21 Dec Acting Director’s Foreword – December 2022
By Simphiwe Mntambo
Cultivating a winning mindset through our programmes
A platform to help you get to the next level of your entrepreneurial journey
The importance of encouraging entrepreneurial development in South Africa cannot be overstated. As it is, our country faces a record-high unemployment rate and has many socio-economic challenges to overcome. These places small-to-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) at the top of the solution; they have now become an even more important part of the economy.
According to Global Entrepreneur Monitor (GEM), South Africa is seeing an increase in the entrance of new businesses into the market. In 2021, the early-stage entrepreneurial activity (TEA) increased from 10.8% to 17.5%. This is a positive development, given the socio-economic and market changes we have witnessed over the last few years. While these stats are encouraging, and more enterprises entering the market can only benefit our economy and nation, as the Foundation we are often seized by the question of how we can foster the innovative and disruptive culture, which is essential to the growth of both the entrepreneurial and private sectors.
The Allan Gray Orbis Foundation (AGOF) is made up of individuals from all walks of life, who are at various stages of their academic, professional, and entrepreneurial journeys. Regardless of one’s current position, the one thing that remains constant is the spirit of entrepreneurship that thrives within our community. In continuing our mission to nurture this entrepreneurial spirit, applications to enter the AGOF Entrepreneur Association (EA) and Ideation, Validation, and Creation (IVC) programmes are once again open. Whether you have an idea or are currently running your business, Fellows are welcome to tap into these programmes to maximise their efforts as they build their businesses.
As you plan for the year ahead, we encourage Fellows to consider taking part in these programmes which are put in place to help you on your journey of innovation and entrepreneurship. Through the EA and IVC programmes, Fellows at various stages of entrepreneurship can get support from the Foundation in the form of coaching, workshops, seminars, funding, as well as technical support from the broader ecosystem and network affiliated to AGOF. These programmes provide an opportunity for you to leverage your community and expand your mindset and thinking. They give you access to a diverse network of expertise, fellow entrepreneurs, and ecosystem support. They are also a good way to collaborate with others and refine, validate, and build on your ideas.
While the concept of having a community of practice may seem clichéd, it has a lot of merit. The modern adage, “your network is your net worth”, is one that we should all take seriously as it is truly relevant on the journey of entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship is a passion we are all mastering, and we need to make efforts that promote genuine collaboration among Fellows. When you build a strong network, it is worth so much and it can take you anywhere. Our programmes are just another way that we encourage true collaboration, as well as the opportunity to learn from others, they continue to be one of the most crucial initiatives that can keep helping more individuals prosper.
To be part of our Association is to be part of a unique lifelong support system, so do not miss the opportunity to take your business to the next level. Use your community and the platforms that are at your disposal. If you always do what you have always done, you will get the same or similar results so make 2023 the year of change by trying other ways to reach your business goals. Focus on connecting with the right people to do the work that needs to be done effectively – our programmes are there to help you win.
With a fresh approach, through meaningful discussions, networking, coaching, and developing interpersonal relationships, great plans and initiatives can come together to build businesses we can all be proud of.