Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Foundation a NGO?

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No, the Foundation is a Public Benefit Organisation created via a single primary donation. The funds and initiatives of the Foundations in the various countries (South Africa, Namibia, Bostwana, Swaziland) are managed by its respective Boards of Trustees. Context on the Founder and information regarding the Trustees can be found under the Background and The Board sections on this website. The Foundation was created with a very specific mandate and focus, which aims to leave a legacy. Refer to our Mission and Vision for more information in this regard.

Does the Foundation focus on formal education?

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No. The Foundation focuses on Entrepreneurial development. The Foundation identifies, selects and invests in individuals over the long term. The Foundation further inspires these individuals to make a life altering impact on the world around them. The Foundation does however believe in the power of formal education. It is a proven fact that individuals who have a tertiary education are more likely to succeed as high growth or high impact entrepreneurs than people who don’t. The Foundation therefore provides access to formal education, but does not ‘do’ education as a business.

The Foundation’s business is to identify entrepreneurial potential and to develop an entrepreneurial mindset through its Scholarship and Fellowship initiatives. The Association of Allan Gray Fellows is the Fellows that have graduated successfully from their university degrees and the Fellowship and are now living out their entrepreneurial mindset.

The Scholarship however, was created due to the lack of access to proper education for previously disadvantaged demographic groupings in Southern Africa. This challenge has made selecting from these groups incredibly difficult. The Scholarship though, is also not primarily an education initiative. It too only provides access to education and develops an entrepreneurial mindset through its Scholarship Programme.

Does the Foundation provide Bursaries?

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No. The Foundation provides Scholarships and Fellowships. A Bursary is generally purely a financial relationship between the bursary holder and the bursary provider. The Foundation’s Fellowship on the other hand is more focused on a relationship and investment in an individual, so the commitment is not purely financial. A Fellowship also seeks to partner with people that share a common purpose and therefore the Fellowship seeks individuals that will live into the Foundation’s vision.

Is the Foundation a Youth Development Organisation?

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The Foundation’s primary focus is to invest in greatness, which means identifying, selecting and developing high impact responsible entrepreneurs. Currently the Foundation’s largest beneficiary group is youth. In 15 to 20 years time however, there will be more adults in the pool of Fellows, which will shift the perception of a Youth Development organisation towards a focus on an entrepreneurial development organisation.

Does the Foundation support current entrepreneurs and/ or businesses?

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No. The Foundation is not an entrepreneurship support vehicle or a venture capital fund. The Foundation identifies, selects and invests in individuals who will in future become high impact responsible entrepreneurs. The investment includes access to education, exposure to entrepreneurial development, personal – and entrepreneurial mindset development. The Foundation takes a long-term approach to its investment, identifying individuals at school level an going on a life long journey with these individuals.

Does the Foundation fund other Corporate Social Investment Projects and initiatives?

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No. The Foundation is the Corporate Social Investment arm of Allan Gray Limited and Orbis Funds. The entire investment is made into the mission and vision of the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation. It is the Foundation’s belief that investing in individuals will make a greater future impact in the Southern African region than investing in a variety of projects and programmes.

What is a High Impact Entrepreneur?

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A principled individual that creates and/or personally owns all or part of an enterprise that offers a product, service or business model that is highly innovative, differentiated and scalable which results in adding substantial economic value through offering the public great value for money and doing so, results in the creation of meaningful jobs, profitable enterprise and stakeholder value.

What is the Foundation’s Definition of an Entrepreneurial Mindset?

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The Allan Gray Orbis Foundation believes that having an Entrepreneurial Mindset is a crucial foundation that is vital for any person seeking opportunity, a productive occupation or the means to survive and thrive in a rapidly changing and unpredictable world.

An Entrepreneurial Mindset is not how to start and run a small business. That common understanding of “Entrepreneurship” is a limiting view. Entrepreneurial Mindset is also not the exclusive domain of whiz kids and global business icons, but can be systematically learned and applied in any area of life; professions, government, families, civil service, education, companies, religious bodies, organisations and even small businesses!

At the Foundation, having an Entrepreneurial Mindset is all about taking a different approach to life, a life that is constantly being refined by lived experiences. It celebrates curiosity, calculated experimentation and personal growth.