As part of their development, Allan Gray Scholars are given practical tasks to help them develop an entrepreneurial mindset. The Grade 9 Scholars were tasked with two challenges upon leaving their Grade 9 camp this year. Their first task was to meet and interview an entrepreneur and then present their findings to other Scholars. The second task was to think of how they can generate profit by investing R50 of their own pocket money into a product or service.
The Scholars were very courageous in contacting and connecting with entrepreneurs; this can be quite daunting for a 15 year old. The majority of Scholars were impacted by the entrepreneurs’ friendliness and willingness to meet them and share their experiences. The aim was for them to understand how their tertiary education and career path could lead to their entrepreneurial success. One of our Cape Town Scholars, Quartal-Ain, met with an investment consultant who started his own investment company. The investment consultant’s passion led to Quartel now considering academic choices towards the investment field. Another Scholar, Laaiqah, interviewed the CEO of Vital. She was amazed at the history of the business and inspired by the values that govern the organisation, which has made her consider her own personal values and the role they play in her future career choice.
The second challenge for Scholars has thus far produced several initiatives. Some of the Gauteng Scholars have been creative, such as Rahul who has written two online books and Deane who started offering pony rides at the local market on Saturdays. Deane’s creativity was driven by not being allowed to sell products on the school premises; he is, however, having trouble with the pony since it becomes grumpy and bites at times!
It has been incredible to see how Scholars are willing to take initiative and even a bit of risk. They have learnt that creating opportunity and trying out their ideas, more than often than not, works in their favour. It also builds confidence in them as a person, as they begin to recognise their skills and see the value of translating their ideas into something that benefits a customer.