Since 2005, the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation has invested in the education and development of individuals with entrepreneurial potential to change the world. Through its Foundation programmes: the Allan Gray Entrepreneurship Challenge, Scholarship, Fellowship and Association of Allan Gray Fellows, participants are nurtured to become high impact entrepreneurs ready to contribute to an entrepreneurial and equitable South Africa.
The impact of the nurturing provided by the Foundation has been immense and continues to produce a solid community of responsible entrepreneurs who are breaking ground throughout South Africa and the rest of the world. Each participant who is inducted into the Association as a Fellow, has demonstrated a courageous commitment, achievement excellence, intellectual imagination, personal initiative and a spirit of significance which are all the core values set out in the vision of the Foundation. Since the first eight Fellows were inducted into the Association in 2008, the community has grown to 589 Fellows, 35% of whom are taking entrepreneurial action having started businesses in various industries.
The impact of the entrepreneurship support from the Foundation is clearly visible as the Foundation’s Fellows have gone on to create more than 800 direct jobs to the economy over the last 13 years. The story of high impact and responsible entrepreneurship is fast accelerating and it’s easy to see through the notable achievements that many Fellows continue to excel in through their businesses.
To be a part of the Association is to be a part of a lifelong support system, where together, Fellows excel in realising the core vision of an entrepreneurial, equitable South Africa flourishing with meaningful employment.
The Foundation has set itself apart from many organisations offering entrepreneurship education, “what we are trying to do as an organisation is to create generational impact, and what this means is that the Fellows are able to receive the knowledge, education and the networks – that [will] one day down the line [be of benefit] either for themselves as they build a business, or no doubt, their children and family members where that knowledge can be imparted and ultimately, value can be created,” says Director of Association at AGOF Jalal Ghiassi-Razavi.
Our Fellows are leading high growth potential technology startups solving critical problems in finance, education, health and agriculture just to name a few. They go on to found multiple businesses, they partner with each other within the community, are accomplished entrepreneurs on advisory boards funding and nurturing other entrepreneurs, are making strides and attracting additional backing in investment and are giving back to the Foundation.