January, 2016 | Allan Gray Orbis Foundation
Fellowship opportunity to map your future

Fellowship opportunity to map your future

Screen Shot 2016-01-26 at 8.53.27 AMOur 2016 Fellowship applications for Grade 12 learners and first year university students opened with a bang last week Monday. Under the theme, Map your future, we’ll be selecting and supporting exceptional students who’ll be leading the future through their entrepreneurial potential. On average we receive 2 000 applications annually from the best and brightest that Southern Africa has to offer.

In order to know where you’re going, you need to know where you are. So what direction is your life is taking?  Where are you going?  Are you on your way to a meaningful life and, if so, how are you getting there? These are some of the questions that could be churning in the minds of many young people which is why we believe that a solid education is the best starting point for any entrepreneurial journey.

South African citizen, Sandrine Mpazayabo, came second overall at Settlers High School last year yet she struggled to get a bursary and worried about how she would fund her Law studies at UCT this year. She persevered and was successful in each of the three rigorous phases of our application procedure – proof that it takes much more than a stellar academic record to be selected for the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation Fellowship. Sandrine is just one of 100 successful Candidate Fellows who had to work hard to stay on course and follow her entrepreneurial compass. Will you do the same?

Upon the successful completion of her university degree, and our in-house entrepreneurship programme, Sandrine will join the likes of Danisa Nkuna, Dinika Govender, Doug Hoernle, Melvyn Lubega, Siya Xuza, Gcobisa Sotashe, Arushka Bugwandeen and other intrepid Fellows in our Association.

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Looking at this “map of global problems” may make the average person feel overwhelmed and despondent. This is why the average person won’t see the entrepreneurial opportunities to solve these problems. Inefficiencies abound but once you are equipped with the entrepreneurial toolkit from our Fellowship you’ll navigate around and through problems, turn them into profits and make the world a better place, which is what all of our Felllows are on their way to doing.

Watch this video to learn more about the Fellowship experience and download an application form from our website right now to start charting the path to your awesome future.



Exploring alternatives to economic growth at St. Gallen | By Daniel Dippold

Exploring alternatives to economic growth at St. Gallen | By Daniel Dippold

kagame st gallenThe St. Gallen Symposium is a global, Switzerland based, intergenerational dialogue platform, which, over the past 46 years, has hosted 600 leading decision makers from the fields of business, politics, academia and civil society. 200 exceptional, young leaders, convene to foster discussion with global decision makers on key issues of our time.

Daniel Dippold is a student at the University of St.Gallen’s School of Economics, Law and Social Sciences, currently visiting South Africa in his capacity as the Ambassador of the symposium’s South African relations. He shares his insights on declining global economic growth and its implications for youth entrepreneurship in South Africa.


Each year, the International Students’ Committee (ISC) at the University of St. Gallen chooses an annual topic with the aim of capturing and condensing the most relevant debates currently shaping the world. The topic for this year’s symposium, which takes place from 11 – 13 May 2016 is: “Growth – the good, the bad and the ugly”.

Economic growth is the most powerful single determinant that has ever entered political and economic language. Lack of growth hamstrings governments and the private sector alike; questioning growth challenges the fundamentals of today’s political and economic system; abolishing it in turn demands alternatives even the concept’s most ardent critics have not come up with so far. One thing is for sure: as with any other dominant idea, the concept of economic growth is out there to be appreciated, questioned and reassessed in the context of today’s global economic climate.

Declining growth goes along with declining wealth. This puts pressure on, especially young entrepreneurs, to brace themselves against those predictions. When India reported double-digit growth in 2010, the excitement was monumental. But so was the collapse a year later. In April 2015, the International Monetary Fund revised SA’s economic growth forecasts downwards for 2015 to 2% from 2.3% in October and reduced that for 2016 to 2.1% from 2.5%.

However, particularly in South Africa which is teeming in goodwill and considerable potential, some hope is restored for recovery. So it stands to reason that we encourage entrepreneurs across South Africa, on occasions such as the recent INENG public policy events, to join our unique debate on growth and therewith create impact together.

Having 80 different nations represented at the St. Gallen Symposium, we are proud to have welcomed six future leaders from South Africa in 2014 including Siya Xuza, an Allan Gray Orbis Foundation Fellow. Equally exceptional Leaders of Tomorrow include Bertrand Bardré, now Managing Director of the World Bank and Paul Achleitner, who now serves as the Chairman of the Deutsche Bank AG. Other examples include the IMANI Project, which was elected the second most influential think tank in Africa in 2014. It originated in 2000 at the St. Gallen Symposium, where three future leaders were united by the same idea: improving health conditions in Africa.

The St. Gallen Symposium is a platform where young leaders can access mentoring relationships, sponsors to help them realise their ideas, and join in the growing movement to strengthen our Leaders of Tomorrow Community, across every continent.


 Applications are open for young leaders, under 30, to submit an essay, under the topic: “What are alternatives to economic growth?” to compete for the St. Gallen Wings of Excellence Award which could qualify you for participation as a Leader of Tomorrow. Some of the perks include:

  • Sharing your thoughts, ideas and visions with global decision makers
  • Expenses for travel, board and lodging covered by organisers
  • CHF 20,000 prize money – shared by three top winners
  • Media coverage
  • Being member of a truly unique and strong global community

Applications close on 1 February 2016 and more info may be found here.


Three Interesting Entrepreneurship Trends for 2016

Three Interesting Entrepreneurship Trends for 2016

We may be nearly halfway through the first month of 2016, and chances are it’s a little late to extend a “Happy New Year!” greeting so I’ll say thank you for reading our first blog post for for the year.

For many of us a new year is a time for making resolutions (those life changing things you make on 1 January and generally disregard until 31 December), reviewing the year that was (personally I think 2015 should have been called #everythingmustfallyear) and looking ahead with optimism to the year ahead. So what might 2016 hold for us entrepreneurially? Here are three thoughts based on some of the trends.

  1. The animals will roam the street

unicornNot in real life, of course. Just in the lingo. From gazelles, to skunks, dolphins, butterflies, and the mythical horse-like creatures that made their appearance to such an extent that 2015 was dubbed the “Year of the Unicorn”. You’d be forgiven for thinking that the world of entrepreneurship is a zoo. In an earlier post, we spoke about the long-term economic impact that producing just one billion Rand turnover company (the so called African Lion) would have in South Africa. Once rare companies (startups valued at more than $1 billion and called unicorns) are reported to be so common in Silicon Valley that concerns around the sustainability of their growth instead of the usual preoccupation with their market caps are being raised. The unicorn may be under threat of extinction, but it’s only a matter of time before another creature emerges in the ever-changing world of animalpreneur lingo.

  1. But the kidpreneur will rise

kidpreneurJust ask Bruce Whitfield. Last year the business radio anchor launched the first kidpreneur challenge which carried a cash prize of R10 000 and encouraged South African children of school-going age to be entrepreneurial. The rationale for the challenge being that the sooner we get kids interested in entrepreneurship, the sooner we’ll have a generation of South Africans for whom building a business is as viable an option as getting a job. This year will be all about harnessing the generally disruptive and creative nature of children towards enterprising activity.

  1. And we’ll have a feminine future

This might appear a predictable prediction but there are numbers to support it. Last year’s SME survey reported that 78% of women-owned businesses were profitable, compared to 70% for men. Sadly this percentage would be even more impressive if there weren’t such huge gender imbalances in startups not only in SA but the rest of the continent too. As conditions gradually become more conducive to women having flexi-time in their corporate careers and having the adequate support to set up and run their businesses, then the picture will improve not just in service-related sectors where women entrepreneurs tend to be over represented. Both female employment and financial independence get a boost from women entrepreneurs because women tend to hire women.

Hindsight is a perfect science so we’ll only know how right (or wrong) these trends are at the end of the year. So until then we’ll take it one blog at a time. Good luck for all your endeavours this year!


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