Entrepreneurship in schools Part 2 | Gabriella Geffen

Entrepreneurship in schools Part 2 | Gabriella Geffen

On Tuesday, I wrote about the organs of an Entrepreneurial culture, and the need to develop entrepreneurial mindsets from a very early age. Today I will contextualise the Entrepreneurship in Schools Initiative within the national macro strategy for Entrepreneurship in South Africa.

In 2011, former Deputy President, Kgalema Motlanthe, together with the Human Resources Development Council of South Africa (HRDC SA) established nine task teams to address some of the main issues that South Africa is facing. One of these, was the Enabling Entrepreneurship Technical Task Team, which Dr. Taddy Blecher was asked to chair. The mandate of the task team was to develop a set of national recommendations to make South Africa more entrepreneurial and vastly reduce youth unemployment, which is the third highest in the world.

The Task Team is working across the entire ecosystem – from schools, universities and colleges, to the small business space – because enabling entrepreneurship requires a multi-pronged, multi-faceted strategy. Furthermore, to achieve maximum impact, all stakeholders, from the social, private and government sectors need to be involved and connected in their vision and strategic implementation.

The following interventions have been created, and are being continually revised, in order to develop South Africa into an entrepreneurial nation.

In schools:

  • Through the Department of Basic Education, Entrepreneurship is going to be implemented as a key mindset within each subject
  • There is going to be significant focus (curricular and extra curricular) on developing entrepreneurial skills in learners through business clubs, competitions, entrepreneurial olympiads and entrepreneurial teachers’ awards
  • The approach is to reach students and teachers through education technology in order to have maximum efficiency, reach, minimum cost, and undiluted impact. Specific tech-enabled solutions are also being developed for lower income schools with limited access to resources

kids with ipad

  • The aim is to generate excitement around Entrepreneurship among the youth, by including gamification and practical, hands-on learning
  • Schools are going to be motivated to form partnerships with local businesses to bring industry into the classroom, thus making education more relevant to the world of work
  • Partnerships between schools and businesses will result in entrepreneurs coming to talk to learners; workshops for teachers; learners and teachers doing mini internships at their local businesses

In universities:

  • A body (The Forum of Entrepreneurial Development Centres at Higher Education Institutions – FEDCI) has been established to develop entrepreneurial centres at each of the universities in South Africa, beginning with the University of Johannesburg
  • The aim is to shift universities into innovation hubs and to incentivise practical research that leads to new patents and businesses being created

In the small business space:

  • bangle saleA National Virtual Incubator (NVI) – a ‘one-stop’ information portal for entrepreneurship and small business – has been created under the auspices of the Department of Trade and Industry. More tools for the National Virtual Incubator will continue to be developed.
  • Through this NVI, already 65,000 free websites have been created;
  • 500 000 Entrepreneurs have had access to free online MBA and BBA content through Regenesys Business School;
  • Finfind will be launched in October 2015: a free access site that will revolutionise the finance readiness process for entrepreneurs, while connecting them to various lenders in the market;
  • A National Mentorship Movement is being created to get 100 000 successful entrepreneurs to mentor 1 million businesses per year.
  • The task team has also recommended that government create stimulatory policy for small businesses and to reduce red tape and unnecessary obstacles.

A country’s entrepreneurial activity is strongly correlated with increases in GDP, reduction in unemployment and reduction in poverty – particularly in South Africa, where over 70% of the formal sector is made up of small businesses (those that employ 50 people or fewer).

A nation’s entrepreneurial activity is directly related to the quality of education, as this leads to an increase in citizens’ perceived entrepreneurial capabilities and their ability to spot opportunities. Entrepreneurship education needs to go hand in hand with improvements in the fundamentals of education, particularly Literacy, Numeracy and the STEM subjects.

If we want to achieve different results in our education system, we need to start doing things differently: starting with approaching our education system with a creative, action orientated, problem-solving, socially conscious mindset – the mindset of an entrepreneur.

Entrepreneurship in schools Part 1 | Gabriella Geffen

Entrepreneurship in schools Part 1 | Gabriella Geffen

Gabriella Geffen is a member of the Human Resources Development Council (HRDC) Enabling Entrepreneurship Task Team and is also responsible for Business Development at the Maharishi Institute. In this article, she introduces the thinking around the Department of Basic Education’s Entrepreneurship-in-Schools initiative. Catch Part 2 of her article this Thursday.

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Unless we get the foundations right, all future efforts to stabilise the building will fail. What is the foundation of entrepreneurship? It is a mindset – an enterprising way of looking at the world such that every problem becomes an opportunity that can be solved with effort and dedication.

Pair this mindset with the skills required for running a business, such as managing finances, and you have, not only an entrepreneur, but an individual who adds value to any working environment – an individual who is empowered and self-sufficient for the rest of his/her working life in this rapidly accelerating 21st century.

In order for South Africa to evolve from its current position of having one of the lowest levels of entrepreneurship in the world and the lowest level of all African countries, the entrepreneurial mindset needs to be taught from a young age in order for it to become a natural way of perceiving the world. Creating a strong entrepreneurial culture in this country depends upon the development of entrepreneurial habits of thinking from the beginning of the education process.

What is the first shift that needs to take place to create an entrepreneurial culture? The easiest and most important step to fostering an entrepreneurial culture is learning to question. If the essence of entrepreneurship were summarised, it would be, in my opinion, the habit of asking why and coming up with better solutions diligently.

It is for this reason that the Department of Basic Education is embarking on a 15 year plan to embed practical Entrepreneurship, Social Entrepreneurship and Employability Training into the National School Curriculum from Grades R-12. The aim is to incorporate Entrepreneurship into each subject as a core competence, rather than to create another purely theoretical discipline.

The initiative has nothing to do with changing the curriculum, but everything to do with strengthening the manner in which the curriculum is taught and bringing the content to practical life. Hence, the focus is on pedagogy and methodology –  transforming traditional methods of teaching to methods that bring out the inherent creativity and potential in each learner, thereby transforming the quality of education in South Africa by evolving the way that teaching and learning occurs.

The goal is to make learners think as opposed to merely memorise; to engage the teacher as a facilitator along the student’s own inspired developmental journey. Gone are the days where the teacher was the sole access to knowledge. Rote learning in the age of information is redundant. What matters is what learners are able to do with information.

Admittedly not every learner will become an entrepreneur, however the characteristics of entrepreneurship – problem solving, action orientation, creativity, being socially-conscious and responsible – are critical for anyone in the 21st century. The nature of work in this era is about the intelligent assimilation of the plethora of information and using it practically and creatively to manifest results. Hence the target for the Entrepreneurship in Schools initiative is to see 100% of all school-leavers employable, studying further, or equipped to start their own businesses in the future.

Screen Shot 2015-10-27 at 8.51.14 AMIf we look at Bloom’s Taxonomy of learning – our current education system (which continues to prepare people for the Industrial Revolution) – is still based on the bottom three levels of learning: Remembering, Understanding and perhaps a mild degree of Applying. However, in order to survive in the coming creative century, whether as entrepreneur or employee, the skills of Analysing, Evaluating and Creating need to be honed from a very young age.

This needs to be done on a systematic level to ensure that each child is empowered with new tools of thinking in order to propel him/her into a new reality. To find out how we are planning to do this, see my upcoming post on implementing Entrepreneurship into South Africa’s National School Curriculum and the broader National Entrepreneurship Strategy that includes Universities and the Small Business Sector.

Where leaders (cannot afford to) learn

Where leaders (cannot afford to) learn

Screen Shot 2015-10-22 at 8.39.16 AMWhat began as a visit to the Allan Gray Centre for Leadership Ethics (AGCLE), housed by Rhodes University in Grahamstown, at the beginning of this week, ended in my witnessing a campus-wide protest about fee increases.

AGCLE hosted a two-day roundtable on Existential Conversations which philosophically address the grim realities about life in general and in Grahamstown in particular. It was fitting that last minute changes to the roundtable’s venue were because of protests.

The Black Students’ Movement and the university’s SRC, in solidarity with neighbouring Eastcape Midlands College, began the protest on Monday 19 October and staged an orderly march through Grahamstown yesterday morning which was supported by academia and workers. The use of water cannons to disperse protestors at Eastcape Midlands College on Monday sparked racial debate – it was telling that police did not resort to the same measures at Rhodes.

I’m still unclear as to the true motivation for the march but, from conversations with students and staff can hazard two guesses. Firstly, that it was an expected consequence of the contagion from the earlier student protests at Wits and UCT; and, secondly, that Rhodes University had been on the precipice of a legitimate collective outcry for some time and that, fuelled by the agitation of the “born-frees”, felt compelled to shed its non-defiant and placid reputation. For whatever reason, yesterday’s march was hailed, by the university’s Senate, as being a watershed moment for Rhodes in what was described as a watershed year for tertiary education in South Africa. The Senate thanked students for the manner in which they conducted themselves by mentioning that the Rhodes University march was one of a few in the country that was non-violent.

Moving, honest and, at times humorous placards voiced the students’ discontent.

Screen Shot 2015-10-22 at 9.54.40 AM

Their discontent, for which they sought responses from the Vice Chancellor, Dr. Mabizela and his colleagues, came down to the following demands:

  1. Protesting students should not be victimised
  2. A 15% decline in fees
  3. Removal of interest on late payments
  4. Removal of additional fees for students from African countries
  5. A signed commitment by Dr. Mabizela that academically-sound, but financially needy students, not be excluded

Demand 1

The Senate agreed that it was students’ Constitutional right to hold demonstrations and reaffirmed that their victimisation would not be tolerated.

Demand 2

When the students’ 15% decline in fees was weighed against Dr. Blade Nzimande’s proposed increase, capped at 6%, the university would lose R54m – which would impact the students’ experience during the next financial year. It was mentioned that the library, alone, needed R29m for books and running costs. The university would look at other ways, such as cutting the entertainment budget to lower expenses.

 

Demand 3

Rhodes currently has two payment options: either full fees paid by June or a monthly debit order system. If payment is received late then interest is levied. It was highlighted that this interest is not held in reserves but is utilised to offset the university’s other expenditure. The decision on whether the interest on late payments be removed was not reached in the three hours that the Senate had to deliberate. It was an important revenue stream and the Senate appealed to the students to allow more time for them to reach a satisfactory decision.

Demand 4

The Senate agreed to consult with the sector on how costs for African students could be addressed optimally.

Demand 5

The response to the final demand was received with resounding support as Dr. Mabizela pledged that he would not financially-exclude students of good academic standing. He mentioned that he had previously stood surety for deserving students and would do so in future.

I respected Dr. Mabizela and his team, not only for responding to the students’ demands timeously but doing so in the cold and rain yesterday evening!

Screen Shot 2015-10-22 at 8.41.45 AM

The majority of students were satisfied with the responses they received from the Senate but there was a mixed response when an appeal was made for the resumption of the academic programme today in order to catch up the time lost due to protests – as exams are scheduled to start next week Monday.

Some students were also sceptical of the financial measures that were proposed and questioned why the Senate didn’t cut its own salaries or do away with residential Sub Wardens and, hence, paying them R2 000 a month. It became clear that you can’t please everyone all the time.

There is a crisis in education in South Africa and in higher education in particular. If the inclusive and solutions-orientated manner in which the students and Senate addressed the crisis is any indication, could it be that Rhodes is a place where leaders cannot afford not to learn?

 

We are not a generation of bystanders, we are Global Citizens

We are not a generation of bystanders, we are Global Citizens

 “In 15 years, we went from no space program … to boot prints on the moon. I remember the day, because that was made possible … everything else was possible as well.”

– American astronomer and author Neil deGrasse Tyson

Screen Shot 2015-10-20 at 8.12.57 AMIf human creativity can historically achieve that sort of progress in 15 years, why should we not be able to do it again, but this time not with the aim of reaching the moon but ending extreme poverty.  For the first time ever this is a generation that has such an ambitious goal within its grasp. 2015 is thus an extraordinary year. In fact Ban Ki-moon, secretary general of the United Nations, has said that it is the most important year for the United Nations since its founding 70 years ago.  The reason for this is the launch of the 17 Global Goals [AF1] to achieve 3 extraordinary things in the next 15 years. End extreme poverty. Fight inequality & injustice. Fix climate change.

From the Foundation’s perspective job creation and entrepreneurs is clearly articulated in Goal 8 of the Global Goals: Decent work and economic growth.  Dell founder and CEO Michael Dell is the United Nation Foundation’s first Global Advocate for Entrepreneurship in support of this goal. In this role, he has set the mission of paving the way for the next billion jobs by advocating for the No. 1 creator of jobs: entrepreneurs.

As he says: “The overarching goal of the Global Goals is to end absolute poverty by 2030. How is that possible without new and better jobs? And who is creating those jobs? Entrepreneurs. Start-ups and fast-growing, new businesses create 70 percent of the net new jobs in the world (up to 90 percent in some emerging economies)”

The launch of global goals was celebrated in unique way the day after being approved at the United Nations on 25 September 2015, with the Global Citizen Festival [AF2] in Central Park, New York.  This event brought together star studded musicians, including Beyonce, Ed Sheeran, Cold Play and Pearl Jam, with a number of world leaders such as the First Lady of America, Vice President Biden, Secretary General of the UN, Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala, Bill Gates and many others – all united in the cause of ending extreme poverty. It was an extraordinary event attended by over 60,000 people, not least because all those attending had not bought their way into the festival but had earned the right to attend, by taking action as global citizens.

Screen Shot 2015-10-20 at 8.13.16 AMIn the 2014 Global Citizen Festival it was Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India who had explained how this change will happen:

“Some believe that the world changes with the wisdom of the old. I think that the idealism, innovation, energy and “can do” attitude of the youth is even more powerful. To put the light of hope in every eye, and the joy of belief in every heart. Lift people out of poverty. A roof over every head. I know it is possible”

So in support of this generation defining moment, we are encouraging our community and friends to join these passionate individuals working together to effect a movement of change – to heed the words of  Bill and Melinda Gates in his newsletter earlier this year: “We want to raise the visibility of these problems. We want to give global citizens a way to lend their voice, urging governments, companies, and non-profits to make these issues a priority. ”

Don’t be generation of bystanders, be a Global Citizen.

Sign up at www.globalcitizen.org

2015 ANDE Annual Conference – understanding how small, growing businesses help to reduce poverty

2015 ANDE Annual Conference – understanding how small, growing businesses help to reduce poverty

image008Earlier this month the Foundation attended the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) Annual Conference.  There were over 200 participants from 47 countries representing the global ecosystem that seeks to support small and growing businesses (SGBs).

The conference saw the likes of USAID and IFC, corporate heavyweights such as the Citibank and Mastercard Foundations, academic institutions and well-known nonprofits, such as Endeavor and Acumen, being joined by a small army of organisations that are working at the coal face to support emerging entrepreneurs.  All of the participants share the belief that SGBs, enterprises that have strong potential for growth, can change our world. This ambition to grow is key to the definition.

Support for SGBs is based on the understanding that they will create jobs and foster long-term economic growth. This explains the defining principle behind the work of ANDE – that in the long run SGBs can help lift developing countries out of poverty.

The conference started with an overview, particularly the level of financial resources that are currently invested in the sector.  It was surprising to discover that over the last five years, while $1.3 trillion has been invested in global private equity, only $10bn has been invested in the SGB sector – demonstrating significant under-investment in SGBs. But as we were to discover later, things are not so cut-and-dried.

There were some recurring themes during the three days of the conference.

Theme 1: Talent

The initial introduction concerning the lack of financial capital was better understood as a consequence of a lack of human capital.  There is an undeniable link between the financial capital invested and the level of human capital able to absorb that finance. A growing recognition emerged that despite the lack of financial capital deployed, in reality the binding constraint is actually human capital.

Theme 2: Mentoring

We simply have to find more creative ways of transferring knowledge as a key response to the existing “talent gap”.  Youth Business International, for example, was clear that of all their interventions to support emerging entrepreneurs, the one that had the most impact was mentoring.

Theme 3: No silver bullets

Every second talk or discussion ended up dismissing the notion that there can be a single easy solution to the complexities of this sector.  The closest we came was the suggestion that instead of a sliver bullet we should try silver buckshot – where a number of different low cost interventions are tried concurrently, to see which has the most traction.

A main focus of ANDE is on research conducted around entrepreneurship.  Included in the numerous sessions was feedback on three particularly interesting research initiatives:

1. The Global Accelerator Learning Initiative evaluates the effectiveness of accelerators globally and has tracked over 3 000 ventures in 38 different participating programmes so far. Initial findings have shown some interesting patterns relating to gender.  The first being that roughly half the ventures have female participation, which is higher than would have been expected generally.  Sadly, this positive outcome is undermined by the reality that despite ventures having generally higher revenues when associated with female participation, this does not translate into higher valuations for the same ventures.

 

2. Endeavor Insights provided an update on their mapping of city ecosystems.  After starting with New York and Cairo, they now have a list of 14 cities that will be mapped in the near future.  Sadly this list does not include either Johannesburg or Cape Town. One intriguing finding from the New York mapping was that the strongest predictor of success for companies, was where the company founder was mentored by a top performing entrepreneur. This led to a company being three times more likely to be a top performer – another example of the importance of mentorship.

3. The final interesting research reported on was Acumen’s exploration into lean data.  Part of this opportunity is made possible by the remarkable and sustained growth of smart phones. There are currently 72m smartphones in Africa and this number will grow to 525m by 2020.  The opportunities this opens up for low cost data collection are truly extraordinary.  A good example of this is the startup Premise which indexes and analyses millions of observations captured daily by a global network of contributors who are paid to record local information on their cell phone.  Premise’s 25 000 contributors are now in nearly 200 towns and cities, urban and rural, spanning 32 countries. This allows them to provide a range of data and insights like mapping financial access in emerging markets to ensuring the sustainable funding of healthcare systems.

After the conference, one could not help but reflect that it is a new and exciting world into which entrepreneurs are entering. Yet as much as things change, so they remain the same. For as new opportunities, finance and technology open up so the underlying need for talent remains unchanged.

Foundation Selection Summit

Foundation Selection Summit

Screen Shot 2015-10-08 at 8.37.03 AMIn September 2013, the Foundation conducted its first Selection Summit – the purpose of which was to create clarity around our selection practices and processes.

The programme included reflections on the Foundation’s selection journey since inception and provided an overview of the Foundation’s Success Profile (as developed by Deloitte) and how it translates to our selection tools.

The Scholarship and Fellowship Selection teams also presented their 2013 awareness campaigns, with discussions around best marketing and awareness strategies, and what the selection and final decision making processes entailed. In addition, the Summit included workshops aimed at mapping key challenges and recommendations from Foundation Talent (staff) who regularly participate in selection processes.

Selection Summit 2015 was hosted from 29 to 30 September 2015. It contextualised the Foundation’s selection processes within the broader South African educational landscape and explored the notion of selecting for entrepreneurial potential.

The Summit included a review of the Foundation’s selection tools, and the alignment between selection and curriculum development activities. Leading experts, such as Professor Servaas van der Berg, presented the latest findings on the education landscape.

The audio recordings for the Summit will be available on the Foundation website by November 2015 when we launch the new Resources page on our site.

2015 National Fellowship Jamboree by Lethabo Tloubatla

2015 National Fellowship Jamboree by Lethabo Tloubatla

Screen Shot 2015-10-07 at 9.26.45 PMJuly 2015 saw the entire Candidate Fellow community come together for one of the biggest annual events on the Fellowship’s calendar – our annual Jamboree. This two-day event encourages the Candidate Fellows to engage with one another and equip themselves with skills and tools to start a venture. It is an environment filled with likeminded people who motivate each other to be model citizens. Candidate Fellows put into practice what they learn throughout the year:

  • identifying an inefficiency
  • coming up with a solution for that inefficiency

On 16 July our CEO, Anthony Farr, gave a presentation in celebration of the Foundation’s 10 Year Anniversary. It was the perfect precursor to an event full of bright ideas, immense contributions and learning.

The Jamboree’s opening address was delivered by Thembalihle Baloyi, the Founder and Managing Director of Discovery Insure. He encouraged our Candidate Fellows to not only dream big, but to always be authentic and become trailblazers in their field.

Over the course of the first day Candidate Fellows had one minute each to pitch their ideas – the inefficiency or solution they identified. This was followed by Open Space Conversations, allowing the rest of the Candidate Fellow community to question, add or share insights on the pitches. With collaboration being the focus, Open Space Conversations operated according to the Law of Two Feet: “If during the course of the conversation, one finds oneself neither learning nor contributing, one must use one’s feet and go to a more productive place.”

Running concurrently with the Open Space Conversations were the Entrepreneurship Masterclasses called Ignitions Live sessions. The first two sessions were facilitated, respectively, by Yuppie Chef Founder, Andrew Smith, who focused on perseverance and dealing with setbacks; and Jonathan Marks who gave insights and real accounts of action steps for taking off. The third and final Masterclass for the day was split into two, focusing on the education sector and the technology sector, respectively. Looking at entrepreneurial opportunities within the education sector was a panel of two Fellows – Douglas Hoernle and Zayne Imam of Rethink Education, Chris Harrison of Lebone, Kaeden Arnold of the Royal Bafokeng Institute and Naeem Ganey, a Candidate Fellow. The technology-focused Masterclass was presented by Luke Jordan of GrassRoot who discussed the notion of starting a Tech Business as a non-technical person.

Screen Shot 2015-10-07 at 9.28.51 PMA total of 43 pitches were heard and 10 made it to the finals the following day. These pitches were presented to a panel of expert entrepreneurs who selected the three best ideas. Dewald Muller received the Innovation Award for his winning idea of a cross-subsidisation marketing process that gives companies direct access to the lower income market while enabling the lower income market to attain basic products at lower costs. The second and third prizes went to Dominic Obojkovitz and Dominic Koenig whose app ideas were based on, respectively, visualising a user’s music while providing them a game to play and a customisable alarm clock for one’s smart phone.

Click here to see the Jamboree in action.

Startership by Ludwick Marishane

Startership by Ludwick Marishane

Screen Shot 2015-10-08 at 9.06.31 AMThe weekend of 6 to 7 June 2015 signaled the annual Startership Seminar – a national event where Fellows, who have ideas for viable ventures, have the opportunity to get practical about their business models.

The Startership process is a practical expression of the Association’s wish to help Fellows create and test business models and grow their insight into the realities of the journey we enable them to pursue. The practical nature of the event is made possible by other Fellows who have already started walking the ‘talk’ of entrepreneurship and now willingly lend their professional skills to their peers.

The forerunner to the Startership Seminar was a series of pre-Startership workshops that were held in Cape Town and Johannesburg during May. At these events Fellows were provided with the latest tools related to venture ideation, problem-solution fit, and customer validation. The sessions are designed to be a safe space where everyone can interrogate their venture ideas or side-projects. They leave the sessions with homework: to clarify their customer persona, total addressable market (TAM) and their quantifiable value proposition.

Using Bill Aulet’s book, Disciplined Entrepreneurship, as a guide, participating Fellows evolved their business ideas to the point where they felt confident enough to pitch it. At the Startership Seminar they received further guidance from advising Fellows who shared honest and practical truths of their own entrepreneurial journeys.

The top teams from the seminar (based on pitches) received support from the new Ventures Accelerator (through four workshops piloted this year). These workshops focused on helping Fellows with business ideas to gain customer traction, useful financial and business models as well as inexpensive, yet effective, marketing strategies. This formed a new phase in preparation of the final funding pitches that took place at the E2 Seminar, in conjunction with our Imbizo AGM on 6 and 7 September 2015.

The E2 judges were impressed with the quality of this year’s pitches, and Benjamin Shaw’s HouseMe service took the top prize of R50 000. Ben’s service is an innovative solution that optimises the rental market through an auction mechanism and other value-added services. Other finalists were Doug Hoernle’s MallApp, Kholofelo Moyaba’s Intelligent Mirror, Africanon (a database of African literature that is inaccessible on the retail market), and Sechaba Selialia’s Scoody fashion brand.

The Association now has over 20 full-time businesses started by Fellows and over 200 professionals applying their entrepreneurial skills in a wide range of South African corporates and sectors.

Future Startership initiatives will be focused on catalysing the impact of these Fellows in whatever spaces they operate in.

The Association Choose New Executive Committee

The Association Choose New Executive Committee

Screen Shot 2015-10-08 at 9.20.30 AMAn impressive and very capable Association Executive Committee has been elected to lead the Association of Allan Gray Fellows through the next two years. The team brings a mix of skills, experience and interests that will allow the Association to take on some new flavour and have fresh insights and ideas. There is no doubt that the Association will be a richer network with a variety of successes to show as a result of the team’s commitment.

Mbali Sikakana will be taking over from Arushka Bugwandeen as President of the Association. With her background in accountancy and experience in strategy she will undoubtedly lead the Association to new heights. She put her hand up at a time that the Association saw a unique dilemma in finding committed candidates for the position – a true sign of her willingness to get involved when needed most.

The Ventures baton will be handed over from Ludwick Marishane to Sechaba Selialia who’s matching entrepreneurial flair and commitment to Fellows is most suited to the portfolio. Sechaba’s confidence and great sense of structure are fitting for his new role.

Lerato Shai will take over from Eunice Steyn in running the Community portfolio. Her open and determined nature form the right balance for taking on this massive task of keeping everyone connected and committed. Lerato has been involved and engaged throughout the previous term, emphasising her determination to keep the community together.

The Leadership portfolio will be handed over from Akosua Koranteng to Ngkopoleng Moloi (NK) who has shown a significant commitment to the portfolio for the last two years and will naturally step up to the plate in facilitating Fellows’ personal, professional and entrepreneurial leadership. NK’s measured and professional approach is the perfect match to a portfolio that is becoming a very powerful one.

Danisa Nkuna will pass on the role of Secretary General to Dorcas Molise. Dorcas’s involvement in forums over the last year has shown her desire to stay involved and contribute to the Association. She will undoubtedly bring a positive energy to the team.

In addition to this unshakable committee, there are several portfolio committee members that will play a crucial support function to the team – welcome to everyone who has volunteered to contribute to the various portfolios.

The unwavering commitment and drive the previous team has brought to the Association over the last two years also deserve a great thank you.

Akosua has changed the face of the Leadership portfolio; not letting any resistance affect her passion for development in society, particularly on this continent. Her hard work has given the portfolio a clear identity and direction. Thank you for pushing hard and confronting us all with the challenge of being better versions of ourselves. It’s people like you that keep the passion within us alive. Your kind and grounded personality perfectly complemented the portfolio and has been contagious over this time.

Ludwick has taken the Startership (now Ventures) portfolio from strength to strength, making it a place where every Fellow has the opportunity, support and the right amount of pressure to keep pursuing their business goals. Thanks for being the strong-willed and opinionated person that you are. You made a great fit for the portfolio and will leave big shoes to fill.

Eunice’s drive to keep the community going strong has been unmatched over this period. Despite Fellows often not meeting us halfway, Eunice never backed down. Your positive energy and your support in holding Fellows and the team accountable has been greatly appreciated. Your ability to manage many commitments at once is something very unique and you’ve been an invaluable contribution to the team.

Danisa has been the perfect balance between being efficient and thorough as a Secretary General and being open minded enough to temper conversations, include people’s ideas and incorporate feedback into building the Association’s brand. You bring a sense of calm to every situation that has made the team ever stronger and moved it forward.

This experience has been a worthwhile one because of you and your time and energy poured into the Association has made it a place for Fellows to thrive. Without a doubt you will all continue to give back via the Association or through other means and wish you all the best in that journey.

It’s only appropriate to thank Zimkhitha, Ntokozo, Mashokane, Muzi and the rest of the Foundation team for their commitment and support too. The tenure would have been very difficult without them and they have made the team richer over this period. Engaging Daniel, the new Association Director, and the new Executive team will be a pleasure as functions are handed over to their dedicated and capable hands.

Talented Talent – Angelinah Moekena

Talented Talent – Angelinah Moekena

Screen Shot 2015-10-07 at 8.59.03 PMScholarship Selection Officer, Angelinah Mokoena, grew up dreaming of a job that would help her empower and give back to the community. That dream, coupled with the “business vein” she had always noticed inside her, made working at the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation an obvious choice. The mechanics of how she landed up at the Foundation, however, might be attributed to chance. Yet she readily acknowledges why she daily chooses to stay: “I choose to be here today because of my drive to impact lives, to create opportunities and, above all, to empower and develop others to become the future change agents that will change our socioeconomic status.”

The Foundation’s belief in entrepreneurial development is something very close to her heart.

In fact, her dream for South Africa is to see it grow and blossom to its fullest potential. “Every individual out there is sitting with a calling and potential to rise above their current situations and all of this can be achieved by fostering education and development of entrepreneurs in South Africa.” She believes that her contribution as a Selection Officer plays a vital role in fulfilling this dream as she helps identify learners who have entrepreneurial potential. Her role includes the recruitment and placement of these learners once they have been awarded Scholarships. In addition, she also manages relationships with internal and external stakeholders in the schooling context.

This dream of a blossoming country is brought even closer by her personal entrepreneurial efforts. As the recent winner of the Efinity Competition, Angelinah was able to secure R75 000 worth of web development for her range of accessories called Forever Me by Angie Mokoena. The prize included a pay fast online payment facility, a photo shoot of all her products, warehousing and courier services to her clients.

When she entered the competition early in June this year her attitude was one of: “Let me just fill this form,” believing that it would not lead to anything. It was only at the point where I was shortlisted that I actually believed I had the potential to win and, as a result, I put a lot more effort into defining what the brand stood for and why I thought I deserved to win. Forever me by Angie Mokoena currently offers a wide range of ladies’ and men’s accessories. The brand was born out of a long-term struggle with self-confidence and a deep desire to educate people about styling, self-image and sourcing quality at good prices.

Angelinah’s future aspirations for her business includes the launch of clothing and shoes for men, women and toddlers as well as seeing the business grow across Africa. Staying true to her childhood wish to empower and give back, she will also focus, in part on sourcing talent by creating opportunities for potential designers and artists to partner with her in delivering good quality clothing at reasonable prices.