Fellowship | Allan Gray Orbis Foundation

Apply for the University Fellowship Programme
Open to Grade 12 Learners

Applications open: 1 Feb 2022
Applications close: 13 May 2022, 17:00 SAST

The Fellowship is the next step in your education, and your education is more than just a degree – it’s 360 degrees of entrepreneurial training. It’s the ability to see the complete picture, to use your voice to fill gaps. It’s a directive to do business that’s inclusive, innovative and downright inspirational. Your degree is an open-ended invitation to redesign the world – and it’s got your name on it.

The Fellowship is the next step in your education, and your education is more than just a degree – it’s 360 degrees of entrepreneurial training. It’s the ability to see the complete picture, to use your voice to fill gaps. It’s a directive to do business that’s inclusive, innovative and downright inspirational. Your degree is an open-ended invitation to redesign the world – and it’s got your name on it.

The Aim of Our Fellowship Programme

The aim of our Fellowship Programme is to help university students prepare for life as a high-impact, responsible entrepreneur. Applicants must be in Grade 12 or 1st year university. Once applicants are successful, they are on boarded as Candidate Allan Gray Fellows.

Choosing entrepreneurship as a viable career path

Our Fellowship Programme focuses on cultivating entrepreneurship in Candidate Fellows by ensuring that by the end of the Fellowship Programme they desire to create value through responsible entrepreneurship, see entrepreneurship as a viable career path, are able to take an idea and develop it into a viable opportunity, understand the value proposition of the Foundation and E2, as well as value the culture of community and collaboration. Furthermore, their entrepreneurial mindset development curriculum is disseminated via the AGOF Online Campus.

Deepening the understanding of entrepreneurship

In addition to financial and academic support, each candidate is allocated a Personal Development Officer, helping them get to grips with the transition into a new environment; an Entrepreneurial Leadership Officer, who probes them to flex their entrepreneurial muscles; as well as an industry mentor, who deepens their understanding of entrepreneurial traits and concepts in the working world.

Fellowship Application Requirements & Process

Minimum of 60% in Pure Mathematics OR a minimum of 80% in Mathematical literacy for final grade 11 results
Minimum average of 70% for final Grade 11 results (excluding Life Orientation)
Applicants must be under the age of 21 in the year of their application
South African Citizenship
Intention to study towards a Commerce, Science, Engineering, Law, Humanities, Arts & Health Science (Excluding Medicine, Veterinary Science and Dentistry) degree at the WITS, UJ, UCT, NMU, RU, UWC, SU, UP, UFS and UKZN.
Submit your application form and supporting documentation online or via post before or on 13 May 2022, 17:00 SAST
Successful applicant candidates will be invited for an interview in July 2022
Successful interview candidates will be invited to a selection camp in September 2022
To ensure that we offer you the best possible support and customer service, please ensure that you give yourself enough time to complete the application form before the closing date. We recommend dedicating at least two days to it.
First year university campaign

The 2023 first-year university campaign is closed for public applications. Each university will have the opportunity to nominate entrepreneurially minded first-year students who meet the Foundation first requirements listed below to apply.

Must currently be in their 1st year of study (extended degree programmes welcome)
Currently studying toward a degree in the following faculties:
  • Arts
  • Humanities
  • Law
  • Science
  • Commerce
  • Engineering
  • Health Science (excluding Medicine, Dentistry and Veterinary Sciences)
Currently enrolled at the following institutions:          
  • WITS University
  • UP
  • UJ
  • UFS
  • UKZN
  • NMU
  • Rhodes
  • TSiBA
  • UWC
  • Stellenbosch University
  • UCT
Must have an academic average of 65% after the first semester of 2022
Turning no older than 22 years in 2022

Our 11 Partner Universities:

Rhodes University
Nelson Mandela University
University of Johannesburg
University of Pretoria
University of the Witwatersrand                    
University of KwaZulu-Natal                    
University of Cape Town
University of the Western Cape                    
Stellenbosch University
University of the Free State                    

Do you have big plans for the future?

Do you dream of ideas that could better the world?

If you think you have what it takes to be a future boss entrepreneur, apply to join our Fellowship Programme and become one of the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation’s community of current and future entrepreneurs.

Grade 12 Applications Closed.



It’s so easy to just give someone money but the Foundation really invests in your pathway as an individual, it makes you realise what you are truly passionate about, and it also provides you with mentors who force you to think outside of your comfort zone.

– Bongani Ndlovu, Allan Gray Orbis Foundation Fellow, 2015

What the Fellowship covers

Applicants with a combined annual household income of R1 million and below will receive full funding (university accommodation meals, textbooks & tutoring allowance, and a monthly stipend)
Applicants with a combined household income above R1 million will receive needs-based funding
Potential funding will be communicated at interview stage
Speakers and seminars                                         
Experiential exercises                     
Access to business incubation                                         
Access to business/venture funding via E Squared, an Allan Gray Orbis Foundation sister entity (available to students on IVC programme and graduates depending on business idea viability)                                         
Personal Leadership Officer (mentorship)
Industry mentor
Like-minded community
Tertiary qualification
Responsible thinking and entrepreneurial mindset
Well-rounded individual
Community-orientated learning

Ideation, Validation and Creation

As a means of encouraging ideation, the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation has developed a carefully refined internal Ideation Accelerator, known as the IVC programme (Ideation, Validation and Creation). The IVC programme is open to any Programme Participants who might have a business idea which they would like to pursue. The programme allows for exploration of an idea through curriculum, business coaching and market testing and has seen a lot of success.

The Ideation process is designed for Candidate Fellows and Fellows who are yet to discover a problem or potential solution but would like to actively embark on an intentional journey through entrepreneurship and the IVC Programme. The aim of the Ideation process is for programme participants to learn about the key processes, tools and mindset required to spot opportunities and develop solutions to these problems.
The Creation Process for Candidate Fellows and Fellows who have validated their business idea, have found product-market fit and are post-revenue. The aim of the Creation process is to get the programme participants ready for funding or acceleration.
The Validation Process is for Candidate Fellows and Fellows who have identified a problem they wish to solve. A business is only created once there is proof that the idea solves a real customer problem and creates value for those customers. The aim of the Validation process is for programme participants to make sure their ideas are desirable, viable and feasible.


General Questions

The Foundation operates in countries where Allan Gray Limited is represented and, therefore, offers the Fellowship to citizens of South Africa, Namibia, Botswana and Swaziland.

Yes. As long as you are 21 years or younger if you are a matriculant, or 22 years and younger if you are applying as a first-year university student.

We do not provide funding as all our resources are directed into the Scholarship, Fellowship and Association programmes.

We do not provide donations as all our resources are directed into the Scholarship, Fellowship and Association programmes.

The Allan Gray Orbis Foundation invests in individuals who display entrepreneurial potential. The Scholarship and Fellowship programmes aim to cultivate (grow) that potential further. We believe that an entrepreneurial mindset can benefit an employee and a business owner. So the question should rather be, do you want to make a difference?

No. Selection is based on the region’s demographics, which means that all races are welcome to apply.

We award up to 100 Fellowships every year.

No. You will not have to work for either organisation upon completing your studies. There are no post-study contractual obligations.

Yes. In addition to the mandatory requirements we consider the following:

  • Have you played any leadership roles at school or university as either a prefect, member of the SRC, or sports team captain?
  • Have you attained any formal school or university awards within the Academics, Cultural or Service fields?
  • In the last three years, have you created an original product or service, developed it and possibly sold it (preferably NOT including any school market days you may have participated in)?
  • Have you initiated an activity or project that has made an impact in your school, university, community or environment?
  • Have you recently worked in any environment to generate your own money?
  • Do you participate in any sporting activities at school, university or outside this environment?
  • Do you participate in any cultural activities at school, university or outside this environment?
  • Do you display an ability to manage your emotions effectively?
  • Are you aware of the emotions of those around you and do you react appropriately?
  • Do you display an ability to be flexible and adaptable to change?
  • Are you able to describe an occasion or occasions where you have been able to achieve success despite difficulty?
  • Do you consistently demonstrate perseverance, tenacity and goal-oriented behaviour?

Grade 12 Questions

Yes. We don’t require you to work for our associated companies or us, and so we are not in competition with any other institutions as far as the Fellowship is concerned.

But, it’s possible that your current bursary might have restrictions so please follow up with your existing donor.

Yes. There are compulsory activities and events that form part of the Entrepreneurial and Personal Development Programme.

Yes. Each Candidate Fellow is evaluated annually based on academic performance as well as performance and participation in the Entrepreneurial and Personal Development Programmes.

First Year Questions

Yes. Please note that we will evaluate you based on the noticeable development and improvement that has taken place in your life since your previous application, both from an entrepreneurial and academic perspective. You will also be required to complete a new application form reflecting these developments.

Unfortunately not. The opportunity is only available to first year students.

The Fellowship is only available to first-year students at the University of the Witwatersrand (WITS), the University of Johannesburg (UJ), the University of Pretoria (UP), the University of Cape Town (UCT), Stellenbosch University (SU), the University of the Western Cape (UWC), the Nelson Mandela University (NMU), University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), Rhodes University (RU), TSiBA and the University of the Free State (UFS).

Due to the nature of the Entrepreneurial and Personal Development Programme, we are only able to offer opportunities to those at universities closest to our infrastructure hubs.

No. You need to have a minimum of a 65% average in your mid-year exams to be eligible to apply.

Yes. Please note that you will be assessed on your current degree stream performance and evaluated on your June exam results. We will also consider your Grade 12 results.

Questions from Teachers

The Allan Gray Orbis Foundation’s application form can be quite daunting for students who are not familiar with such forms. Familiarise yourself with the selection criteria to provide some insight to the students during completion of the application form. You could also provide your learners with the Educator’s Reference, which is part of the application form.

The Circle of Excellence membership is awarded to those schools that have provided the highest number of successful applicants to the Allan Gray Fellowship. The more successful applicants who become Allan Gray Fellows from your school, the higher your chances of becoming a member of the Circle of Excellence.

At this stage the Foundation does not get involved in curriculum development at the school level, but we are aware of other organisations who might be able to assist. Contact us on info@allangrayorbis.org for more information.

Unfortunately not. Academic excellence is one of the key criteria for success in our programmes.

So you’ve seen it. You’ve seen a future where entrepreneurship changes the world. You’ve seen long-term equality and prosperity spread like wildfire through your community, your country and your world. You’ve seen it because it started with you.

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