Blog | Allan Gray Orbis Foundation

Education never stops. Constantly evolving, progressing and growing – going toe to toe with the future means changing your moves.

It means studying the moves of others and reading between the lines. It’s about learning from wins and losses, whether they’re your own or not. Resources can be found anywhere when you look from the right perspective. So stand on the shoulders of giants, see what they see, read what they blog and learn to make the right moves.

Education never stops. Constantly evolving, progressing and growing – going toe to toe with the future means changing your moves.

It means studying the moves of others and reading between the lines. It’s about learning from wins and losses, whether they’re your own or not. Resources can be found anywhere when you look from the right perspective. So stand on the shoulders of giants, see what they see, read what they blog and learn to make the right moves.

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Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Learning Lab: Coaching and Mentoring

The Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Learning Lab recently hosted a panel discussion around coaching and mentoring, aiming to help players in this space discuss challenges and share ideas. This topic is especially pertinent at the moment because the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation…

Entrafluence

Just a few years ago, no one had heard the word ‘influencer’. Now, a plethora of articles pop up on your screen if you google the term; anything from to become an influencer to how to harness the power of…

Responsible Business

Henry Ford once said that “a business that makes nothing but money is a poor business.” With environmental and social conditions encouraging consumers to look more closely at the businesses they choose to support, this statement has never held more…

Entrepreneurship pathway opens for Grade 12 change agents

February 2021: In an uncertain world, it is evident that developing an entrepreneurial mindset and skillset is pivotal. This is an opportunity for Grade 12 learners who dream of ideas that could better the world; and the individuals who aspire…

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,…

What makes an Entrepreneur: 14 Behavioural Competencies

From the time the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation was established in 2005, our aim has been simple: to nurture high impact, responsible entrepreneurs. However, it’s one thing to implement a programme with a clear objective, and quite another to prove…

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 State of Entrepreneurship in South Africa

Entrepreneurs are always going to face challenges. That much is a given. But what about entrepreneurship itself? Are we, the stakeholders who are trying to create fertile ground for individuals who choose this route, destinated to have a similar struggle?…

Greater rigour, greater impact

The Allan Gray Orbis Foundation is looking forward to a new era, integrating assessment processes and development processes for greater impact and enhancing the predictive value of tools. When the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation was founded in 2005, it was…

Inside the mind of an entrepreneur

What are the dimensions that drive entrepreneurship? And how many of these traits are present in the general population? The ongoing search for answers to these questions raises a new one: Is it possible to develop a single set of…

A study of entrepreneurial mindset: its origins and how best to measure it

A key feature of the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation’s entrepreneurial development programmes is the cultivation of an entrepreneurial mindset. They have this in common with many other leading entrepreneurial programmes whose focus has turned from content knowledge about entrepreneurship to…

Entrepreneurial Mindset Research

We are pleased to share news of the exciting entrepreneurial mindset research work the Foundation has been involved in over the past 12 months and encourage readers to look out for upcoming thought provoking posts around our findings. The Foundation…

Fellowship opportunity for the curious

Do you go against, behind and in front of the grain? Are you streetwise running anti-clockwise? Do you see the unseen? Do you dream the undreamed? Are you what the world needs? This is a call to you, future entrepreneurs.…

Innovation Growth Lab 2017 Annual Conference | By Teri Richter

Working in a robot economy, evidence based innovation and overcoming policy barrier in entrepreneurship On the 13th and 14th June 2017, the Annual Innovation Growth Lab conference was held in Barcelona Spain hosted by Nesta in partnership with the Ewing…

Teaching reading for meaning: The Funda Wande project | By Dr Nic Spaull

Overview: South Africa is virtually unique among upper-middle-income countries in that most of our children (58%) do not learn to read for meaning in the first three years of school[1]. Without this core skill, they fall further and further behind…

An entrepreneurial awakening

More often than not entrepreneurship is something you can feel in your bones. It’s something that is modelled to you by parents or other family members or it’s often a desire, present from a young age, to be independent, to…

Entrepreneurship: The key to financial stability for youth | By: Lethabo Tloubata

In 2017, unemployment rates in South Africa are reported at an all-time high, which, coupled with the start of a recession, makes the prospects for young people making a successful living seem impossible. Although corporate South Africa is doing its…

The role of education in the Entrepreneurial Journey | By Teri Richter

Education and the pursuit of academic excellence are at the core of the Foundations entrepreneurial journey. The Foundation believes that a strong founding and exemplary performance in academics and secondary and tertiary education form the building blocks of the journey…

10 Entrepreneurial readings recommended by our Fellows

What websites should entrepreneurs read for inspiration? We asked our Allan Gray Fellows what their daily entrepreneurial reading consisted of for inspiration, knowledge and growth. The top 10 entrepreneurial readings in no particular order are as follows: Standford e-Corners: A…

Going beyond a profession

With his love of math and science at school, Bradley Wattrus had the makings of a successful actuary right from the start. Yet, the promise of corporate success paled in comparison to the potential impact he could have as an…

Loans need a rethink to ensure inclusion | By Kevin Rodrigues and Co-Pierre Georg

High-profile development organisations around the world such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation are recognising the transformative power financial inclusion can have on the lives of people at the base of the pyramid. These organisations are investing heavily in…

The Heart of Tech

What is the essence of innovative technology? Is it about creating the next desirable tech accessory or finding the simplest, fastest way to get something done – usually involving fewer if any people? Or perhaps it’s just about making a…

Are grittier individuals more successful? | By Teri Richter

Origins and definition of Grit The concept of grit was popularised recently by Angela Lee Duckworth and is defined as the perseverance and passion for long-term goals.  Duckworth and Peterson (2007: p. 1087 – 1088[1]) is characterised by: “Strenuously working…

Benefits of an Engaged Community | By: Teri Richter

A key outcome in the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation is the importance of creating a valued community for Allan Gray Beneficiaries. This is applicable to all three streams of the Foundation and is experienced slightly differently in the Scholarship, Fellowship…

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…

GEC 2017 | By Fredell Jacobs

For the very first time on African soil, the Global Entrepreneurship Congress arrived with a key message, “entrepreneurship, innovation and disruption will continue to drive economic growth and development”. The theme Digital Disruption facilitated rich debate on how technology can…

South Africa ranked one of Africa’s top entrepreneurial nations  

March 2017: South Africa has been named one of sub-Saharan Africa’s entrepreneurial frontrunners, after a global report placed the country in second place, after African counterpart Botswana. According to the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem of South Africa: A Strategy for Global Leadership…

The link between entrepreneurial intention and becoming an entrepreneur | By: Teri Richter

Entrepreneurial intention is the internal motivation and positive perception of starting a business. Theoretically, it is understood that high individual entrepreneurial intention leads to higher probability of starting a new venture. Azjen’s (2002) Theory of Planned Behaviour suggests that intention…

A burning desire to make an impact

Lethabo Motswaledi always had a burning desire to live a life that made an impact. She might not have been able to name an exact career, but she knew it would involve doing her own thing and she knew it…

What must rise? | By Zimkhitha Peter

The past year has been described as a year of fallism in South Africa. The #FeesMustFall movement has given rise to a new generation of controversial student activists. Following on that, #MustFall became a mantra for anything and anyone that…

Shifting Entrepreneurship from the Perimeter to the Core | By Gary Schoeniger

Entrepreneurship has never been more important than it is today. Academic, business, government, and nonprofit leaders around the world have begun to recognize entrepreneurship education as essential for creating the societies of the future. Among the most vocal is the…

Entrepreneurship Calendar – 2017 | By Fredell Jacobs

The world marched into 2017 with a hastag that most can only comprehend as #IsThisReallyHappening? as 2016 was trending out of #Brexit and was greeted by the overnight surprise of #Trump. The Davos meeting used the theme Responsive and Responsible…

Selecting for Entrepreneurial Potential | By Carl Herman

Background Could these applicants become our region’s next high-impact entrepreneurs? Do they have the potential for developing the Foundation’s Five Pillars: a Spirit of Significance, Courageous Commitment, Achievement Excellence, Intellectual Imagination and Personal Initiative? These are the questions that drive…

Putting Africa on The Map – Wandile Mabanga’s Map Blitz

How many countries are in Africa? If you have to consult Google for the answer, you’re who Wandile Mabanga had in mind when he created Map Blitz. His passion for promoting diversity and allowing people to access each other’s diversity…

2017 – The Year for South African Entrepreneurship

Not all opportunities are created equal and some are able to have a disproportionate impact on a country’s future trajectory. In our own nation who would have believed that sporting events such as winning the world cup rugby combined with…

The Value of Accelerators

Demo Day Monday 28 November saw E2 and the Foundation’s first accelerator programme culminate at Demo Day. Allan Gray Orbis Fellow entrepreneurs pitched their hearts out to investors, mentors, industry players and family members gathered at the Accelerator venue at…

How to add R2.5 trillion to the South African economy – why in entrepreneurship quality matters more than quantity.

As South Africa looks to harness the full economic potential of entrepreneurship, it is easy to fall into the seemingly logical thinking that more is better. We often hear the rallying cry: “We need more entrepreneurs!” But the answer is…

Learning to Walk on Water

Many Allan Gray Fellows view the Foundation as an individuality shaper, a paradigm shifter and a training ground for walking on water. They often speak of being trained to see solutions and are unlikely to ever make peace with problems…

GEW 2016 momentum lights the path to GEC 2017 in Johannesburg

We are now well and truly into the swing of Global Entrepreneurship Week (“GEW”) 2016. There were some powerful words from our Deputy President, Cyril Ramaphosa on the importance of entrepreneurship to South Africa at the official launch of the…

GEW is upon us

The Foundation is excited to be part of Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW). The Association of Allan Gray Fellows developed a platform, Imbizo Junction where you can find the listing of all events taking place during that week, 14 – 20 November…

Will Vuyokazi become the next Patrice Motsepe?

Meet Vuyokazi, our fictional big big dreamer. Vuyokazi is a 26-year-old entrepreneur that hails from Soweto. When Vuyokazi was in high-school, she used to sell roasted popcorn on school grounds to make extra money – she often got in trouble…

For the Love of Tech

Kholofelo Moyaba has always been fascinated by the idea of “giving things life”. This fascination is behind his two loves: visual art and technology. As a technology teacher and visual artist, his father modelled both these passions to Kholofelo from…

Disenfranchised but not without hope By Jonathan Dickson

South Africa is a nation in rehabilitation. It got very sick from power abuse at one stage and thankfully had timeous intervention to prevent a messy downward spiral. Since 1994, however, there have been relapses into its chronic condition of…

Are we successful? Beneficiaries’ challenges in self-identifying as successful by Teri Richter

Defining programme success in order to measure and evaluate progress towards one’s outcomes and ultimate impact is vital for any intervention programme. However, in any intervention working with people, one must consider how the definition and recognition of such success…

Entrepreneurial mindset and education

2016 Circle of Excellence conference The Foundation recently hosted its annual Circle of Excellence (COE) conference. The COE principal’s conference is a school leader’s platform to recognise a diverse group of schools that share a commitment to develop future entrepreneurial…

Cultivating Entrepreneurs through the IVC process By Daniel Hampton

The application of lean start-up principles, since its articulation by Eric Ries in 2008, has caused something of a revolution in how we think and act in regard to new venture creation. It is difficult to find a published new…

Is Nigeria’s YouWiN! Entrepreneurship competition the most effective development programme in history? By Leila Davids

If you owned a small business in Nigeria and earned about $143 per month, what would you do with $50,000 cash? In a fascinating podcast, NPR’s Planet Money looks at a business plan competition in Nigeria with big results and…

Entrepreneurship Beyond Commercial Success

What do successful entrepreneurs look like before their business is a commercial success? Wait, how can one even be considered successful when one’s business is in a pre-revenue state? The answer to the first question contains the answer to the…

The Allan Gray Orbis Foundation contributes to the GEC+ Glocal Entrepreneurship Education

The GEC+ in Daegu, South Korea the City of Hope also referred to as “Colourful Daegu” hosted an international audience of entrepreneurship education experts, practitioners, policy makers and academia. The theme “Glocal” was designed to illustrate the power of collaboration…

Challenges for Female Entrepreneurs (Part II) by Margie Worthington-Smith

The key factor The key factor of the need for good startup skills is found to be very low in both the GEI and FEI research and the result is that the opportunity for South Africa to be an effective…

Challenges for Female Entrepreneurs (Part I) by Margie Worthington-Smith

The fact that we still make a distinction between entrepreneurs and female entrepreneurs is a striking sign of how little progress the world has made. If the world were a truly equal place there would be no reason to make…

Shrewd business calls for thinking like a woman

Siphesihle Kala’s years of experience as a business consultant coupled with her experience as the Founder and Managing Director of Blaqgold Holdings has provided her with a treasure trove of wisdoms concerning business, particularly being a woman in business. Making…

Taking back our Power to inspire the Girl Child by Lethabo Tloubatla

60 years on, women still not seen as equals… Or are they? 2016 marks 60 years since the most celebrated women’s March to the Union Buildings, and in 60 years, women have the right to vote, and venture into places…

Bravery is spelled W-O-M-A-N

Stepping up to run a household and nurture a younger brother might seem like a lot to take on for a 13-year-old girl, but for Zama Zuma it was simply a case of doing what needed to be done. Since…

Teaching Entrepreneurship | By Zimkhitha Peter

 Entrepreneurship is neither science nor art, it is a practice. Peter Drucker I think by now we all agree that Entrepreneurship can be taught; at least at the Foundation we believe that it can be. Even though I use the…

Why don’t smart poor kids go to Harvard? | By: Leila Davids

Malcolm Gladwell has been described by the Guardian as the King of Non Fiction. In his new podcast, “Revisionist History” Gladwell translates his gripping narrative style from the written word to audio. He shares new insights into stories from the…

Imagination is the new currency 

A 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…

The Next Economy

“To be truly radical is to make hope possible, rather than despair convincing.” – Raymond Williams Angela Coetzee, Strategy Communications Manager at the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation, storyteller and passionate believer in social transformation, recently attended the International Architectual Biennale…

Start-ups, key to Economic Growth

Phumlani Nkontwana, an Entrepreneurial Leadership Programme Officer at the Foundation and Programme Manager of Enterprise Development Academy at the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS), shares his views on the importance of small and medium-sized enterprises, also known as startups,…

Unafraid of Failing

  What would South Africa look like if its youth took a leaf from the book of Sabelwa Matikinca? They would be a force to be reckoned with. They would be relentless. They would be dissatisfied with mediocrity and strive…

“Turn on the hustle” and leave a legacy

At the opening of the 2016 Youth Month, Minister Jeff Radebe reminisced and celebrated the heroes of ’76. Along with quoting the likes of Moses Kotane, Solomon Mahlangu and Franz Fanon, who encouraged young people to “discover their mission” and…

Youth Month Series: Mbali Sikakana – Going Her Own Way

The Foundation’s journey to impact starts at a young age. We invest in young people that show the potential to be high impact responsible entrepreneurs in the future. Youth is therefore incredibly important to the Foundation. In the month of…

(Re-)Designing for Impact

What elements of design shape our lives? Design is often seen as the mere beautification of the world, but there are in fact five elements of design that determine the functioning of the world we live in: Spatial Design Systems…

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

  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…

Diary of an Admitted Fellow – The 2016 Admission to the Association of Allan Gray Fellows

Packed like a sardine on a Mango aeroplane, I awaited take off with a childlike excitement for the Association Admissions Event that was taking place on Saturday the 23rd of April. My eager anticipation was interrupted by a train of…

More Than Just A Weekend Away

What happens when you take a couple of 20-year-olds in their second year of university to Hermanus and ask them to talk about two things: significance and community? You get a mixed bag of cold showers, constructive conflict, creative collaboration,…

Resist that calling. It’s probably not your purpose in life

Have you ever wondered: “why was I put on this earth?”. For a long time, I asked myself this question as I tried to make sense of the world and my place in it. I was born in Ghana, but…

The Role of the Association

The Association of Allan Gray Fellows is the community of Fellows who have successfully completed the four year university based Fellowship, and its goals are to support Fellow endeavour with the purpose of reduction of poverty and a more equitable…

Opportunities in the local entrepreneurship ecosystem

The generic definition for opportunity references time or a set of circumstances that make it possible to do something. How opportunity is defined is perhaps not as important as what it means, especially for entrepreneurs and even more so in…

Scoody the Geek Lab of Clothing

As the son of two educators, Allan Gray Fellow Sechaba Selialia was raised around books and grew to love reading. This love of books and their different views of the world would lead him to what he describes as his…

Entrepreneurial Flavour: Zayne Imam

A conversation with Zayne Imam about his life – where he’s going and where he’s been – brings to mind childhood verses of Dr Seuss. Born in Durban, raised in Johannesburg and now a proud Capetonian, Zayne started travelling to…

Waste: The re-utilized resource movement (previously “waste”)

Business, particularly production, is known for using natural resources without considering the full life cycle of that product. It is therefore no secret that the time has come to rethink our relationship with the natural world.  The Foundation aims to…

The Value of Experience By Wayne Coetzee

The Foundation’s ethos or shared fundamentals, is made up of its tactical focus on Education and Experience complemented by the personal traits of Effort and Ethics. The Foundation’s approach to cultivating entrepreneurs therefore includes experience as part of the beneficiary’s…

How Entrepreneurship Saved a Village By Savannah Keeter

“As the Foundation looks to harness the power of the entrepreneurial spirit, we are often amazed at some of the unlikely places that this spirit can be found.  Today’s blog piece tells the remarkable story of how one of the…

From Crime to Creativity – Medellin, hosts the 2016 Global Entrepreneurship Congress

Starting from a small initiative in the United Kingdom in 2007 to promote entrepreneurship through the idea of an entrepreneurship week, that seed has grown into a global movement touching 160 countries across the world, consolidated into a single global…

The 2016/17 South African Budget Speech – An Entrepreneurial Perspective by Kevin Rodrigues

Kevin Rodrigues, a Candidate Fellow from UCT, was invited to participate in the 2016 Budget Speech competition. In this post Kevin shares the story. On a mild Cape Town Friday afternoon my leisurely stroll through Claremont was interrupted by a…

From ordinary to extraordinary through an entrepreneurial mindset

In the latter part of my high school years, I had a conversation with my father about a fad that was heavily-influencing my classmates and causing them to make life (and body altering) decisions. That fad was body piercing and…

A tale of (an Orientation event in) two cities

On 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…

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…

School Entrepreneurship in Action | by Alexander McLeod

It’s been a month since the South African school calendar started and we’re keen to see how kidpreneurs will be developed and supported during this academic year. Alexander McLeod is the CEO of Cape Town-based Calan Consulting, a company that…

But how practical is it?

Taking action, not just for action’s sake, and getting things done right, warrants a thorough consideration of the environment and putting all available resources to their best possible use. Practicality is about using what is at hand in order to…

The Fourth Industrial Revolution – an opportunity or challenge for South Africa?

One of the appeals of entrepreneurship is that, by providing a platform for the harnessing of human potential, a relatively small number of individuals can have a disproportionately high impact. It is the main reason why we at the Foundation…

Fellowship opportunity to map your future

Our 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…

Exploring alternatives to economic growth at St. Gallen | By Daniel Dippold

The St. Gallen Symposium is a global, Switzerland based, intergenerational dialogue platform, which, over the past 46 years, has hosted 600 leading decision makers from the fields of business, politics, academia and civil society. 200 exceptional, young leaders, convene to…

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.…

How was our blog in 2015?

Our blog was launched on 19 February 2014 and every Tuesday (and occasionally on Thursdays) since then we’ve posted articles that have helped our readers explore how entrepreneurship can shape human potential for the greater good. These posts are categorised…

10 Videos for 2015

2016 is just around the corner and what better way to the end this year and to start the New Year motivated about your entrepreneurship journey than with our selection of 10 of some of the best videos on entrepreneurship.…

Global Entrepreneurship Index 2016 – South Africa leading Africa and the BRICS

During the recent Global Entrepreneurship Week we noted the release of 2016 Global Entrepreneurship Index which provides a comprehensive overview of the health of a nation’s ecosystem through the development of an index methodology linking countries entrepreneurial framework conditions with individual…

Looking into the future and finding hope

  2015 has been a difficult year. It seems that at every juncture a new challenge rises to our attention. As load shedding started to subside, we were introduced to the increasing likelihood of water shedding. Just as the auditor…

#GEW2015 is done – who won #MakeAR100?

The week-long, worldwide movement of entrepreneurial people (#GEW) was concluded on Sunday 22 November – and what a week it was! 7 million such people participated in 20 000 activities across 135 countries. They came together for learning, inspiration, support and…

GEW 2015 is live – time to get involved

Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) 2015 is now well underway and it promises to be the biggest yet – both in South Africa and globally! South Africa kicked off its week with a significant event at GIBS in Johannesburg yesterday. Energised…

Do we bet on the jockey or the horse? | Bonnke Shipalana

Bonnke Shipalana believes that, in the same way that no-one learns how to swim by reading a book about swimming, so entrepreneurship is taught or learnt by doing. Born in Nkowankowa, Limpopo, to an entrepreneurial family, Bonnke holds a BCom…

Countdown to Global Entrepreneurship Week

We’re less than a week away from the world’s largest celebration of the innovators and job creators who bring ideas to life, drive economic growth and expand human welfare. From 16 to 22 November we’ll all be inspired to explore…

An entrepreneur’s dream Christmas

With just 52 days to go before Christmas I thought it would be good to bring you some early festive cheer through some great entrepreneurship award opportunities. Even if 2015 had some Grinch-inducing occurrences for you, now, at least, you…

Entrepreneurship in schools Part 2 | Gabriella Geffen

On Tuesday, I wrote about the organs of an Entrepreneurial culture, and the need to develop entrepreneurial mindsets from a very early age. Today I will contextualise the Entrepreneurship in Schools Initiative within the national macro strategy for Entrepreneurship in…

Entrepreneurship in schools Part 1 | Gabriella Geffen

Gabriella Geffen is a member of the Human Resources Development Council (HRDC) Enabling Entrepreneurship Task Team and is also responsible for Business Development at the Maharishi Institute. In this article, she introduces the thinking around the Department of Basic Education’s Entrepreneurship-in-Schools…

Where leaders (cannot afford to) learn

What began as a visit to the Allan Gray Centre for Leadership Ethics (AGCLE), housed by Rhodes University in Grahamstown, at the beginning of this week, ended in my witnessing a campus-wide protest about fee increases. AGCLE hosted a two-day…

We are not a generation of bystanders, we are Global Citizens

 “In 15 years, we went from no space program … to boot prints on the moon. I remember the day, because that was made possible … everything else was possible as well.” – American astronomer and author Neil deGrasse Tyson…

2015 ANDE Annual Conference – understanding how small, growing businesses help to reduce poverty

Earlier this month the Foundation attended the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) Annual Conference.  There were over 200 participants from 47 countries representing the global ecosystem that seeks to support small and growing businesses (SGBs). The conference saw the…

Melvyn Lubega keeps calm and drinks Rooibos tea

Copious amounts of Rooibos tea – that’s how you cope with different time zones, managing teams in Australia, Vietnam, Lagos, Johannesburg, London and San Francisco. At least, that’s how Melvyn Lubega, Allan Gray Fellow and co-founder of Go1 does it.…

The poet is the muse on the entrepreneurial journey

“so you keep looking back if you did not listen when the past was breathing… so you keep looking back even when the darkness is so thick it could touch your eyeballs… feel the wall while you walk and hold,…

Rugby and the myth of success | Peter Manser

South Africa’s Saturday loss against Japan in our first Rugby World Cup match was disappointing to say the least. In today’s piece Dr. Peter Manser, proud principal at our Circle of Excellence member school, Alexander Road High School, in Port…

Earth to Elon – will you read this?

It was nothing but sheer determination and luck that helped me get my hands on Elon Musk’s (oft-sold out) biography by Ashlee Vance recently. Having watched TV interviews and documentaries about Musk over the years, I have always been impressed…

Entrepreneurial principles for principals | Tom Hamilton

Last weekend, we proudly hosted the 6th annual Circle of Excellence (COE) Conference which brought together 55 of our 100 member schools. The COE  celebrates and promotes the development of holistic educational excellence in Southern Africa. It was launched in…

The Cuppa Campus Win-Win

Dewald Muller is a Candidate Fellow, third-year Matie, Actuary-in-the-making and the Founder of Cuppa Campus which supplies Maties’ biggest consumable – coffee. Yet he prefers to be known for his love of creating something out of nothing and his passion…

Caught and taught – entrepreneurship insights by Mosidi Modise

In this, the third and final instalment of our Women’s Month articles, we turn to our sister company, Allan Gray, and ask Mosidi Modise to pen her personal entrepreneurship lessons. Mosidi is currently an Analyst at Allan Gray. Not only…

The ball is in both our courts – Marisa and Luthando’s mentoring journey

Marisa Kaplan began her career at Allan Gray in 2007. She then had a stint as a Consultant at Bain & Company in 2012 but returned to Allan Gray in 2014 to her current role as Analyst. She has proudly…

No lip service but polishing the femtrepreneurship mirror

Sunday marked the 59th anniversary of the 1956 Women’s March and national celebrations in honour of women achievers and the strides made in women empowerment in the past two decades were the order of the day. At the national Women’s…

Entrepreneurially yours, Kenya

“Kuuambia ulimwengu kwamba Africa ni wazi kwa ajili ya biashara!” which means “Tell the world that Africa is open for business!” were the welcoming words of Kenyan President, Uhuru Kenyatta, at the Opening Plenary for the recent Global Entrepreneurship Summit…

Bianca’s Startup Do’s and Don’ts

Grow Up co-founder Bianca Vernes had a May 2015 launch date but a prototype that was far from ideal. This predicament led her to wish for things that she’d only know later: the dos and don’ts of startups. Though hers…

The Road Less Travelled

“My story begins with my mom’s.” This acknowledgement from Harald Oswin reveals a lot about his  motivations  and  sense  of  self. Harald has several accomplishments for his age. His anchoring is due to his mother’s commitment to giving him the…

Numeric – Rebuilding mathematical foundations for the future

Amongst the many challenges of an underperforming South African education system, one of the greatest problems is the lack of numeracy foundations at ECD and Basic Education level.  The impact of this is devastating in later years, as shown clearly…

Learning points from the 7th ANDE Metrics from the Ground Up Conference Author – Teri Richter

On 23 and 24 June, I represented the Foundation’s Impact Assurance team at the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) 7th Metrics from the Ground Up Conference in Washington DC, USA. The event was attended by over 90 delegates representing…

How to shift the economy by 1% – Schramm’s Law and African Lions

In the search for much needed growth in South Africa a different approach prescribed by Schramm’s Law would shift our attention to fostering the formation and acceleration of billion rand companies, so called African lions.  We would only need 10…

Finding solutions to South Africa’s weak entrepreneurial pipeline – Commentary on the South Africa 2014 GEM Report Part II

In Part I of our commentary on the 2014 SA GEM Report, posted earlier this month, we concluded by saying that this second and final commentary would suggest solutions to address the alarmingly downward trend in entrepreneurship in South Africa.…

What does the youth of ’76 teach us about entrepreneurship?

South Africa is no different from the rest of the world in contending with a youth unemployment crisis. We know the stats. We’ve heard the rhetoric. As we remember the bold actions taken by the youth of Soweto, against an…

The Missing Two Thirds: Where are South Africa’s entrepreneurs? Commentary on the South African 2014 GEM Report

The annual South African Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (“GEM”) report has recently been published for 2014.  As described in the 2013 GEM report reflection, GEM is the largest annual global study of entrepreneurship covering 90% of the world’s GDP. Following the encouraging…

Seeing through vision and not sight alone

BCom (Hons) graduate, @GcobisaSotashe, was admitted to the Association of Allan Gray Fellows in 2013. When she applied for the Fellowship in 2009 she already envisioned herself as a high impact entrepreneur. In the Fellows’ Yearbook she commented: “In the…

Could high impact entrepreneurship curb xenophobia?

As part of its programme for Africa month, Skilled Foreign Nationals in South Africa (SFONSA) recently hosted a public lecture addressing the spate of xenophobic attacks against foreign nationals of African descent. The speakers were The Honourable Deputy Minister of…

Local is lekker and complex in the entrepreneurial ecosystem

If Christmas is “the season to be jolly” then Q1 2015 must have been the season for surveys on SA’s entrepreneurial ecosystem: 1.Seed Academy recently published the results from its first-ever survey of approximately 1,000 South African startup entrepreneurs with…

Are monopolies always evil – the creative search for Blue Ocean to drive progress?

Monopolies are terrible. We have longstanding negativity towards monopolies dating back to the earliest memories of economics class. Monopolies are evil.  Right now in South Africa we need no reminding of the inefficiency of monopolies resulting from lack of competition…

No Greatness without Goodness

“Nil magnum, nisi bonum” means “without goodness, there can be no greatness” in Latin. This is the motto of a young woman who is steadily making her way to becoming a high-impact entrepreneur. Dinika Govender – born in Kwazulu-Natal, raised…

Mindset lessons from The Karate Kid

In the same way that “Daniel-Son” didn’t fully appreciate the method (and pain) in Mr Miyagi’s training madness, in the movie the Karate Kid, so budding entrepreneurs may not always be mindful of the importance of a growth mindset to…

Can Entrepreneurship be learned?

The question is as old as entrepreneurship itself but the World Bank took on the challenge of answering it last year by reviewing a staggering 230 programmes across the globe before coming to their conclusion. The good news is that…

Seeds of Synergy – GROWingUP to green the world

Were it not for the Foundation’s July 2014 Jamboree, business partners Lillian Maboya and Bianca Vernes would not have met. Lillian (a Candidate Fellow doing her Honours in Environmental and Geographical Science) and Bianca (a Candidate Fellow in her final…

The Disney Imagineers who ensure that Disneyland will never be completed

It may seem strange to post another blog about Walt Disney considering that he is credited with having once said: “I do not like to repeat successes, I like to go on to other things.” However, the popularity of the…

The real bottom line – purpose driven business

The Foundation’s mission has been summarised as creating responsible entrepreneurs for the common good. Often people express surprise that the promotion of entrepreneurship can be linked to the common good.  But we have become convinced that having noble intentions is not just…

Foundation Fellows-in-Residence determined to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams

Muziwomusa “Muzi” Mthombeni thought he didn’t stand a chance of being awarded a Fellowship in 2009, when he applied as a first-year Accounting Science student at Wits University. “The application process was really demanding and the selection camp was hectic.…

South Africa wins bid as first African country to host 2017 Global Entrepreneurship Congress

At this week’s Global Entrepreneurship Congress (GEC) 2015 in Milan, the Global Entrepreneurship Network announced that Johannesburg, South Africa has won the bid to host the GEC in 2017. Accepting the award on behalf of Johannesburg, Lindiwe Zulu, South Africa’s…

Finding Entrepreneurial Answers in Milan – Global Entrepreneurship Congress 2015

Monday was the start of the Global Entrepreneurship Congress (GEC) hosted in 2015 in Milan, Italy.  This is the annual gathering of thousands of entrepreneurship champions from roughly 175 countries.  It is the one time in the year when the…

Opportunities for young African entrepreneurs pursuing innovative solutions

A recent research paper on entrepreneurship development as a mechanism to curb youth unemployment, found that more than half of Africa’s population is under the age of 21 and two-thirds is under 30 years. In all African countries, the median age…

When an irresistible force meets an immovable object – the challenge of sustainability

Answers to tough questions are found in interesting places. The Foundation has just completed its first tour of the country with the Orientations of the 2015 Candidate Allan Gray Fellows in Gauteng, Western Cape and the Eastern Cape. Fresh from…

2015 State of Entrepreneurship Address: Part II – Nine Point Action Plan

Last week’s blog introduced the concept of a South Africa State of Entrepreneurship Address. We concluded that no “State of” address would be complete without an action plan.  And so in a similar manner to our President’s Nine Point Plan for…

South Africa 2015 State of Entrepreneurship Address (Part I)

After last week’s disappointing events in parliament, it is important that we restore some dignity back to “State of” addresses. Last week the Kauffman Foundation gave the sixth edition of their American State of Entrepreneurship Address.  It sparked a thought.…

Better news for entrepreneurship in South Africa – 2015 Global Entrepreneurship Index

After years of coping with the depressing entrepreneurship measures coming out of the annual Global Entrepreneurship Monitor Report, where South Africa consistently tracks last out of all African countries participating, with both low volumes and low quality of entrepreneurship, it…

EP10 – Time to discover your entrepreneurial talents.

The Foundation has long been convinced of the merits of the strengths revolution and we ensure that everyone entering the Foundation community identifies their top strengths using Gallup’s Strengthsfinder. It is a helpful tool for assisting each person to increase their…

Opportunity for young SA entrepreneurs to experience the Start-Up Nation itself.

There is little that compares to experiencing things first hand, particularly when that exposure offers a window into a whole new level of possibility. Such opportunities often expand our horizons and shatter the limitations of our previously moderate expectations. In…

Planning to build a different future? Start here.

“Instead of pursuing many-sided mediocrity…, a definite person determines the one best thing to do and then does it. Instead of working tirelessly to make herself indistinguishable, she strives to be great at something substantive—to be a monopoly of one.”…

Can a small group of people make a big difference?

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”  – Margaret Mead The quote is well used and might even lose some of its impact over…

It’s a wrap for 2014 – what were the top 5 posts of the year?

  At the beginning of this year the Foundation embarked into the world of blogging as we looked to share more of our thinking and stories as part of our contribution to building more entrepreneurial culture and understanding as well…

Shape the Future Series Final Summary

Since the beginning of March this year, our Shape the Future Series has been traversing the world of the Foundation’s five pillars. The Foundation’s core beliefs are centred on our five pillars, namely, Intellectual Imagination, the Spirit of Significance, Achievement…

Shape the Future Series: Innovating – Walt Disney

We have reached the final post for our Shape the Future series. In our previous post we outlined the attitude of market investigating and profiled Arthur Charles Nielsen.  This week, we look at the attitude of innovating which forms part…

Reflections on the 5th Global Entrepreneurship Summit by Zimkhitha Peter

The 5th Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) 2014, which coincided with Global Entrepreneurship Week 2014, was hosted by the Kingdom of Morocco. The event was held under the theme, “Harnessing the Power of Technology for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.” The event site…

The 10 books that have most influenced the Foundation’s journey

“Books are a uniquely portable magic” – Stephen King It is difficult to over-estimate the impact that books can have on both an individual and an organisation.  Thankfully as we move closer to the end of the year more spaces…

2014 Global Entrepreneurship Week lights an entrepreneurial fire across the globe

We are half way through this year’s Global Entrepreneurship Week (“GEW”)  which started on 17th November and finishes on Sunday! GEW is the world’s largest celebration of the innovators and job creators who are bringing ideas to life, driving economic…

Shape the Future Series: Market Investigating – Arthur Charles Nielsen

Our Shape the Future series on cogs will soon come to an end.  In our previous post we outlined the attitude of persisting and profiled Robert Kearns.  This week, in our penultimate cog post we look at the attitude of…

Purposeful passion.

When you hear how passionately he speaks about the land and its people you might be tempted to think of Lowell Scarr as just another tree-hugging hippie. But that would be short sighted. Thinking differently about the environment is but…

Working towards the greater good.

Time is a luxury for most but more so for those committed to finding a cure for diseases like TB and HIV. Loretta Magagula, one of those committed ones, has spent the last few years of her life pouring over…

Time for entrepreneurial action – no more excuses – Just do the “Make a R100” Challenge

Join the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation as we harness the platform of the 2014 Global Entrepreneurship Week in November to continue the entrepreneurial revolution in South Africa. We all have the potential to be entrepreneurial and here is your low…

Evaluatorpreneurship – applying entrepreneurial principles to Monitoring & Evaluation. By Asgar Bhikoo

Foundation Monitoring & Evaluation Specialist, Asgar Bhikoo brings us into the world of Monitoring & Evaluation (“M&E”) through sharing his experience of attending the European Evaluation Society Conference in September 2014. He took an unusual approach to this learning and…

Shape the Future Series: Persisting – Robert Kearns

In our previous Shape the Future post we outlined the attitude of initiating and profiled George Washington Carver.  This week we look at the attitude of persisting which forms part of the persuading mindset under the pillar of Personal Initiative.…

Startup Communities | Entrepreneurship – the next (r)evolution in South Africa! By Melody Arendse

Friday, 10 October 2014 marked the date of the inaugural Start Up South Africa Conference. By chance I was lucky enough to hear about it via a colleague and signed up to attend. Start Up South Africa is the brainchild…

A most excellent journey – five years of Circle of Excellence Principal Conferences

The Foundation recently hosted its fifth Circle of Excellence Principal’s conference in Grahamstown. The conference provides an opportunity to explore various aspects of educational excellence and the building of a national entrepreneurial pipeline with one of our key stakeholder groups…

Shape the Future Series: Initiating – the essence of entrepreneurial action. What can we learn from the lesser known George Washington?

In our previous Shape the Future post we outlined the attitude of alternative spotting and profiled Archimedes.   In this post we look at the attitude of initiating which forms part of the proactive mindset under the pillar of Personal Initiative. The proactive…

In celebration of Heritage Day

In celebrating Heritage Day it is understandable that we look to the past, yet as explained below, heritage can’t be separated from legacy. So the important question, implied by thoughts of heritage, is how we harness our current strengths and…

Effort pays off

Up until Grade 10 Joseph Wandile Kahn was, as he puts it, “quite unremarkable.” This judgement may seem harsh, but considering that it comes from a future Harvard graduate and the 2013 World Debating Champion, it’s an intriguing observation. A…

Shape the Future Series: Alternative spotting – Archimedes

As we continue our journey into the mindsets required for entrepreneurial endeavour, we come to one of ancient Greece’s most famous and interesting characters.  In our previous Shape the Future post we outlined the attitude of Trend-spotting and profiled Marian…

Never too young to effect change

Onke Mbuli and Mnotho Makhoba’s first interaction with the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation occured around the age of 13 when they applied for the Allan Gray Scholarship opportunity. Five years later they are still in the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation’s…

Mentorship – the forgotten tool for unleashing potential

This week the Foundation is hosting regional dinners to thank our mentors who have given so generously of their time. These dinners reminded me again of a quote I had first heard a number of years ago:“You will never maximise…

Shape the future series: Marian Salzman, trend spotter

This month as part of our celebration of women and as we continue exploring the mindsets required for entrepreneurial endeavour, we focus on the work of Marian Salzman.  In our previous Shape the Future post we outlined the attitude of…

Imagining against the odds

At the tender age of four Karidas Tshintsholo knew that he would have to forego luxuries such as new Christmas clothes and visits to the ice cream truck because he was now the man of the house. Karidas’ Mom –…

Purpose before profit: An interview with Mr. Allan Gray by Dave Marrs

This piece was written by Dave Marrs and originally appeared in the UCT GSB Business Review. Dave Marrs is a former Business Day finance editor who now runs the publication’s Cape Town bureau. He is also chief lead writer, a…

Thinking Outside the (Glass) Box this Women’s Day – the importance of female entrepreneurship

On the 9th of August 1956 approximately 50 000 South African women staged a march on the Union Buildings in Pretoria in protest against the proposed amendments to the Urban Areas Act, or what commonly became known as the pass laws. …

Entrepreneurial Universities: the search for academic enterprise

A few weeks ago the Economist headlined with the phrase – “Creative Destruction” Now one would expect that they were applying the iconic phrase of the founding father of entrepreneurship, Joseph Schumpeter, in relation to some new technology or a…

Mashokane Mahlo & Personal Initiative

It all started with a hip hop dance craze in her high school years. That’s when Mashokane Mahlo and some friends started their own hip hop dance group, Lyrical Sneakers. That’s also when she got her first taste of being…

Shape the Future Series: Nikola Tesla

As we continue our journey into the mindsets required for entrepreneurial endeavour, we come to one of sciences more interesting characters. In our previous Shape the Future post we outlined the attitude of Being Knowledgeable and profiled Leonardo Da Vinci.…

African Schools for Excellence – recovering a lost word in our education

If there is one word that has gone missing in the growing challenges facing the South African education system, it is the word excellence. Shifting the matric pass mark in some subjects to 30% and a staggering 13% of the…

The Seven Habits of a Highly Effective Micro-Entrepreneur by Dinika Govender

Allan Gray Fellow Dinika Govender’s latest blog post (The Seven Habits of a Highly Effective Micro-Entrepreneur as shared by a Cameroonian in Cape Town) published on Medium. I studied a business degree for a good chunk of my adolescence, and in…

Cheryl-Lynn Freeman & Achievement Excellence

Cheryl-Lynn Freeman, or Aunty Cheryl as she is endearingly known to the children that tune in to CCFM on Sunday mornings, is driven by a passion to do what she can wherever she finds herself. At the age of 14,…

Shape the Future Series: Leonardo Da Vinci

In our previous Shape the Future post we outlined the attitude of Conceptual Ability and profiled Charlie Munger, who for us, embodies what it is to have Conceptual Ability. In this post we look at the attitude of Being Knowledgeable which…

In celebration of Youth Day – a glimpse into our youth shaped future

There are a number of reasons to be discouraged about South Africa’s prospects right now.  At the macro level we are confronted by the recent down grade of the country’s credit rating.  Or the recent news that out of 148…

Dominic Obojkovits, Pixel Boy and taking Personal Initiative

At age four Dominic Obojkovits played his first video game, Spyro the Dragon. Now, a mere 16 years later he is the co-founder of games studio Giant Box Games and designer of Pixel Boy, a game that was recently released…

Is intrapreneurship a myth or could it be a key differentiator for your business?

Anthony Farr’s latest blog post published on Ventureburn. In recent years the power and potential of entrepreneurship has become more and more entrenched in public debate and the attention on this particular field of human endeavour has increased exponentially. This shift was well captured…

Go Big AND Go Home – reflections on Net Prophet 2014 by Melody Arendse

Go Big AND Go Home!  This was one of the many nuggets I took away from the Net Prophet 2014 event which Anthony Farr and I attended recently.  This annual tech/entrepreneurship event is the brainchild of the Ramp Foundation.   Having…

Arushka Bugwandeen – long term significance

Arushka Bugwandeen has always liked being different. Where some would jump at the opportunity to become an accountant or doctor she considered these roles too traditional for her. The thought of simply obtaining a qualification and working up the ranks…

Akosua Koranteng – shaping the African story

Let Akosua Koranteng speak to you about Africa.  Don’t expect a lashing of fervorous rhetoric about the ‘Renaissance of Africa’ or ‘Africa Rising’. Instead prepare to hear the measured tones of a woman who knows where she comes from, where…

Unlocking the potential of South Africa’s innovation pipeline

The implications of South Africa’s inability to generate jobs and growth was brought into sharp focus last week with the release of the Cato Institute’s Misery Report.  South Africa now has the unwelcome accolade of being considered one of the…

How many entrepreneurs are there in South Africa? – Reflections on the launch of the South African 2013 GEM Report

Last week was the South African launch of the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (“GEM”) 2013 Report.  Happily there were some positive trends noted in the report, but in total it again served to highlight the extent of the challenge if we…

Active Citizens Wanted

This year, we celebrate 20 years as a democracy.  On the 7th of May 2014, South African citizens of a voting age are expected to exercise their democratic right to vote in the national elections.  A right bestowed upon each…

Douglas Hoernle – Pursuing Excellence for the Greater Good

Listening to Douglas Hoernle share his journey is like climbing aboard a high-speed freight train; you are at once aware of its weighty cargo and the speed at which it’s moving. Doug is a driven and highly motivated young man…

Kholofelo Moyaba, developing a Spirit of Significance

As a schoolboy in Sheshego, Kholofelo Moyaba used his love of art and poetry to make some extra money. He made greeting cards and birthday cards on request and on special occasions, like Valentine’s Day or Mothers’ Day, he would…

Shape the Future Series: Charlie Munger

In our previous post we outlined one of the 5 Pillars of the Foundation, namely, Intellectual Imagination.  For this Shape the Future Series post we look at the attitude of Conceptual Ability which forms part of the Synthesising mindset under…

Living in the future: why imagination is our most important resource

Anthony Farr’s latest blog post published on Ventureburn. A sophisticated pill bottle that harnesses the internet of things by glowing when medication is required, failing which an audible alarm is activated, before finally sending a text message to a designated person to ensure that…

From Russia with Entrepreneurial Love Part 2 – By Immanuel Commarmond

During this week Anthony Farr and I are attending the 2014 Global Entrepreneurship Congress currently happening in Russia. Yesterday Anthony gave an overview of the Conference and some of the key points from the sessions he attended.  In this post,…

From Russia with entrepreneurial love

This week the Foundation’s Fellowship Director, Immanuel Commarmond and I, as part of further policy meetings of the Global Entrepreneurship Research Network, are attending the 2014 Global Entrepreneurship Congress(GEC) in Moscow, Russia. This year is the sixth iteration of the…

Shape the Future Series: Intellectual Imagination

In this second post of our Shape the Future Series I will be outlining one of our 5 Pillars, namely, Intellectual Imagination. It was Albert Einstein who said that, “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to…

Shape the Future Series: Being Internally Controlled

Over the next few weeks our Shape the Future Series of blog posts will be outlining our 5 Pillars as well as introducing some of the 120 attitudes which underpins the 20 mindsets required to fully activate our 5 entrepreneurial pillars. By entrenching the right entrepreneurial mindset, we believe, our Allan Gray Fellows will Shape the Future and bring about societal and economic transformation in the coming years.

Entrepreneurship: If you think you can, or think you can’t, either way, you are right!

As a Foundation it is sometimes difficult for people to understand exactly what it is that we do.  When the vision describes  developing future entrepreneurs, it is easy to then simply assume that we are in the “business” of providing…

Shape the Future

All people have the will to create encoded in their DNA.  It should thus come as no surprise that human kind has always held a great fascination with shape.  Early explorers and pioneers such as Ferdinand Magellan, Vasco Da Gama…

Foundation Participates in the Global Entrepreneurship Research Network (GERN)

Our CEO, Anthony Farr recently attended the Global Entrepreneurship Summit which took place in Malaysia, 11-12 October 2013. With an impressive line-up of international speakers, the Conference provided a global perspective on entrepreneurship in addition to being the platform at…