The Allan Gray Entrepreneurship Challenge has come to an end after five weeks of gameplay.
Grade 11 learner Sachin Mohan from Horizon International High School in Turffontein was the challenge’s second runner up in Gauteng.
Alex White, Grade 12 learner from Rondebosch Boys’ High School in the Western Cape, was the winner while a Grade 10 learner from The Settlers High School in the Western Cape was the first runner up.
Grade Eight to 12 learners (7 535) across all nine provinces participated in the game to challenge their entrepreneurial skills.
Players were given a choice to pick an industry by establishing a start-up, grow the business, and earn points all on an interactive digital platform.
The challenge closely represented a realistic business environment, where the participants had a direct impact on their virtual start-up influencing multiple factors such as cash flow and employee productivity, growth, and scalability.
Of the 7 682 participants, 31 per cent chose Foodtech, 30 per cent Healthtech, 23 per cent Fintech and 16 per cent Edutech.
This year, the challenge was played within the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic, which provided learners with an opportunity to imagine and create solutions for their start-ups during a time where the food, health, finance, and education sectors have been under immense pressure to be agile and innovate.
The participants applied their creativity and innovation to become future disruptors and game-changers.
“The knowledge that I have acquired from the challenge has moulded my entrepreneurial mindset into one that is resilient, aware and able to take calculated risks. This will be most useful in my career path in the next two years,” said Mohan.
Learners participating in the entrepreneurship challenge were allowed to enter the business ventures competition where they could submit video-based business pitches to secure support that could see them take their actual businesses to the next level.
The entrepreneurship challenge has been a success with the support and encouragement of parents and teachers, the challenge itself was open to high school learners only but the gaming network (social media platform) saw 428 teachers, 1 812 NGOs, 1 096 entrepreneurs and government officials registered.
“This is a mindset. We should be inculcating and democratising within our basic and higher education system by investing in entrepreneurship education and making it accessible to all learners and students if we are to grow entrepreneurship in South Africa,” said Roheid Ojageer, Allan Gray Entrepreneurship Challenge manager.
“Imparting an entrepreneurial mindset allows for a different lens to be applied during these adverse times and gives upcoming entrepreneurs the ability to think out of the box and grow competencies to make sense of situations, problem solve and explore opportunities to add value in the world.”
The top three winners of the entrepreneurship challenge received an entrepreneurial package valued at R40 000 each, which included Allan Gray Unit Trusts for the learners’ first investment to secure their future as well as a business trip to Cape Town to network their entrepreneurial ideas to potential business investors and mentors.