November, 2015 | Allan Gray Orbis Foundation
Mia Bunn on the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation’s success profile methodology

Mia Bunn on the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation’s success profile methodology

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Mia Bunn is an expert in psychometric evaluation and has worked intensively with the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation on their assessment processes. She joined Deloitte Consulting in 2008 after spending five years in London with the Granada Learning Group. Mia has more than 14 years’ professional experience and her areas of specialisation include Selection and Assessment Frameworks, Assessment Centres, Talent Management, Succession Planning, and Learning Solutions.

She has managed a multitude of projects related to the design, development and implementation of selection and assessment frameworks and processes; and has, through this exposure, gained an in-depth understand- ing of the complexities surrounding various areas of Human Capital competence.

Anne Haverman-Serfontein on the impact of psychometric assessments on career choices and future academic success

Anne Haverman-Serfontein on the impact of psychometric assessments on career choices and future academic success

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Anne Haverman-Serfontein completed her Masters Degree in Counselling Psychology (Cum Laude) at Stellenbosch University in 2001 where after she registered as a Counselling Psychologist with the HPCSA. She worked as a psychologist in the Careers Office of the Centre for Student Counselling and Development at Stellenbosch University for four years and joined a consulting company, Joint Prosperity in 2005. She also works as a consultant for the Stellenbosch University Centre for Career Advice, and has consulted for organisations such as the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation and Media 24 Scholar Development Programme. Her experience includes career coaching and development for adolescents and adults, graduate recruitment and placement consultation, involvement in student leadership development initiatives, as well as psycho- metric and competency based assessments.

Robert Prince on predicting future performance, the role of the National Benchmarking Tests in predicting future academic success

Robert Prince on predicting future performance, the role of the National Benchmarking Tests in predicting future academic success

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Robert Prince is a senior lecturer at the Centre for Educational Testing for Access and Placement, previously called the Alternative Admissions Research Project, in the Centre for Higher Education Development, University of Cape Town. Robert coordinates the development of psychometrically sound tests in academic literacy, quantitative literacy and mathematics. The results of these tests can be used to augment the results in the school-leaving examination and attempts particularly to identify educationally disadvantaged students who have the potential to succeed in higher education, given the appropriate academic support and curriculum structures to address the learning needs of those students thus identified. He aims to contribute to the development nationally of expertise in the area of testing for admission (selection and placement), teaching and learning and curriculum development.

Dr Celeste Nel & Dr Natasja Brow on Widening Participation: Access with Success

Dr Celeste Nel & Dr Natasja Brow on Widening Participation: Access with Success

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Dr Celeste Nel is the deputy director of the Centre for Student Recruitment and Career Guidance, and the Head of Admissions and Residence Placements at Stellenbosch University.

Dr Celeste Nel started her career in education as a high school teacher in the Northern Cape in 1995 and joined Stellenbosch University in 1997 as a student recruiter for the University’s division for Marketing and Communication. Her involvement in student recruitment activities led to a keen interest in the challenges that students experience in their transition from school to university – especially first generation learners form educationally disadvantaged backgrounds. She received her Doctorate in Higher Education in this field in 2008.

Dr Natasja Brown works at Stellenbosch University’s Faculty of AgriSciences as the Coordinator: Academic and Student Affairs. In this role she is, amongst others, responsible for supporting new student transition, improving the academic experience of undergraduates, advising at risk student, mentor and tutor programmes for at risk students and general academic and wellness support to students within the Faculty.

Professor Paul Hobden on preserving and developing selected scholars during high school

Professor Paul Hobden on preserving and developing selected scholars during high school

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Professor Paul Hobden is a retired academic who now works as an education consultant. He is the founding partner in a consultancy with Dr Sally Hobden, Quality Projects in Education which focuses on commissioned research, evaluation and training in science and mathematics education. Paul has a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry, a Master’s in Education and a Ph.D. in Physics problem solving. Paul has worked in the field of science education for the last 35 years. His work experience started with appointments as a school science teacher and then a university lecturer in science education at University of Durban Westville.

Ann Morton & Rose-Anne Reynolds on preparing scholars for high school, learning from a Primary School Development Programme

Ann Morton & Rose-Anne Reynolds on preparing scholars for high school, learning from a Primary School Development Programme

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Ann Morton has been the principal at Pinelands North Primary School for almost twenty years. This timespan has been characterised by great change in South Africa, and also in South African education. Under Ann’s direction, Pinelands North has weathered the changes well, making it one of the most sought after in the district. Besides a passion for education leadership, she delights in teaching the very bright child. In 2008 she introduced a programme which provides academic, social and emotional support for these children, and Ann has just been to Denmark to present the programme to the conference of the World Council for Gifted and Talented Children.

Ann is recognised as an innovator in inclusive education by the WCED and nationally, so come and hear the story of how the school prepares their pupils for life by providing emotional and social support right the way through their schooling.

Professor Servaas van der Berg on the impact of Grade R on Future Learning Outcomes

Professor Servaas van der Berg on the impact of Grade R on Future Learning Outcomes

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Professor Servaas van der Berg is a Professor of Economics at the University of Stellenbosch. He holds the South African Research Chair in the Economics of Social Policy. The focus of his research is on poverty and inequality, and the social policies that influence that. He has thus done considerable research on the Economics of Education, both in South Africa and in Namibia.

#GEW2015 is done – who won #MakeAR100?

#GEW2015 is done – who won #MakeAR100?

The week-long, worldwide movement of entrepreneurial people (#GEW) was concluded on Sunday 22 November – and what a week it was! 7 million such people participated in 20 000 activities across 135 countries. They came together for learning, inspiration, support and to launch their business ideas and attract investors.

South Africa had 143 activities from 43 partner institutions and the Foundation was, once again, proud to be one of them. Last week, we wrote about the opening ceremony at GIBS which was well-received by various stakeholders cross-sectorally. We also mentioned our #MakeAR100 challenge and your chance to win R5 000 if the photo from your entrepreneurial idea had the most likes on our facebook page…more on that later. For now let’s reflect on the week that was and cast our eyes to what lies ahead.

It’s clear from this year’s GEW (and other engagements) that the South African government has made a meaningful commitment to supporting entrepreneurial development under the leadership of our first Minister of Small Business Development, Lindiwe Zulu. The Hon. Zulu has been instrumental in helping to bring the first-ever Global Entrepreneurship Congress (GEC) to African soil in 2017. The GEC, an international landmark event, will bring 160 countries and an estimated 5 000 delegates to Johannesburg in 2017. These will include entrepreneurs, investors, innovators, policy makers and international bureaucrats.

Last week’s announcement of the Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN) Board in South Africa, appointed by GEN President, Jonathan Ortmans, will translate into ongoing support for the GEW. By leveraging an expansive global network, the GEN South Africa Board will ignite and promote entrepreneurship by fostering sustainable networks, connecting entrepreneurs to the best resources and ensuring that an entrepreneurial climate is cultivated – especially at grassroots level. And, finally, the moment for which we have been waiting. Who won the #MakeAR100 challenge?

The Foundation was a hive of activity last week and we got the country buzzing with entrepreneurial ideas. This year the ideas for making a R100 included:

  • Giving paid entrepreneurial talks
  • Making cup cakes
  • Selling homemade fudge
  • Offering breakfast and lunch services at the office
  • Fixing an engine
  • Making sculptures on the beach
  • Selling koeksisters
  • Running a healthy lifestyle workshop
  • A number of car washing efforts
  • Even a five year old entered the action selling lollipops
  • Turning soft drink plastic bottles into hanging gardens
  • Selling leather bags on-line
  • Dressmaking, knife sharpening, career consulting, nail polishing
  • You name it, someone tried it!

But after all this entrepreneurial energy, showing that everyone can exercise their entrepreneurial muscle, the winner of the #MakeAR100 challenge is… a young woman whose cupcake business got over 130 likes on our Facebook page…and the real cherry on top is the R5 000 cash prize that she wins…

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Well done Nokwanda Sithole!

We hope your business grows from strength to strength and that you inspire other South Africans to #MakeAR100 during next year’s GEW.

GEW 2015 is live – time to get involved

GEW 2015 is live – time to get involved

Lindiwe Zulu GEW2015Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) 2015 is now well underway and it promises to be the biggest yet – both in South Africa and globally!

South Africa kicked off its week with a significant event at GIBS in Johannesburg yesterday. Energised by the prospect of Johannesburg’s hosting the Global Entrepreneurship Congress (GEC) in March 2017, Lindiwe Zulu, Minister of Small Business Development delivered the opening keynote, closing with a powerful encouragement that together we can move forward in building a more entrepreneurial and prosperous South Africa.  The unique characteristic of Johannesburg’s 2017 GEC, the so-called “world cup of entrepreneurship”, is that it brings together all elements of the entrepreneurial ecosystem for the greater good of making this event a success. This is not only for the sake of a single event, but for the purpose of ensuring that this unique opportunity leaves a lasting legacy of improved entrepreneurship in South Africa. It is seldom that all three levels of government, the business sector and civil society are so aligned around a single intervention.

For a sense of the international scale of GEW, Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN) President, Jonathan Ortmans gives the following overview:

Best of GEW 

Now a week that has 10 million people participating in over 30,000 events can be a little overwhelming.  So we decided to point out three of our highlights from the week: some new research, a new tool and an event worth virtually attending, before bringing you back home to remind you of the local #MakeAR100 Challenge

  • Release of 2016 Global Entrepreneurship Index

Data released in the 2016 Global Entrepreneurship Index (GEI) provides key information for policymakers and government leaders worldwide to strengthen their entrepreneurial ecosystems and promote high-growth, high-impact entrepreneurship. This comprehensive index looks at both individual and institutional factors contributing to the entrepreneurial performance of the 132 countries participating in the index. It suggests that the world is operating at 52% of its full entrepreneurial capacity.  The Index is, thankfully, much better news for South Africa as it is the top performing Sub-Saharan Africa country and leads all the other BRICS countries. We will look in more detail at the implications of the 2016 GEI for South Africa in a blog post later in the year.

  • Launch of Startup Compete platform

GEN announced the launch of its new online platform to unleash ideas and power startup competitions around the world.  Startup Compete ( is a global networking site and competition platform for aspiring entrepreneurs, mentors and advisors to connect with each other and bring potential business ideas to market. To date, the competition platform has hosted 624 startup competitions with 29,394 business ideas submitted. This platform makes it simple for organisers, but more importantly, it helps budding entrepreneurs sharpen their skills and grow their business idea.

  • Webinar: Why Entrepreneurship Should Be Taught to Everyone, Not Only to Potential Entrepreneurs

Wednesday, 18 November 2015 – 5pm SA time

Leading entrepreneurship researcher, Sara Sarasvathy, unpacks the powerful paradigm of seeing entrepreneurship as a method, with the following implications discussed:

  1. Teach entrepreneurship to everyone, not only to potential entrepreneurs;
  2. Collect data on exit;
  3. Focus on growing the middle class of businesses, not gazelles;
  4. Create an experienced entrepreneur corps of mentors;
  5. Learn to think about employment differently.




Our Make-A-R100 challenge is gaining momentum.  People have been finding intriguing ways to make their R100 from delivering medicine scripts, to selling African books or fresh fruit from the farmers markets. Some school learners even went dancing in the streets to earn their money!

These examples all show that entrepreneurship is possible. So accept the challenge and Make-A-R100 in the following easy steps:

  • Find a product or service to sell
  • Make R100 (or more) profit
  • Upload photos to our Facebook page.

The idea with the most likes on our Facebook page wins R5 000! Tag your friends, family and colleagues. Follow @allangrayorbis and share the #MakeAR100. Challenge closes on 22 November 2015. Remember your idea could become a high impact business that alters the country’s socio-economic landscape.

Do we bet on the jockey or the horse? | Bonnke Shipalana

Do we bet on the jockey or the horse? | Bonnke Shipalana

Bonnke CapricornBonnke Shipalana believes that, in the same way that no-one learns how to swim by reading a book about swimming, so entrepreneurship is taught or learnt by doing. Born in Nkowankowa, Limpopo, to an entrepreneurial family, Bonnke holds a BCom from NMMU. His belief in the values and ambition of Power FM founder, Given Mkhari, led him to join Mkhari’s The Communications Firm as a shareholder and CEO in 2007. Bonnke is a motivational speaker and radio personality.


Entrepreneurship plays a key role beyond the direct exchange between consumers and producers. It also offers an opportunity to build solid relationships between states, reduce unemployment and increase a country’s GDP. We can never undermine the power and influence that entrepreneurs have in shaping the future of any opportunity-rich country.

However the question is, if entrepreneurship is so indispensable to the building of an economy, why is the shortage of entrepreneurs so pervasive, in South Africa especially?

In my 20 years as an entrepreneur, I realise that the type of entrepreneurship education that is currently provided is the opposite of that deemed necessary for success by investors, venture capitalists and funding institutions. By and large, we end up with trained, “desktop” entrepreneurs who are unable to apply their skills by establishing or growing their businesses, mainly because of a lack of funding.

Our education system focuses on the horse – which includes a traditional business plan, risk analyses, financial forecasts and the obligatory 4 P’s of Marketing 101. Investors, however, evaluate a request based on the jockey – experience, personal traits, networks, skills, professional recommendations and passion. Which is why the age old questions invariably come up:

  • What is more important – education or experience?
  • Are entrepreneurs born or made?
  • Should one start a business without funding?

I’ve learnt that before one invests in a business or seeks business knowledge (education), one must invest in getting to know oneself, that is, one’s purpose.

Purpose is your unique reason for being on earth. It is a compass which one uses in order to navigate one’s way in life. Once you have a clear understanding of your purpose, you will be exposed to the core problems that only you were born to solve. And it’s through the solving of those problems that a business is built.

When one thinks of all the entrepreneurs who’ve changed the world and influenced the way we live, think and work, you realise that it was their desire to solve a particular problem that prompted them to start a business. So I believe that discovering your purpose is a necessary foundation for any entrepreneur.

Entrepreneurship education, on the other hand, represents solid and reliable building materials. Education plays an important role in creating the space in which the entrepreneur can showcase his or her talent. Unfortunately education that is not linked to your unique sense of purpose is one of the main reasons why, according to Bloomberg, 8 out of 10 entrepreneurs fail within the first 18-months.

A lack of purpose creates challenges for entrepreneurs when their businesses face economic, personal or other tests as they are unable to stay focused and hold on when business is bad.

Through my engagements with young people across the country, I’ve also found that a huge misconception by up-and-coming entrepreneurs is in thinking that mentorship can replace discovering your purpose and / or getting the right education. No-one in this world can discover your purpose or gain a qualification on your behalf. A mentor’s role is to help you avoid land mines and prepare you for business opportunities. This can only be achieved when one is already on the entrepreneurship journey – not when one is still contemplating going into business.

Asking someone to mentor you before going into business, is similar to buying car insurance when you haven’t had driving lessons or bought a car.

My personal advice to all students is that they first discover their purpose. On my personal journey I can recommend three ways to help in this:

  • Vocational work experience and volunteering. I volunteered to at my uncle’s shop during weekends between the age of 8 and 12 and the experience was invaluable. I also worked at Edgars for four years during my undergrad.
  • Starting a small business -I sold popcorn to my classmates when I was in Grade 5 then owned and managed four tuck shops at varsity
  • Formal work experience – At 20, I sold all my businesses to join corporates such as SABMiller, Standard Bank, PepsiCo and Cell C.
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