Developing high impact business leaders in Africa

How do you create a pool of young and upcoming entrepreneurial leaders who will have a high impact presence on the southern African region?

This may be a mind boggling question which should be put to the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation. In its latest statement the foundation invites “bright young learners” to participate in its entrepreneurship and leadership development fellowship.

“Allan Gray Orbis Foundation is offering bright young learners the opportunity to become South Africa’s future high-impact entrepreneurial leaders,” says the statement.

Applications to the fellowship are now open to current Grade 12 and first year university students.

Some might look at this and conclude that it is uncomfortably elitist in nature. But then others may steal from the words of Nelson Mandela on describing the legacy of Cuban legend Fidel Catsro. “In each and every, there are few individuals, endowed with an acumen of directing the course of events”.

The Allan Gray Orbis Foundation seems to be embracing the latter view.

The Allan Gray Orbis Foundation describes itself as an entity that exists to identify, support and develop talented young Southern Africans who have the potential to become entrepreneurial leaders thereby making a valuable difference to the social and economic fabric of Southern Africa.  “Developing high-impact leaders is, however, only the means to an end: the ultimate purpose of the Foundation is to make a real and enduring difference not only to the lives of those that they have invested in, but also to the country and the region at large. This is the core purpose and the vision of the Foundation: to make a long-term positive impact that liberates the possibility of a great Southern Africa”.

The Allan Gray Orbis Foundation is the social responsibility initiative of Allan Gray Limited and the Orbis Groups in Southern Africa.  It is funded annually by a donation of a minimum of 7% of the taxed profits of the Allan Gray Limited, which has committed to making this donation to the Foundation in perpetuity.  As profits may fluctuate, this commitment is backed up by a capital endowment of over R1 billion donated by Mr. Allan WB Gray, the founder of Allan Gray Limited and Orbis Groups.

Commenting about the launch of the latest edition of the foundation fellowship, Anthony Farr, CEO of the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation, said “We are of the belief that high impact entrepreneurial leaders will make important contributions to positive economic, social and political change. Therefore, we aim to support and develop talented young South Africans through our Fellowship programme, which provides comprehensive financial support, access to entrepreneurial and personal development as well as mentorship opportunities to ensure the individual’s continued progress.”

Applicants in Grade 12 who pass the initial screening phase must write the National Benchmark Test. Those who successfully complete this phase will be interviewed and thereafter some are invited to attend one of the Selection Camps. Those who are successful through all stages of the selection process are invited to join the Fellowship, giving them access to all the benefits that the programme offers.

“What distinguishes us from other scholarship and bursary programmes is our focus on developing high impact entrepreneurial leaders. It is the Foundation’s belief that such individuals are capable of shaping and transforming the future of the Southern African region as they drive to make a positive impact on the world around them. The Foundation therefore seeks to nurture and develop an entrepreneurial mindset in the most promising of Southern Africa’s youth through its Scholarship and Fellowship opportunities,” concludes Farr.

Applications to the Fellowship close on the 30 April 2013 for Grade 12 learners and on the 31 August 2013 for current first year university students. Visit for more information.


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