Ilse van Schalkwyk
Ilse van Schalkwyk is a 36-year-old professional who grew up in the Free State and relocated to Western Cape 16 years ago to commence her studies after matric. Ilse completed her Master’s in Public Development Management through the University of Stellenbosch in 2006. She is currently busy with her doctoral study in Public Development Management (Development Economics). Ilse has a keen interest in economic development and the role government plays in changing the lives of up and coming entrepreneurs in different communities and how strategic planning can influence change in economies and communities. Ilse is a qualified development economist and started her professional career in 2005 at Urban-Econ a firm of development economist where she was promoted as senior development economist and branch manager of the George office in 2007. I started my career as a development economist working for a private consultancy firm where I was promoted as a manager and senior development economist and later on to associate for Urban-Econ. Ilse started her career in local government in 2012 at Knysna Municipality as Manager Economic Development where she is the head of the department in the Planning and Development Directorate. I have had various management and strategic roles over the course of my career. Working in local government for the last 6 years has given me invaluable experience in terms of local grass root level economic development realities and strategic priorities which is needed to ensure a growing economy. Ilse has spearheaded many successful projects including Urban Renewal programmes for the Knysna CBD, successful Red Tape Reduction interventions such as developing an app for informal traders, key sector support interventions such as the KnysnaON broadband initiative amongst others. Currently Ilse is employed as the Chief Director for Economic Sector Support at the Western Cape Provincial Department of Economic Development and Tourism. Her two major programmes she is responsible for are sector development as well as tourism.