Lifelong support for a lifelong entrepreneurial journey

Overview

Our purpose is to cultivate high-impact responsible entrepreneurship. We seek out young people who have the potential to change the world with their energy, curiosity and new ways of seeing and understanding the problems we face, and how to solve them. Our role is to nurture this potential using our ecosystem of partners, programmes and resources.

The Foundation takes a holistic approach to entrepreneurship development with a focus on three critical aspects: cultivating an entrepreneurial mindset in our Scholars, Candidate Fellows and Fellows; developing entrepreneurial skills in our Fellows; and being relevant in the African context while understanding global entrepreneurial ecosystems.

From one entrepreneur to many

Background

The Foundation was created in 2005 as part of Allan Gray’s vision to make a sustainable, long-term contribution to Southern Africa by nurturing the emerging entrepreneurial potential from the region.

His entrepreneurial journey has taught him that it takes time, patience and long-term support to build the kind of high-impact entrepreneurs that will make wide-reaching and significant economic and social impacts on a country. It was from this vision that the Foundation was born and now runs in South Africa, Namibia, Botswana and Swaziland.

The Allan Gray Orbis Foundation is funded by a donation of 7% of the taxed profits from Allan Gray Limited. As these may fluctuate, the commitment is supported by an endowment trust capitalised with over R1 billion, which was donated by Allan Gray.

Mission

Foster a community of responsible entrepreneurs.

Vision

An entrepreneurial, equitable South Africa flourishing with meaningful employment.

The Five Pillars

Our Five Pillars encompass the values of the Foundation and represent the traits we seek out and cultivate among Foundation Scholars, Fellows and Alumni.

The ongoing pursuit of excellence with tangible and specific focus on setting goals. A motivation to make a difference and leave a mark.

Demonstrated by an established record of intellectual achievement; an ability to see the unseen, challenge the status quo and suggest that things could be done differently.

A person who makes things happen and celebrates the satisfaction of bringing new things into being. Independent, proactive and self-starting.

A weight of personality that comes from living a life of passion and integrity. A recognition that personal satisfaction comes from empowering oneself in order to serve others.

The courage and dedication to continue, realising that applying consistent commitment has a way of overcoming.

All applicants are expected to exhibit an entrepreneurial attitude and a belief in the future of their country.

Board

The Foundation’s Board of Trustees acts as a strategic guide to the leadership team and supports us in ensuring we are doing our best to cultivate our future entrepreneurs with a combination of formative education and entrepreneurial development programmes.

South Africa

Professor Njabulo S. Ndebele

Professor Njabulo S. Ndebele

Chairman
Professor Ndebele is a graduate of the Universities of Lesotho, Cambridge and Denver, and holds honorary doctorates from universities in the Netherlands, Japan, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States. He has served as Chair of various associations, including the Association of African Universities, and as Vice-Chancellor and Vice-Rector of many universities, including the University of Cape Town, where he is currently a Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Social Anthropology. He also serves as Chair of various boards and foundations, including Mandela Rhodes Foundation. He is an internationally acclaimed author with major works like “Fools” and Other Stories, and The Cry of Winnie Mandela.
Dr Zanele Bridgette Gasa

Dr Zanele Bridgette Gasa

Trustee
Dr GASA holds BA, MA and PhD degrees in Architecture (UPE), Project Management (UKZN) and Construction Management (NMMU) respectively. In 2008 she was appointed the first-ever female and first-ever African President of the Chartered Institute of Building, and in 2010 National Planning Commissioner. In 2008 she also established The Elilox Group (Pty) Ltd. She serves on a number of boards and has been named The Department of Science and Technology’s Leading Woman Scientist in Industry (2008), South Africa’s Most Influential Business Woman in Basic Industries (2013), one of Choiseul Africa’s 100 Economic Leaders of the Future (2015) and the SADC’s Most Influential Woman in Construction (2016).
Ayanda Nogantshi

Ayanda Nogantshi

Trustee
Ayanda joined Allan Gray in 2014 as Head of People Operations (traditionally called HR). Prior to joining Allan Gray, she worked as a Strategic Development Executive for the Clicks Group and held various positions within the Massmart Group. She holds a BSc in Computer Science and Physics from Wits, an MBA from GIBS, a Postgraduate Diploma in Business Administration from UKZN’s School of Business, and a Diploma in Business Analysis from the Faculty of Training Institute.
Sawa Nakagawa

Sawa Nakagawa

Trustee
Sawa has an MBA from Columbia Business School, an MA in International Affairs from Columbia University and is a CFA Charterholder. Originally from Japan, Sawa has extensive experience in global finance, having worked at Absa Corporate and Investment Bank, the International Finance Corporation in Washington D.C., and UBS Investment Bank in Tokyo and London. She is passionate about entrepreneurship and investing, has served as Independent Member of the Board Investment Committee of the National Empowerment Fund and is an active VentureCorp member of Endeavor. She currently serves as CEO of E2 Investments (Pty) Ltd.
Gary Morolo

Gary Morolo

Trustee
Gary is a co-founder and director of Aka Capital, and has served as CEO of Coordinated Management Consulting as well as on numerous boards, most notably the Financial Services Board. He has also served on the St. Stithians Council in various capacities. Gary holds a BA from the University of Botswana and Swaziland, and an MBA from Michigan State University. He holds various qualifications in Leadership and Corporate Governance from institutes like the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University; the Arthur D. Little Management Education Institute in Boston; and IMD in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Swaziland

Dr Michael Matsebula

Dr Michael Matsebula

Chairman
Dr Matsebula is the CEO of the Swaziland Sugar Association and a non-executive director of Allan Gray Swaziland. He has served as an Economics Professor at the University of Swaziland, and as president of the Economics Association of Swaziland, of which he is a founding member. He is also a founding member of the African Economic Research Consortium. As a member of the Monetary Policy Consultative Committee, he advises the Central Bank. He has been decorated twice with national honours, has earned a PhD, an MA and BA from Queen’s University in Canada; the University of Manitoba, Canada; and the then University of Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland; respectively.
Thando Mhlambiso

Thando Mhlambiso

Trustee
Thando leads Allan Gray’s activities outside South Africa. Over the last twenty years he has worked in various capacities in principal investing, investment banking, and corporate law in Southern Africa and the United States. Thando earned a BA in Biology from Brown University, an MBA in Finance from Columbia University Graduate School of Business and a JD (Juris Doctor degree) from Columbia University School of Law. He is a non-executive director of Allan Gray Namibia, Allan Gray Botswana and Allan Gray Swaziland; an executive director of Allan Gray Proprietary Limited; and a trustee of E².
Zodwa Mabuza

Zodwa Mabuza

Trustee
Zodwa is currently the CEO of the Federation of Swaziland Employers and Chamber of Commerce. She earned an MSc degree in International Business from Lancaster University and a BA in Economics and Statistics from the University of Swaziland. She is a non-executive director of Allan Gray Swaziland.

Namibia

Dr Omu Kakujaha-Matundu

Dr Omu Kakujaha-Matundu

Chairman
Dr Omu Kakujaha-Matundu is the deputy dean of Economics and Management Sciences at the University of Namibia and serves as a commissioner to the Namibian Competition Commission. He earned a PhD from the Institute of Social Studies in the Netherlands, an MA from the University of Botswana and a BA from the University of Namibia. He is a non-executive director of Allan Gray Namibia.
Thando Mhlambiso

Thando Mhlambiso

Trustee
Thando leads Allan Gray’s activities outside South Africa. Over the last twenty years he has worked in various capacities in principal investing, investment banking, and corporate law in Southern Africa and the United States. Thando earned a BA in Biology from Brown University, an MBA in Finance from Columbia University Graduate School of Business and a JD (Juris Doctor degree) from Columbia University School of Law. He is a non-executive director of Allan Gray Namibia, Allan Gray Botswana and Allan Gray Swaziland; an executive director of Allan Gray Proprietary Limited; and a trustee of E².
Andrew Theunissen

Andrew Theunissen

Trustee
Andrew is an attorney with the Supreme Court in Namibia. He earned his LLB from Stellenbosch University. He is a trustee of Windhoek Gymnasium Private School and chairman of the board. He is also a trustee of several inter vivos trusts and an active farmer.

Botswana

Ambassador Joseph Legwaila

Ambassador Joseph Legwaila

Chairman
Ambassador Legwaila served as Deputy Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General for Namibia, of the OAU in South Africa and of the UN Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea. Previously he worked for the Botswana presidency as Senior Private Secretary to the President before going to New York as Botswana’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the UN. He obtained a BA and an MA from the University of Alberta in Canada in politics, history and international relations. He is a non-executive director of Allan Gray Botswana.
Thando Mhlambiso

Thando Mhlambiso

Trustee
Thando leads Allan Gray’s activities outside South Africa. Over the last twenty years he has worked in various capacities in principal investing, investment banking and corporate law in Southern Africa and the United States. Thando earned an BA in Biology from Brown University, an MBA in Finance from Columbia University Graduate School of Business and a JD (Juris Doctor degree) from Columbia University School of Law. He is a non-executive director of Allan Gray Namibia, Allan Gray Botswana and Allan Gray Swaziland; an executive director of Allan Gray Proprietary Limited; and a trustee of E².
Goleele Mosinyi

Goleele Mosinyi

Trustee
Goleele worked for PriceWaterhouseCoopers in Johannesburg and Gaborone for seven years before moving on to Fieldstone Capital, doing project finance in New York and Johannesburg. Goleele spent the next four years working on mergers and acquisitions, debt capital markets and ratings advisory for JP Morgan London and Johannesburg. He is currently the Founding Executive Director of Kago Capital, a financial advisory and investing firm, with Brait SA as a significant minority shareholder. He is a non-executive director of Allan Gray Botswana.

Team

Our team shares the mindset and many of the behaviours of entrepreneurs, and this means they can take the vision of cultivating a community of high-impact entrepreneurs and turn it into a daily reality.

If you would like to join our team, please take a look at our career opportunities here.

Partners

Our ecosystem of partners sits at the core of what we offer our Scholars, Candidate Fellows and Fellows. It is the power, reach and support of our ecosystem that enables us to create an environment where entrepreneurial success is possible.

If you would like to become part of our partnership ecosystem, please contact us on info@allangrayorbis.org

Established in South Africa and investing on behalf of clients since 1974, Allan Gray has grown to become Africa’s largest privately owned investment management company.

Allan Gray Proprietary Limited has pledged to donate a minimum of 5% of its pre-tax profits annually and in perpetuity to the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation.

The UCT Graduate School of Business (GSB) in association with the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation established the Centre in Values-based Leadership at the GSB in April 2011. Value Based Leadership focuses on the central role that values, meaning and purpose play in business. The centre is the first of its kind in South Africa, and seeks to raise important sustainability and responsible practice issues to priority status in South Africa and beyond and is committed to exploring new ways of doing business.

Rhodes University has launched the Allan Gray Centre for Leadership Ethics (AGCLE) in 2013. The AGCLE is made possible by a renewable grant by Dr Allan Gray, a Rhodes University alumnus and honorary doctoral graduate, and the founder of the Allan Gray investment company. In creating the AGCLE, Dr Gray and Rhodes University are of one mind: our vital task is to imaginatively investigate and conceptualise what constitutes ethical and responsible leadership, to promote such leadership in diverse contexts and circumstances, and to develop education and training to foster such leadership.

The Circle of Excellence network is a Foundation initiative that celebrates and promotes the development of holistic educational excellence in South Africa. The Circle of Excellence initiative was launched in 2008 to identify and celebrate South Africa’s top secondary schools for their excellence in education and their consistent delivery of successful candidates to the Fellowship. The Circle of Excellence schools also provide the pool from which the placement schools for the Scholarship are chosen.

 enables Allan Gray Fellows and Social Entrepreneurs to build and scale high-impact organisations which will create jobs, attack poverty and contribute to transformation in South Africa.

FAQ's

No. The Foundation is a Public Benefit Organisation (PBO) created via a single primary donation. The Foundation’s funds and initiatives are managed by its respective entities in the countries of South Africa, Namibia, Botswana and Swaziland.

No. The Foundation’s primary focus is on cultivating an association of high-impact entrepreneurs. However, formal education is believed to be a critical element of this journey as it has been proven that individuals who have a tertiary education are more likely to succeed as high-impact entrepreneurs. Therefore, part of our support is to provide access to formal education although this is not our primary purpose.

The Foundation’s purpose is to identify entrepreneurial potential and to nurture and cultivate it through its Scholarship, Fellowship and Associate initiatives. The Scholarship programme was designed to address the lack of access to impactful education for previously disadvantaged individuals in Southern Africa and to prepare them for success in tertiary institutions.

No. The Foundation provides Scholarships and Fellowships. A bursary is generally a purely financial transaction between the bursary holder and the bursary provider. Our Scholarships and Fellowships are designed to develop a relationship with each individual, so our commitment is not purely financial.

The Foundation’s purpose is to cultivate an association of high impact entrepreneurs, which means identifying, selecting and developing individuals who show this potential. Currently, the Foundation’s largest beneficiary group is the youth. However, as our commitment is a lifelong one, our Fellows will grow up, and the nature of our community will change over time with the bulk of our Association becoming people outside of school and tertiary institutions.

No. The Foundation is not an entrepreneurship support vehicle or a venture capital fund. The Foundation identifies, selects and cultivates individuals who have the potential to become high-impact, responsible entrepreneurs.

The term, first coined by an early pioneer in the area of high-impact entrepreneurship. Endeavor, is defined as “individuals with the biggest dreams, the greatest potential to create companies that matter and grow, and the highest likelihood to inspire others.”

To us, it’s all of this and more. A high-impact entrepreneur is an individual capable of creating long-term employment and significant economic upliftment in communities, cities and countries with meaningful job creation.

Careers

We are always looking for inspiring and talented people to work with us to transform the vision of cultivating a community of high impact entrepreneurs into a daily reality.

We aim to work with people whose personal values and vision align with those of the Foundation so that each of us can contribute from a place of significance.

Our culture is embedded in our values, which are:

  • To pursue a spirit of significance – motivated by contributing to the shaping of a powerful legacy
  • To practice stewardship – honour the responsibility of taking care of something belonging to future generations
  • To excel in all activities – excellence is a way of life
  • To take a long-term approach – real change takes time
  • To live an entrepreneurial mindset – innovation requires boldness and daring

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