“So little done, so much to do” – Mr Allan Gray

“So little done, so much to do” – Mr Allan Gray

Mr Allan Gray with Year Experience Candidate Fellow Lorne Hallendorff at  the UCT Faculty of Commerce – Ceremony II Graduation. Image from UCT.
Mr Allan Gray with Year Experience Candidate Fellow Lorne Hallendorff at the UCT Faculty of Commerce – Ceremony II Graduation. Image from UCT.

On 13th December 2013, as part of the UCT Faculty of Commerce – Ceremony II Graduation, Mr. Gray was awarded an honorary doctorate in Economic Science by the university.  The citation in the programme read as follows;

“Allan Gray was educated at Rhodes University and Harvard, where he obtained an MBA. He is arguably the most successful selfmade South African business executive. His pioneering approach to investment and commitment to South Africa’s future mark him as exceptional. He began trading as a one-man company in Cape Town in 1973, basing his investment decisions on the difference between his assessment of the intrinsic value of a company and its share price. Today, his approach is standard practice amongst the investment community and Allan Gray Limited is considered the leading independent investment management firm in South Africa, managing over R400 billion in assets.

He is also a philanthropist who has consistently supported higher education in South Africa. His visionary approach and belief that the encouragement of and support for entrepreneurship is crucial for the future of a prosperous South Africa led in 1979, to the founding of the Allan and Gill Gray Charitable Trust, and in 2005 to the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation. The Foundation supports over 500 selected beneficiaries with full scholarships to attend high school or university. The university beneficiaries participate in a fellowship programme which focuses on the skills, attitude and motivation needed to succeed as a leader, whether as an entrepreneur or otherwise.

The establishment of a Centre and a Chair in Values Based Leadership at UCT’s Graduate School of Business is a manifestation of his belief that the future and sustainability of the South African economy is dependent upon sound, ethical and values based management.”

It was an unusually emotional graduation service conducted under the shadow of a towering image of Nelson Mandela.  Madiba’s presence added weight to Mr Gray’s observation in his address, that there is “so little done, so much to do”.  It was particularly appropriates that 10 Candidate Allan Gray Fellows were amongst the group of graduates in this ceremony, as immediate examples of the impact that his contribution has made to the country.

View Mr Gray’s full speech on video here

Announcing Executive Committee 2014/2015 | Association of Allan Gray Fellows

Announcing Executive Committee 2014/2015 | Association of Allan Gray Fellows

12102013 Startership Programme, Noordhoek. Photo: Michael HammondAs we mourn the passing of Nelson Mandela, our first democratically elected president, we not only celebrate the gift of his life but reflect on his legacy. This legacy of leadership should inspire us to be ever more active in our pursuit to achieve a prosperous future for the entire Southern African region.

In keeping with this legacy of inspirational leaders we are proud to announce the new leadership team of the Association of Allan Gray Fellows. The outgoing Executive Committee was the first leadership team of the Association, and served from 2011-2013.

An online voting process saw 46% of the Allan Gray Fellows participating. The following Fellows will be taking up these positions in 2014:

Arushka Bugwandeen (Class of 2010): President

Danisa Nkuna (Class of 2010): Secretary General

Ludwick Marishane (Class of 2012): Vice President of Startership

Akosua Eunice Koranteng (Class of 2012): Vice President of Leadership

Eunice Steyn (Class of 2012): Vice President of Community.

The period 2014/2015 will bring with it new challenges and opportunities, and we have every confidence that the new team will not only be up to the task but will have the former Executive Committee and all the other Fellows rallying around you.

Here’s to another year of fruitful and purposeful pursuits for The Association of Allan Gray Fellows.

 

Global Entrepreneurship Education – Zimkhitha Lugodlo-Peter

Global Entrepreneurship Education – Zimkhitha Lugodlo-Peter

Zim imagesIn October this year Zimkitha Lugodlo, the Foundation’s Association Director, visited Boston, Massachusetts in the USA. She had a packed programme that included meetings with representatives from Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) as well as a workshop that took an in-depth look at one of the entrepreneurship programmes available to MIT students.

First on Zimkitha’s agenda was meeting with the Associate Director of Harvard’s Alumni Association, Lauren Brodsky. She gleaned valuable information regarding best practice when running an alumni association. “Our discussion focused on issues of governance and structure. It was insightful to learn how they keep their community engaged – by forming and running interest groups that they call Harvard clubs.”

At MIT she met with the Director of the Martin Trust Centre for MIT Entrepreneurship. Numerous programmes and events run at this centre, and they’re all geared to provide students interested in entrepreneurship with the necessary expertise, support and connections to become effective entrepreneurs. “I was challenged and inspired by the fact that their approach to Entrepreneurship Education was based on both theory and practice,” says Zimkitha.

She was also inspired by the success of one of the Martin Trust Centre’s programmes, the MIT Global Founders’ Skills Accelerator (MIT GFSA). This programme, which ran for the first time in the summer of 2012, now has international scope with student teams from MIT as well as universities in Turkey, Scotland, Russia, Germany, China and Canada. The programme focuses on the startup phase of the student teams’ businesses and provides them support by way of funding, individual stipends, work space as well as individualised instruction and guidance. It then culminates in a demo day where teams present their finished prototypes and business plans that, by this time, had been tested and reworked countless times to ensure commercial viability. Of the MIT GFSA Zimkitha says, “I was struck by the simplicity and quality engagements.”

The concept of accelerator programmes, and the MIT GFSA in particular, was discussed during a workshop session attended by representatives from the Kauffman Foundation, the Rockerfeller Foundation, Duke University, and World Bank to name but a few. Zimkitha represented the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation and brought home with her many valuable insights regarding accelerator programmes and best practices. During this session she was also able to share some of our own best practices. The fact that we take a long-term approach through our Foundation Pipeline, starting with a student’s high school career and continuing all through and after their university career, sets us apart. Our approach presents a unique case study to the body of research on entrepreneurship education, but more than that, it ensures that the world will be watching.

Tribute to Madiba

Tribute to Madiba

nelson-mandelaThe Allan Gray Orbis Foundation joins the entire nation and indeed the world in honouring and paying respect to a life that has touched us all. The passing of former president Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela is a moment to reflect on the enormous legacy that he has left and to redouble our efforts to ensure that we carry on to completion the nation building enterprise that he and others made possible .

His life will always inspire us to fully harness the possibilities that he created for this country as we invest in individuals who are given the opportunity to steward the flame of hope that he lit so brightly for this country; helping to take us all into a future bearing  the hallmarks of his greatest aspirations for the nation to which his entire life was so whole heartedly dedicated.

His values, humanity and leadership stand as a towering example for the entire community of Allan Gray Scholars and Fellows.  You will not be forgotten. Rest in peace, Madiba.

“Business Matters” – Ron Kamwendo

“Business Matters” – Ron Kamwendo

Ron 3Ron, the Foundation’s Head of Finance, recently ventured into the heart of the American state best known for Country music, Franklin, Nashville. His mission, however, would not be learning from a famous musician. Instead, he had their local and very famous financial guru Dave Ramsey in mind.

In November Ron attended an EntreLeadership Master Series seminar run by The Lampo Group, otherwise known by its founder’s name, Dave Ramsey. He is a world-renowned entrepreneur who has his own radio talk show and two published titles, the most recent of which is the best-selling The Total Money Makeover. Dave is best known for his counsel on gaining freedom from debt and his advice carries weight since he runs his business on this principle. All his business transactions are done in cash. His motto is: “Transact if you can afford, otherwise wait until you have saved up enough and then transact because debt is a killer and holds you captive for as long as you have it.”

As an entrepreneur who has had two businesses fail, Ron could relate to Dave who himself had failed and had lost everything. Ron found it encouraging and inspiring to learn that despite this setback Dave “had the courage to dust himself off and get back on the proverbial horse.” He has since managed to build a highly

profitable institution, The Lampo Group, which employs 400 people.

At the heart of Dave Ramsey’s success is his willingness and determination to help people. In fact, The Lampo Group’s definition of success is based on the number of lives changed. In addition to his books and radio talk show, Dave helps people by travelling all over America offering training in leadership and entrepreneurship, and helping more people become debt-free.

Ron 1

The EntreLeadership Master Series is a week-long seminar for entrepreneurs who want to learn how to run and grow their businesses effectively. A number of business topics are covered in this week; they include operations, sales and advertising, marketing, hiring and firing, compensation, family and business, managing finances, team management, self-management, and philanthropy.

“In order to keep others, we should keep learning” is Ron’s view on attending seminar’s like this one. His one objective for this week was finding new ways of working with the Foundation’s Alumni, the Fellows. Once Candidate-Fellows have graduated from their degree courses and the Foundation’s Development Programme, they become part of the Association of Allan Gray Fellows. It is the aim of the Association to encourage and support the starting and running of businesses that will lead to job creation and the eventual eradication of poverty in Southern Africa.

“The experience was amazing and eye-opening.” Ron’s newly gained insights are not only applicable to his own entrepreneurial journey but to those of the Alumni. “I was enlightened as to how our programme at Alumni level could be structured. It would be invaluable to have our Fellows exposed to the wonderful material and tools endorsed by The Lampo Group. It would also help if they were relieved from the pressure and stress of being an overnight success. Dave Ramsey advocates a sustainable manner for growing ventures; guided by the right principles. In this case he refers to biblical principles, but I found them to be just as practical.”

“There were 200 of us at this seminar; they were mostly entrepreneurs and millionaires with every reason to boast and yet I had never come across such humility in a group. I enjoyed networking with them, especially the young entrepreneurs. They not only inspired me to dust myself off and get back on my ‘entrepreneurial’ horse, but made me understand that a true entrepreneur never quits.”

Ron’s week of learning ended on a musical note with a visit to downtown Nashville, also known as Music City. The annual Country Music Awards were taking place at the time and the attendees were treated to a performance by Academy Award-winning songwriters.

Attendees of the EntreLeadership Master Series seminar each received a workbook with a chapter devoted to each of the 18 topics covered in the seminar as well as a recommended reading list. Below Ron shares both the topics covered in his workbook and Dave Ramsey’s recommended reading with us.

Workbook topics

[twocol_one]

  • Definition of EntreLeadership
  • Start with a Dream, end with a Goal
  • Time Management & Organisation
  • Knowing Yourself
  • Hiring and Firing
  • Great Communication = Great Organisation
  • People Matter Most
  • Compensation Plans
  • Recognition and Inspiration [/twocol_one] [twocol_one_last]
  • Delegation
  • Money, Debt and Funding your future
  • Watch the Numbers
  • Cultivating Vendors
  • Taming Paper Tigers
  • The Art of Selling
  • Great Marketing
  • Advertising
  • Making Hard Decisions

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Reading list

[twocol_one]

  • Becoming a person of influence
  • Business by the book
  • Descending into greatness
  • Developing the Leader within you
  • E-myth revisited
  • Flipping the switch
  • The go-getter
  • Good to Great
  • Guerilla Marketing [/twocol_one] [twocol_one_last]
  • How to win friends and influence people
  • The legend of the monk and the merchant
  • The one minute manager
  • QBQ: The question behind the question
  • Rhinoceros Success
  • Roaring Lambs
  • The 7 habits of highly effective people
  • The 21 irrefutable laws of leadership
  • Thou shall prosper

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