Circle Of Excellence Conference: Game On! | By Zimkhitha Peter | Allan Gray Orbis Foundation
Circle Of Excellence Conference: Game On! | By Zimkhitha Peter

Circle Of Excellence Conference: Game On! | By Zimkhitha Peter

In March this year, as the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation we hosted our Circle of Excellence (COE) conference.

It’s worth mentioning that this year’s conference was held just before South Africa hosted the Global Entrepreneurship Congress www.gec2017  which was hosted for the first time in the African Continent.

In this post, I will share one of this year’s conference takeaways and an exciting initiative that the Foundation is launching this year,  aimed at cultivating an entrepreneurial mindset in youth through game-based learning and gamification.

Hopefully by now we all agree that, firstly, entrepreneurship is not just about starting business but about releasing human potential and in that sense, everyone can be entrepreneurial. Entrepreneurialism is needed in all walks of life, in education, politics, sciences and the private sector.

Secondly, entrepreneurship can be taught, but how it is taught is key. You can’t teach someone to be an entrepreneur from a textbook or a lecture. Entrepreneurship requires practice. In the world of entrepreneurship education, game-based learning and gamification are an effective way of teaching entrepreneurship. Play has always been an effective way of learning. The practice of play is about developing a free and imaginative mind, allowing one to see a wealth of possibilities, a wealth of opportunities and a pathway to more innovative ways of being entrepreneurial (Neck et al).

Identifying opportunities and developing and implementing ideas are key competencies for successfully meeting the challenges of today’s world. “Learning from challenges” offers students an opportunity to experience the effectiveness of their actions. Today’s students are tomorrow’s employees and entrepreneurs. Through their education we can foster their skills and abilities and strengthen their values (

There are two specific entrepreneurship games that I would like to share with you

  1. Youthstart Entrepreneurial Challenge

One of the COE conference speakers, Johannes Lindner, the founder and lead expert of the “YouthStart Entrepreneurial Challenges” Programme (, developed the “Youth Start Entrepreneurial Challenges based on the reference framework for Entrepreneurship Competencies and the TRIO Model for Entrepreneurship Education.

Lindner_Entrepreneurship Excellence

The Trio Model for entrepreneurship

The Trio Model is a holistic teaching system that encompasses three segments: “Core Entrepreneurial Education” comprises basic qualifications for entrepreneurial thinking and acting, more precisely the competence to develop and implement ideas. “Entrepreneurial Culture” refers to the promotion of personal competences in a social context. We speak of a culture of open-mindedness, empathy, teamwork and creativity as well as risk-taking and awareness of risks. “Entrepreneurial Civic Education” aims at enhancing social competencies and empowering students in their role as citizens. After all, democratic thinking and self-reflection help young people express their opinions and assume responsibility for themselves, others and the environment.

Youth entrepreneurship challenge is available online

Lindner_Entrepreneurship Excellence

  1. Our new initiative: Foundation’s entrepreneurship Olympiad

In September, the Foundation in partnership with the Cape Town chapter of Singularity University will host the first ever entrepreneurship Olympiad (Schools Impact Challenge). Blue Helix, the Foundation’s entrepreneurship game, exposes learners to a set of entrepreneurial challenges that are aimed at cultivating an entrepreneurial mindset.

How it works 

Students log onto the platform via any smart device (phone/tablet/laptop/…) and access a series of action-oriented challenges. These challenges introduce the mindsets and then task students with applying them in a variety of real-world scenarios.

The challenge submissions (text and/or pictures) are peer-reviewed (with moderation) and points are earned, based on the rating received. Points earned place students on a student leader board and count towards the class points for the class leader board.

Why it works

  • Students enjoy competing on the leader boards.
  • Students enjoy the real-world application of what they’re learning.
  • Available on-demand on mobile, in bite-sized increments, with near instant gratification.
  • The peer review spreads good ideas and provides different perspectives on the same challenges students have tackled themselves.
  • The challenges are designed to target the most critical element of any behaviour change – the core underlying beliefs/world-views/self-concept!

Low demand on teacher time

  • Requires a minimum of just 10 minutes of class time per week. (For a quick check in)
  • Minimum of just 20 minutes of moderation per week. (Accessible on-demand on any smart device)


Watch this space for the 2017 entrepreneurship Olympiad!!!



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