takes to be in my class?” I looked at her, smiled and just nodded. The feeling I had was that she didn’t believe that I could do it but, in my heart, I knew I could do it. I passed that accounting exam with 90% and she was so shocked. That very moment was the pinnacle point in my life; people will doubt your capabilities and you will achieve great things if you just believe in yourself.

The advice I would give to my younger self is to reflect immediately after each failure. In those painful moments you take stock of what went wrong, what the lesson is  and how you can do better the next time, now that you are trying again from experience. Reflecting is part of self-development where growth opens up opportunities in different facets of your life. Never stop trying and never give up. It is through failure and getting back up that we achieve our biggest breakthroughs. In addition, the pain you are feeling now because of the circumstances that you may find yourself in cannot be compared to the joy you would experience if you just keep on going. Never give up and never allow people to get in the way of achieving your goals and dreams through their insecurities projected on you. If you truly believe you have what it takes, don’t stop until you get it.

I would like South Africa to look strong and united but we can only do so if we all stand together for one common purpose and that is to ensure every South African child has a good education. As Nelson Mandela said: “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” When we provide every South African access to free education, whether it be a child or a pensioner wanting to complete their matric, would provide insight in how we can grow together as a country. By providing free education, we would grow communities to develop South Africa into becoming self-sustaining. Thus, not being in debt to solve the country’s problems but to come up with innovative solutions that would plough back the free education provided into the country. Education expands the mindset and breaks down the idea of different types of classes in the country and people can have meaningful conversations without discrimination.

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