Foundation News | Allan Gray Orbis Foundation
Apply for the High School Scholarship Programme

Apply for the High School Scholarship Programme

Open to Gr 6 learners


The Allan Gray Orbis Foundation offers entrepreneurial development and quality education from one of South Africa’s top achieving partner high schools to students who are in financial need, display entrepreneurial potential, and have the ability to excel academically.


Scholarship Application Requirements

  • Applicant must be a current grade 6 learner in year of application
  • Applicant must be a South African citizen
  • Candidates must not be older than 12 years of age and not younger than 11 years of age in grade 6
  • Applicant must demonstrate financial need
  • Applicant must obtain a minimum of 70% for English and Mathematics
  • Application must obtain a Minimum overall average of 70%


The applicant must demonstrate the following entrepreneurial characteristics:

  • Growth Mindset – the belief that one’s intelligence can be developed
  • Self-Efficacy – self-belief to achieve goals
  • Leadership – to positively lead and influence others
  • Opportunity Identification – ability to identify opportunities of value
  • Curiosity – ability to explore and discover new information
  • Problem Solving – the ability to creatively solve problems


How to Apply

To apply, please go to



Applications are open until 30 September 2022.

Gr12 University Fellowship Programme Applications Extended!

Gr12 University Fellowship Programme Applications Extended!


If you have not submitted your Gr12 University Fellowship Programme application yet, there is still time to #MakeYourMove.


The closing date for the Gr12 University Fellowship Programme has been extended to the 13th of May in light of the National State of disaster that was issued in the Eastern Cape and Kwa-Zulu Natal due to the floods.


The extension will be availed to all grade 12 learners across the country to afford all ambitious Gr12 learners the chance to still apply for the entrepreneurial opportunity of a lifetime by 13 May, 17:00 SAST.


Follow the link to apply or download the application form:


Low on data? Access our data-free site to submit your application form (please note that your experience will be different to that of the normal application site):


You can also chat with us on WhatsApp to apply! Here’s our number: +27 72 137 0238.


2019 Impact Report

2019 Impact Report

Impact measurement avows the positive effect that the Foundation has on the South African entrepreneurial ecosystem and it ensures that the social goals, defined intentions and performance delivered is aligned with the Foundation’s mission to foster a community of high-impact, responsible entrepreneurs. Impact management governs impact investing and
establishes the measurement approach and strategy to generate, capture and use the correct data.

Allan Gray’s vision of making a sustainable, long-term contribution to Southern Africa is upheld by impact management and impact measurement and embattles the need to raise up the kind of high-impact entrepreneurs that will make wide-reaching and significant economic and social impacts on a country.

This report serves several important purposes and guides the Foundation in strategic decision making, overcoming the challenges of time, cost and capacity, and planning activities for the following year whilst also providing an accurate justification for each decision made. Through this, we have identified opportunities and found ways to mitigate problems and to further strengthen proven successes and see Allan Gray’s vision through. The key changes in the context of the South African entrepreneurial ecosystem, the experiences of Programme Participants and an operational overview of the Foundation is encapsulated in the 2019 Allan Gray Orbis Foundation Impact Report.

Find it here.


Allan Gray Orbis Foundation Fellows dominate award categories at the USAF Entrepreneurship InterVarsity Final

Allan Gray Orbis Foundation Fellows dominate award categories at the USAF Entrepreneurship InterVarsity Final


The Allan Gray Orbis Foundation enjoyed a strong presence at the Entrepreneurship Development in Higher Education (EDHE), a division of Universities South Africa (USAf), Entrepreneurship InterVarsity Finals, with Candidate Fellows scooping awards in each of the competition’s four categories.

The Entrepreneurship InterVarsity Final took place on the 19th September. The initiative represents a collaboration between the Department of Higher Education and Training and Universities of South Africa through the Entrepreneurship Development in Higher Education Programme, and is supported by The Allan Gray Orbis Foundation , the SAB Foundation and Seda. The inaugural event aimed to identify, recognise and support entrepreneurship at student level, thereby encouraging studentpreneurs to take the next step towards entrepreneurial success. Each of South Africa’s 26 public universities took part in the challenge, with 1 155 valid entries received.

Candidate Fellow Mvelo Hlope of the University of Cape Town was named Studentpreneur of the Year, winning R50 000. Hlope also won the award for Best Existing Social Impact Business. The Allan Gray Orbis Foundation Candidate Fellows further dominated the Innovative Business Idea category, which was won by Penang Shirindza of Rhodes University, while Denislav Marinov, also from UCT, was named winner of the Existing Tech Business award. Musa Maluleka from Wits University won the Existing General Business category. Each of these category winners took home R10 000 in prize money.

“We are extremely proud of our winners,” says Nontando Mthethwa, Allan Gray Orbis Foundation Head of Public Affairs and Communication. “Obviously, winning these awards is a significant achievement in its own right, and an acknowledgement of the excellence that we believe is characteristic of our Candidate Fellows. From the Foundation’s point of view, the Candidate Fellows’ outstanding performance is an endorsement of our programme and proves the effectiveness and efficacy of our approach.”

Hlope’s win reflects the innovativeness of his gamified online platform ZAIO, which enhances problem solving skills and improves users’ employability by providing free access to training in software development and coding. This business idea speaks directly to AGOF’s goal of developing high impact entrepreneurs who have the potential to address social challenges while contributing to employment and job creation. Shirindza’s company is a digital advertising company called Urban Play, while Marinov’s DVM Designs produces 3D printing machines for use in industry. Maluleka won for his design of Disktjie, a soccer boot boasting innovative features, purpose built for the South African environment.

“It is an enormous privilege to be able to contribute to the development of South Africa’s economy by fostering tomorrow’s entrepreneurs. We are greatly encouraged by the success of the participants in the EDHE Entrepreneurship InterVarsity Finals, and look forward to seeing how our winning Candidate Fellows continue to shape the business space going forward. We’re also looking forward to playing a role in nurturing more winners. Watch this space!” Nontando Mthethwa concludes.

Imagination is the new currency 

Imagination is the new currency 

Screen Shot 2016-07-12 at 8.55.40 AMA sophisticated pill bottle that harnesses the internet of things by glowing when medication is required; a gaming concept that customises the game to the beat of the song that you choose; a unit to process sewerage in a way that harvests methane, water, biomass and nutrition for growing food; public sleep cubicles that address the rampant levels of sleep deprivation affecting society; n unsnoozable ankle alarm bracelet that only turns off once sensing consistent foot movement; subsidising coffee on campus to establish a new advertising platform on the cups themselves, and so the ideas keep rolling in.

These examples are a small sample of the over 4,000 ideas from the last few years that have been submitted by Candidate Allan Gray Fellows at university as part of the Allan Gray Fellowship. These ideas, known as ignitions, are part of a holistic intervention to instil what we call intellectual imagination in these individuals – an ability to see the unseen, challenge the status quo and suggest that things could be done differently.

And this imagination has power as these somewhat wild, sometimes almost ridiculous ideas have planted the seeds of future impact. For these ideas represent the first steps in a long-term process that has so far led to a current portfolio of Allan Gray Fellow businesses valued around R600 million.

But despite these numbers, in the pursuit of developing entrepreneurial capacity there is often the question – why start in the realm of the imagination? Why start with the mind? Surely this is not tangible enough, lacking the practical application of actually getting things done.

In fact at the Foundation in our first few years we fell for the logic of the same argument and initially developed an approach that focused heavily on entrepreneurial action – on training for practical application.  In doing this we lost the opportunity to catalyse people into greater entrepreneurial mindset first. For in truth once the thinking is right, once the imagination has been sparked, all the other elements of practice are pursued with significantly more passion and commitment.  There is certainly time for the learning and perfecting of practical application but this application is limited if it hasn’t been preceded by a full exploration of the possibilities of imagination.

In time we found support for this approach for getting the thinking right first, from one of the world’s most respected enterprise developers in Y Combinator founder Paul Graham. He explains to prospective entrepreneurs at university, the doing part of entrepreneurship is the easy part. “What you should be spending your time on in college is ratcheting yourself into the future. What a waste to sacrifice an opportunity to solve the hard part of starting a startup—becoming the sort of person who can have organic startup ideas—by spending time learning about the easy part [the doing].”

New York Times columnist, Thomas Friedman takes it even further when suggesting the future will be most decisively categorised by dividing countries, not by high and low growth, but into high imagination enabling countries and low imagination countries with the latter failing to develop their people’s creative capacities and abilities to spark new ideas and industries.

Even mainstream education has recognised the central importance of imagination when at the beginning of this century ‘Evaluate’ was replaced by ‘Create’ (including the sub action of imagine) at the pinnacle of the hierarchy of Bloom’s Taxonomy for learning objectives within education.

We have all become increasingly aware of the opportunity that exists in our moment in history where we can start to harness the exponential technologies to address some of the greatest challenges of our era.  Where it is no longer naïve to believe that a single initiative might touch over a billion lives. We really are only limited by our own imagination. Let us therefore not be limited in that imagination!


Important links: Cannabis Oil South Africa Cannabis Oil for Sale South Africa Medical Cannabis South AfricaEvery type of cannabis oil can have fantastic healing properties. It needs to be a good quality medical cannabis oil. Which is available for sale here.

Selecting for Entrepreneurial Success – an insight into the Foundation’s selection process

Selecting for Entrepreneurial Success – an insight into the Foundation’s selection process


2012 Fellowship Selection Camp
2012 Fellowship Selection Camp

In 2012, the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation initiated a process to formalise its selection processes for Scholarship Selection at Grade 6 (Allan Gray Scholars) and Fellowship Selection at Grade 12 and first year university (Candidate Allan Gray Fellows). This led to the creation of so called “Success Profiles” that captured the selection requirements at each stage of the Foundation entrepreneurial development pipeline, culminating in the development of a Success Profile or Profiles of a High Impact Responsible Entrepreneur as described by the Foundation.

“A principled individual who creates and / or personally owns all or part of an enterprise that offers a product, service or business model that is highly innovative, differentiated, and scalable which results in adding substantial economic value through offering the public great value for money and in doing so, results in the creation of meaningful jobs, profitable enterprise and stakeholder value.”

The Success Profile methodology provides a framework through which an applicant can be considered from a holistic perspective. Taking a holistic approach to assessing an individual is the best means of predicting future performance

The Success Profiles developed and created by the Foundation capture the combination of knowledge, experience, competencies, performance standards, personal attributes and measures for potential that describe the targeted and articulated set of expectations for Scholars, Candidate Fellows and Fellows. This will enable the Foundation to align its selection and development programmes.

Success Profile Objectives

The Success Profile methodology has three main objectives: 1) To develop and validate a beneficiary Success profile and validate the Foundation’s beneficiary success benchmarks at Scholars, Candidate Fellows and Fellows, 2) To align the Selection benchmarks of the targeted beneficiaries to the expected future performance and 3) To review the current beneficiary development programme and its implementation in relation to the Selection benchmarks and Success Profiles.

Success Profile Methodology

The Success Profile Methodology is supported by research which shows that taking a holistic approach to assessing an individual is the best means of predicting future performance. Traditionally, organisations mainly focus on competencies, experience and technical skills when selecting for specific roles and do not include areas such as values, interests, personality and emotional maturity. Taking this holistic approach to assessing an individual is therefore a much more valid and reliable method of predicting future performance.

Screen Shot 2016-05-23 at 4.01.45 PM

The specific methodology followed in reviewing and refining the criteria specified for each dimension of the Success Profile can be summarised as follows:

  1. Start with the end in Mind. Clearly define the Success Profile for a High Impact Entrepreneur
  2. Separate long term performance drivers from short term performance drivers.Short term performance was defined as successful completion of the programme and long term realising the vision of High Impact Entrepreneurship.
  3. Separate trainable and non-trainable components

In applying the approach as described above, it was imperative to the success of the overall programme to clearly define the profile of a High Impact Entrepreneur as it becomes impossible to identify markers for long term performance without a profile to which it is linked.

Since adopting the Success profile Methodology in 2012, a number of changes and refinements have been implemented across the Foundation’s three primary programmes, such as the refinement of the application form scoring criteria, the development of parallel assessment activities across selection phases, and incorporation of new psychometric tests for measurement.

All this work has resulted in the Foundation having the following seven Success profiles:

  1. Scholarship Selection at Grade 6,
  2. Candidate Fellows Selection at Grade 12 and 1st Year University,
  3. Acceptance into the Fellowship at Admissions into the Association,
  4. High Impact Entrepreneur profile 1 – Conceptualisation of Ideas,
  5. High Impact Entrepreneur profile 2 – Securing Capital and entering the market through a start-up,
  6. High Impact Entrepreneur profile 3 – Managing the stress of Organisational Growth, and
  7. High Impact Entrepreneur profile 4 – The Conductor / Architect who can orchestrate profile 1 to 3.

This has certainly set a solid foundation in terms of Success Profile methodology, however, this approach requires continual refinement and improvement in order for the Foundation to remain cutting edge. Future projects involving the Success Profile Methodology includes a review and critical analysis of all the Success Profiles adopted, reviewing the comprehensiveness of the three programmatic Success Profiles against the desired outcomes specified for both short term and long term performance, reviewing the degree of alignment between the three programmatic Success Profiles, ensuring that all criteria specified meets best practice guidelines and finally to ensure that all criteria specified is research based.

By Carl Herman

Screen Shot 2016-05-23 at 4.36.55 PM

A tale of (an Orientation event in) two cities

A tale of (an Orientation event in) two cities

Screen Shot 2016-03-01 at 9.03.03 AMOn 13 February and 20 February 2016, our Candidate Fellows attended Orientation events in Johannesburg and Cape Town – at the Sci Bono Discovery Centre and Belmont Square respectively.

The purpose of Orientation is to admit new Candidate Fellows into the Fellowship Programme and provide a formal induction into the Programme and its activities. Orientation also provides new Candidate Fellows with an opportunity to maximise their Fellowship and university experience.

A natural transition from our selection processes, the Foundation has hosted 11 Orientation events since 2006. After application forms are assessed and shortlisted candidates interviewed, applicants then attend Selection Camp, after which, successful applicants are telephonically informed that they have been accepted onto the programme. At Orientation, these students are formally awarded the Fellowship and receive certificates.

We asked our Personal Leadership Programme Officers, Jehan Chikte (abbreviated JC and  representing the Mother City) and Chris Maiketso (abbreviated CM and representing the City of Gold) to share their insights about Orientation.

1.How many Candidate Fellows are the Fellowship Programme in 2016?

CM – 100 for the Gauteng region

JC – 164 for the Western Cape region

2.  How does the Orientation enhance Candidate Fellows’ experiences in (or about) the Foundation?

JC – Orientation allows Candidate Fellows to interact with one another and build community at a regional level. In addition, the event provides an opportunity for Candidate Fellows to interact with Foundation Talent and exposes them to the different functional areas of the Foundation. A special awards ceremony is also held to acknowledge Candidate Fellows who have excelled beyond the mandatory requirements of the programme by making the most of the iShift Cognician and Ignitions programmes.

3. What made the 2016 Orientation unique?

CM – Being part of the Fellowship programme is a once in a lifetime opportunity for new Candidate Fellows. A fun-filled Orientation programme, with stimulating information sessions, gives them an opportunity to create memorable experiences with their peers.

JC – A refined curriculum was introduced that aligned the different programmes to the common goal of developing and enhancing the Candidate Fellow’s entrepreneurial mind-set. 2016 saw the largest cohort of Candidate Fellows since the inception of the Foundation. This year also saw the introduction of the Foundation’s new Social Media Policy as well as a refined Disciplinary Policy.

4. Give us a taste of what Candidate Fellows can expect from the new curriculum

JC – The new curriculum is better-aligned to the Learning Outcomes and Success Profile developed by the Foundation.

CM – Candidate Fellows can expect an improved curriculum which will further reinforce their personal leadership skills and entrepreneurial mindsets.

5. Why the inclusion of a session on diversity and social media policy at this year’s Orientation?

CM – Young people are really active on social media and are part of a diverse community. The inclusion of the diversity and social media session was to sensitise our Candidate Fellows on the sensible and responsible use of various online communication platforms.

JC – The Foundation encourages Candidate Fellows to be more aware of the impact of what they share and associate themselves with on social media as well as make them aware that they are affiliated to, and are ambassadors of, the Foundation therefore what they share could have implications on the Foundation too.


6. What is the significance of the venue?




Belmont Square is the perfect fit in terms of what we need and what they offer as a conference centre for the number of Candidate Fellows in attendance. The venue is modern, fresh and close to UCT, where our largest Western Cape cohort studies, so it makes it easier to travel.





Education is the cornerstone of the Foundation’s activities and the Sci-Bono Discovery Centre is Southern Africa’s largest Science centre, affiliated to the Gauteng Department of Education to support STEM education and to help build South Africa’s STEM capacity. The venue is also easily-accessible for our Wits and UJ students.






Social or commercial entrepreneurship?  …that is question…or is it?

Social or commercial entrepreneurship? …that is question…or is it?

Through various interactions with people and programmes in both the commercial and social entrepreneurship arenas in South Africa, I’ve often wondered why a distinction is still made between the two types. This is mainly because most social enterprises are expected to have viable and sustainable income generation sources to fund their social initiatives with minimal dependency on grants and donations; whilst there is, an equal and opposite expectation that viable, commercial enterprises will demonstrate their commitment to social development through business practices that honour the Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) codes and the optimisation of the triple bottom line.

The amended BBBEE Codes of Good Practice were issued by Dr Rob Davies, Minister of Trade and Industry in April 2015 and came into operation in May last year. In particular, the annual value of enterprise development contributions (which, for the purposes of convenience for this post, we’ll deem contributions by established and profitable companies to start-ups) is 1% of the Net Profit After Tax (NPAT) of the former companies. Similarly, the annual value of all socio-economic development contributions by these companies is also 1% of NPAT to social initiatives.

Whether 1% of NPAT is an adequate private sector contribution for both enterprise and socio-economic development has been the subject of many spirited debates which won’t be contributed to in this post.

So, assuming that the aggregated 1% NPAT of all qualifying commercial enterprises to social development, is a comparable proxy for the financial sustainability of social enterprises then why is entrepreneurship still preceded by the qualifiers “commercial” and “social”? Abridged from the Houston Chronicle I found the following four main reasons:


Criterion Commercial Entrepreneurship Social Entrepreneurship
Initial investment sources Venture capitalists who invest on the basis of the company’s leadership team and the managers and staff that support it Philanthropists who gauge the viability of a project based on the individual at the helm
Perceptions of value Value lies in the profit the entrepreneur and investors expect to reap as the product establishes itself in a market that can afford to purchase it Value lies in broader social benefit to a community or the transformation of a community that lacks the resources to fulfil its own needs.
Profitability measures and company structures Always structured to make profits that benefit stakeholders such as shareholders or private investors Activities often structured under charitable trusts and non-profit organisations
Approach to wealth creation The business’ success is gauged by market cap size and how much wealth it creates – for the most part wealth creation is an end in and of itself Wealth creation is necessary, but not for its own sake. Wealth is rather a tool to effect social change and the degree to which minds are changed, suffering is alleviated or injustice is reversed represents the business’ success.

GIBS, which offers the Social Entrepreneurship Programme, reports that social enterprises in South Africa are often registered as both for and not for profit companies meaning that they can access both donations / grants and commercial funding. Surprisingly, GIBS has found that the consequence of this approach is not a shift away from the mission of the organisation, but instead a focus on it.

“[Social entrepreneurship] is a blend of for and not-for-profit approaches, which balances the value and trust of social organisations with the efficiencies and profit motive of business. Within this is a conflict that challenges our cultural interpretation of charity – to make money out of social services is interpreted as inherently wrong and counter-intuitive to the mission-focus of civil society.”

civil societyIn recognising the unique position of entrepreneurship in South Africa continued, innovative responses around both the challenges and opportunities faced by social entrepreneurs in South Africa are not only encouraging but have the potential to render the commercial vs social entrepreneurship question irrelevant.

Applications for Singularity University South Africa’s Global Impact Competition close on 15 March 2016 so don’t delay- apply today! The purpose of this competition is to foster successful start-ups that will positively impact a billion people in the next 10 years.

The 2016 SEED Awards are open for start-ups that integrate social and environmental benefits to solve pressing local issues. Entries close on 21 March 2016.

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.



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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