Congratulations on handing in your MBA thesis today!
Your journey to this point has no doubt been arduous, but you have persevered. May the cathartic sound of that ringing bell serve as a joyful reminder of your character and determination. You can do anything that you put your mind to.
More importantly, relish the friendships that you have made along the way. Your integration into the alumni family begins with your classmates. I urge you to nurture these relationships, for they will be your most valuable GSB connections by far.
As Chair of the GSB Alumni Board, I’d like to officially welcome you to the alumni family of the University of Cape Town (UCT) Graduate School of Business (GSB). The greater alumni network is here for you too. Maximise the opportunity to engage with your fellow alumni by attending future GSB Alumni Events. You will be invited to these events in due course, and I look forward to seeing you there.
Now whilst being an alum of the GSB is a privilege, it is also a responsibility. To that end, I encourage you to begin supporting the GSB Foundation today. Scholarship recipients are among you and our duty to the school, as its alumni, is to help grow the reach of the Foundation.
One of the simplest ways to do this is by signing up for the Foundation’s R100-a-month quest, so please join me in taking an active role as we work together to solidify the GSB’s hard-earned position at the apex of African business schools.
Congratulations on your achievement and best of success with your next chapter.
Kosta Kontos (GSB MBA 2009/10) Board member of the GSB Foundation and Chair of the GSB Alumni Board
Vishal Patel / GSB MBA student 2022 and GSB Foundation scholar // I knew full-heartedly that I wanted to go to the GSB, so when I received the email that I got the scholarship, I was beaming with joy that I actually could attend the school I wanted to go to, come down to Cape Town and to fully immerse myself in this experience. The one thing I was amazed about when I came to the GSB – and I kind of heard stories about it but never put much thought into it – is that the alumni network is very strong. It is incredible how willing GSB alumni are to step up to the plate and say, “Listen, I’ll be keen to participate.” or “How can I help?”. The school is the best on the African continent, but it’s also this rich body of people who are willing to interact, share and help. So knowing that I’m part of a bigger network out there that takes my MBA journey and brings it post-MBA, that’s quite exciting and I’m looking forward to it.
Tax season is here – a time many of us complete our tax returns. If you would like to take full advantage of the tax-deductible amount for charitable donations, please consider us.
Making a donation to the GSB Foundation gives someone the opportunity to complete an MBA at the GSB, who might not otherwise have the means to do so.
Our work is only possible with the help of our GSB alumni and like-minded supporters of the Foundation. Your donation will not only benefit a GSB MBA student but is also a long-term investment in the future of the African continent.
We hope you can help us continue to build leaders building Africa.
On behalf of the GSB Foundation Board of Trustees
Who we are
The GSB Foundation was started in 2016 by the GSB MBA Class of 1969. To date, with the support of alumni and associates of the GSB, the Foundation has funded scholarships for 22 students, helping them earn a world-class MBA. Three scholars are currently enrolled in this year’s GSB MBA programme.
How to donate
You can donate to the GSB Foundation in two convenient ways:
The tax benefits of donating – from SA or overseas
As a registered Public Benefit Organisation (PBO), donations to the GSB Foundation are tax-deductible. Are you registered for tax in South Africa? If you are, you can claim an annual donation deduction of up to 10% of your annual taxable income. If you are registered in a country outside South Africa, you might also be eligible for tax benefits. See details here: gsbfoundation.org.za/tax-information/
Why give back?
The mission of the GSB Foundation is “Building leaders building Africa.” The scholarships afford the most talented students an opportunity to benefit from a world-class UCT GSB education, regardless of their financial circumstances. Our aim is to nurture a diverse leadership that can play a significant role in building the continent. Find out more here about the supporters and beneficiaries of the Foundation: gsbfoundation.org.za/category/voices/
Reyna Singh / GSB MBA ‘18/19, Owner and Director of NG Global Energy Solutions // In 2019, I was quite fortunate in that the GSB gave me a scholarship to complete my final year of the modular MBA. This was a huge help – my business was just an idea, I was in between jobs and my first year was funded on a student loan. Since then, it’s always been at the back of my mind to return that amazing favour and give back when the opportunity arises. This year, our business luckily has the capacity to give back and we made a donation to the Foundation. What do I wish for the person benefiting from our donation? Fully embrace the programme and make the most of it. Enjoy it. Engage with others, collaborate, learn. Use the knowledge you gain to make an impact. For me, it’s all good and well that you have this knowledge and education, but what are you doing to make a difference? Make an impact with what you have learned on the programme.
After another year of virtual learning and remote working around the globe, we are proud to bring you news of the GSB Foundation’s work during 2021, as well as something to celebrate from the ‘new-normal’ digital marketplace.
We do hope that you will take the opportunity to relax at this time, taking a well-earned rest after what has been a historically challenging year. With your support, we also hope that 2022 will be a year when your alma mater and its African home shine all the brighter.
Whereas many overseas campuses have opened up more quickly, GSB campus life has been 100% online in 2021, although that may change in the coming year. Nonetheless, graduate alumni continue to connect worldwide through the annual Alumni Reunion Weekend, which was a huge hybrid success. Also, we still get to celebrate the research outputs generated by the GSB: Aldi Schoeman (GSB MBA 2019/20) was the Winner of the 2021 Emerald/ AABS case study competition with her case study: “Cape Union Mart: Digital transformation and customer experience during a crisis”. Co-authored with Professor Geoff Bick and Claire Barnardo, this case study also features on the WHO global COVID-19 research library. GSB case studies continue to be met with acclaim, contributing the voice of developing markets to the international stage. We are super proud.
Our 2021 GSB Foundation scholars – three this year – have adapted well to the rigours of learning online and will be putting the finishing touches to their MBA dissertations as you read this. Although they have missed the collegiality of campus life this year, they have nonetheless taken full advantage of the opportunities a GSB MBA offers. These three young people bring us to a total of twenty recipients of the GSB Foundation scholarships since its start in 2017. We wish them all extremely well.
If you would like to support the GSB Foundation and give opportunities to more students who may not otherwise be able to access the GSB MBA, please consider our R100-a-month quest, which provides a consistent and vital flow of funds to the Foundation. It might not sound like much – but there are several thousand alumni who, together, could make a significant impact in the long run. Equally, if you know of anyone who would benefit directly from our GSB Foundation scholarships, full-time one-year MBA applications are still open. Once a student has been accepted, they can apply for the scholarship.
We would like to thank the GSB faculty academics, staff and students for their outstanding dedication to managing another academic year in challenging conditions and we also want to take this opportunity to thank our donors and partners for their generous support. Your contributions allow us to help students rise to their potential by benefiting from a world-class MBA programme at the GSB.
Best wishes for a happy holiday and a prosperous new year. Please stay safe and go well.
On behalf of the GSB Foundation trustees and team,
The UCT GSB 2021 Alumni Reunion Weekend took place 22–24 October 2021. “Knowledge across disciplines” was the theme of the weekend and invited speakers shared how leaders are responding to global challenges with a multi-disciplined approach. Of course, staple social activities like a Brig session and the 3Peaks Challenge were also on the agenda.
See here the highlights of the Alumni Reunion Weekend 2021:
It’s been that time of year again where UCT GSB Alumni of all programmes and graduating years gathered to enjoy the annual Alumni Reunion Weekend, held virtually for the second year in a row.
This year’s theme is “Knowledge across disciplines“. The speaker line-up included:
Ralph Mupita, CEO MTN;
Aidan Kearney, Strategy Director, EMEA Nike; and
Buhle Goslar, Jumo World CEO for Africa Region and Pakistan.
They were discussing how we can leverage technology to meet and find new customers and how to develop and build new leadership practices to maximise the benefits.
The event ran from Friday 22nd October (16:00 – 19:00), Saturday 23rd October (12:00 – 16:00), ending on Sunday 24th October with the 3Peaks Challenge – a GSB tradition held annually for the past 42 years!
GSB Foundation scholar Steven van Rheede has been featured on the GSB Ideas Exchange:
Steven van Rheede was part of the 2020 MBA class that, three months into the programme, quickly had to shift their studies online; it bore some unforeseen benefits, he says.
Steven van Rheede had for a long time known he was going to do an MBA, and had in fact some years ago written a short, almost prophetic note that he kept in his wallet: “MBA, 2020.”
The programme, he imagined, would offer time away from the distractions of work, and the space to reflect. And thanks to a global pandemic, he got that and then some.
Steven started his working life as a chemical engineer. He’d been drawn to the industrial sector, he says, probably because his both his parents and his grandfather spent most of their working lives in factories. The factory floor wasn’t alien to him, either, as it was where he would earn some cash over the December school holidays.
Shadi Lekgoathi / GSB MBA student 2021 and GSB Foundation scholar // I’ve had quite a number of opportunities to work abroad. After my training in accounting, I went to New York for three months. During that time, I missed everything about home – the sound of the birds, the hooting of taxis and just how we as people interact. I was making good money, but it didn’t hit home for me. I knew then that – in terms of establishing myself and my career – it’s definitely going to be in Africa. Yes, we have a lot of issues, but there isn’t anyone coming to save us. If we want to see a better continent, a better country, we need to start taking the initiative and make an effort to contribute. I think we are very, very capable if we just look deeper. We understand our problems far better than anyone from abroad. We live here – who is in a better position to address the issues?
It’s the time of the year many of us prepare our tax returns. If you haven’t yet taken full advantage of the tax-deductible amount for donating to charitable causes, then now is the time to do so.
Consider making a donation to the GSB Foundation and give someone a chance to complete a UCT GSB MBA, which was again ranked the top programme on the African continent. Help us fund Africa’s future leaders – read on to find out why and how.
On behalf of the GSB Foundation Trustees
Why giving back matters
A donation to the GSB is an unparalleled investment in knowledge and education. A gift made today will create a legacy for decades to come. Every rand you give will not only fund important research and influential thought leadership, but will also help to educate leaders who will have a critical impact on the continent. This tax season, when your money can go even further, please consider helping us to ensure that the GSB and its graduates continue to play a key role in shaping the future – in Africa and beyond.
Catherine Duggan Director of the UCT GSB and Trustee of the GSB Foundation
Alec Mutlane (GSB MBA 2017):
The journey of one of our first scholars
Three years after doing his MBA, the GSB followed up with Alec Mutlane, one of the first recipients of a GSB Foundation scholarship: “He says he felt like an impostor when he first arrived at the GSB, because he had no previous university qualifications. He discovered that his life experiences – including losing a tech start-up in the 2009 crash – made him an ideal candidate.” Read Alec’s story
It all began with a simple idea
When the GSB MBA Class of 1969 met at their 45th reunion in 2014, four alumni – Stewart Cohen, Tiger Wessels, Peter Thorrington-Smith and Ian Kantor – reflected on the role the GSB had played in their success and how they, in turn, might give something back.
From there, the Foundation was created with one core purpose: to expand access to the UCT Graduate School of Business to the brightest minds, regardless of their financial circumstances. Read more
To date, the Foundation has raised just over R50 million. It awarded 17 scholarships, enabling the recipients to earn a world-class MBA. Three scholars are currently attending the 2021 GSB MBA programme.
How you can help fund Africa’s future leaders and save tax
You can donate to the GSB Foundation in two convenient ways:
Make a once-off donation of an amount of your choice. Donate now
Donate a small amount every month by signing up for the R100-a-month campaign. Sign up now
There are tax benefits: Donating to the GSB Foundation can save you tax, which might tempt you to stretch your support even further. If you, your company, or trust are registered for tax in South Africa, you can claim an annual donation deduction of up to 10% of your taxable income. Internationally, there are many countries where tax-efficient donations to the Foundation are possible. See tax information