Donate this tax season

Donate this tax season

As another financial year draws to a close, I am delighted to use this opportunity to reflect on the GSB’s achievements over the past 12 months, and by extension, the continued success of the GSB Foundation.

Despite the global downturn in demand for full-time MBA studies and the subsequent competition between business schools to fill their respective seats, the GSB remains the only institution in South Africa to offer a full-time MBA programme whilst sustaining its triple-crown accreditation. The aforementioned accreditations include AACSB, AMBA, and EQUIS – and it is worth noting that the latter is particularly special, since for the first time since 2007 we have been granted a 5-year accreditation (as opposed to 3 years). This honour speaks to the hard work and dedication of the GSB’s leadership team and support staff, who are to be commended on their efforts.

The resilience of our full-time MBA programme is in part owed to our visionary director, Dr Catherine Duggan, and her courageous decision to adjust the course’s calendar so that it begins in August, in alignment with our business school peers in the Northern Hemisphere. This has led to a significant increase in international applicants, and a near doubling in student headcount post-Covid. Our Modular MBA programme is also thriving, with 69 new students having recently embarked on their 2-year journey earlier this month. It is mightily encouraging to see the campus halls and lecture theatres bustling with activity again – not to mention The Brig – and our beloved Sunrise Club grows from strength to strength.

The GSB Foundation marches on, resolute in its mission to attract exemplary students to the GSB’s classrooms. With the awarding of 3 full scholarships in 2023, this brings the total number of scholarship recipients to 27 since the Foundation’s inception. These scholarships are critical to maintaining our Financial Times rankings, and thus ensuring that our flagship course is able to maintain its status as the leading MBA programme in Africa.

If you would like to contribute to this worthwhile cause, please visit where you can learn more about our assorted fund-raising initiatives. Even if it is something as small as signing up for our R100-per-month campaign, every little bit counts, and if several thousand of us alumni were to collectively back this effort, it would cement the GSB’s position at the apex of African business schools for decades to come.

In closing I wish to express my heartfelt gratitude to our existing and past donors for their generosity. None of this would have been possible without you.

Yours in service to our revered alma mater,

Kosta Kontos
MBA 2009/2010 and GSB Foundation Chairperson

Stewart Cohen honoured with GSB Director’s Alumni Award

Stewart Cohen and GSB Director Catherine Duggan

Stewart Cohen, co-founder and Honorary Chairman of Mr Price Group South Africa, has received the prestigious Lifetime Achievement GSB Director’s Alumni Award. Presented by GSB Director Catherine Duggan on October 21, 2023, this esteemed accolade honours alumni who have made a remarkable impact on society or dedicated their lives to a noble cause.

… it was my honour to name Stewart Cohen (GSB MBA 1969) the inaugural recipient of this award. One of the School’s most distinguished alumni, Stewart is the co-founder and Honorary Chairman of Mr Price Group South Africa, which now has more than 2,500 stores and employs more than 25,000 people. An extraordinary entrepreneur with an unshakeable belief in the power of entrepreneurship and management education, Stewart was a founding donor and long-time Chair of the GSB Foundation — in addition to establishing the Mr Price Foundation, which is focused on education and skills development for youth empowerment, and pioneering the innovative Startup School, which provides innovative, practical and flexible entrepreneurship training and is helmed and supported by GSB alumni.

Under Stewart’s leadership the GSB Foundation raised money for scholarships that have made it possible for remarkable students to join the GSB’s programmes, and both he and the Foundation have been stalwart supporters of the School. Stewart has always been incredibly generous with his time and insights — both as GSB Foundation Chair and in his personal capacity — which have contributed immensely to the GSB’s continued development. On my own behalf, as well as on behalf of the School and broader community, I can say that the GSB would not be where it is today without Stewart’s efforts. We could not ask for a better ambassador for the School or example of the power of business education, an innovative and entrepreneurial mindset and a commitment to social impact.

// Catherine Duggan, December 2023, in 2023 UCT GSB Highlights Alumni Newsletter

Stewart’s dedication and impactful work have profoundly influenced leaders in both business and non-profit organisations, as well as entrepreneurs throughout Africa. His continuous efforts over the years have not gone unnoticed.

As a founding donor and board member of the GSB Foundation, Stewart (MBA’ 69) has played a vital role in providing scholarships for deserving candidates to pursue a GSB MBA. With the foundation’s support, 28 scholars have been able to further their education, and more opportunities are on the horizon.

I strongly believe that all GSB alumni should donate or bequeath funds to the GSB Foundation – to strengthen our alma mater and support deserving students. // Stewart Cohen, December 2023

In addition to his involvement with the foundation, Stewart actively contributes to social initiatives at the GSB Bertha Centre for Social Innovation & Entrepreneurship and the Startup School. Through the Startup School, Stewart and his co-founders have empowered over 2000 entrepreneurs and businesses across Africa, offering education, development, and grants to foster sustainable businesses and vital employment opportunities.

The GSB Foundation and its supporters extend their warmest congratulations and gratitude to Stewart for his ongoing commitment and dedication.

The Annual GSB Director’s Alumni Awards were presented during the Gala Dinner of the Annual Reunion Weekend, held at the UCT GSB Breakwater Campus from October 21 to 23, 2023. The 2023 awards recipients are Mukona Khalushi (PGDip in Management Practice’ 16/17) in the category Alumni Relations and Bruce Isdale (MBA’ 14) in the category Long-Term Contributions. The Lifetime Achievement Award is a category at the discretion of the GSB Director.

Picture: Stewart Cohen and GSB Director Catherine Duggan at the MBA Bellringing event, 4 Dec 2023 at the UCT GSB Breakwater Campus

Gearing up for the next step

GSB Foundation Scholar Refentse Masha

Refentse Masha / GSB MBA student 2023 and GSB Foundation scholar // My initial curiosity to pursue an MBA was sparked last year. I did an executive course similar to the MBA, which touched on strategy, financial management, talent management and those subjects. I applied what I had learned to my business and found it to be quite useful. With six years of experience scaling and selling my own start-up, I’m now eager to explore what the next step for me is. I chose GSB because I wanted a programme that was located in Africa, focussing on Africa – that’s where I want to operate going forward. I’m still very open-minded to what might happen after the MBA, but I know that I won’t have to start from scratch – I know the kind of structures that I need to have and what I’m learning here at the GSB. So when I return to the business world or decide to venture into corporate, I’m well equipped for my journey.

Teamwork is key – during the MBA and in business

Stephen Quantrill

Stephen Quantrill / GSB MBA ’94, Executive Chairman of McRae Investments // I’m a huge supporter of the enrichment and stretch of the GSB experience – including the foundation the MBA provides your career and the bonds and friendships that endure. The GSB MBA is a dynamic melting pot for extending and understanding yourself better and gaining skills in teamwork and symbiosis; it is a vibrant proxy for demanding board and management environments later. The academic programme is intense and deliberately designed around teamwork, and I’d urge students to give more than they take – putting in 150% while encouraging your team’s high performance in a high-pressure environment are critical skills for success. In my experience, people that go on to do better than others also learn early that they don’t have all the skills and knowledge. So it’s about learning and understanding how other people’s contributions can improve your own success, and you can benefit theirs. As a business leader, you learn to value that people see things differently, so you adapt to listen better and make more robust decisions together.

Donate today and maximise your tax deductions

Tax season is the best time to maximise your tax deductions and give back. By making a donation to the GSB Foundation, you can support our work and reduce your taxable income at the same time. We call that a win-win!

Donations allow you to help build better futures through education. By contributing to the GSB Foundation, you create opportunities for aspiring MBAs who might otherwise be unable to pursue their dreams.

Last year, we were able to give such an opportunity to three beneficiaries – all of whom successfully completed the full-time MBA in December – with the help of donations to the Foundation. We are proud to say that Liz, Minaz and Vishal are also class leaders in terms of their achievements, gaining top student awards. They are ambassadors for the GSB and the Foundation and a shining example of our commitment to helping students focus fully on their studies.

With your support, you are making a lasting contribution to the future of Africa. Your donation will provide invaluable assistance and resources to GSB MBA students who have the potential for inspiring positive change in their home countries, this continent and the wider world.

We hope you will help us continue to build leaders building Africa.

Yours sincerely,

Linda Fasham
Executive Consultant
On behalf of the GSB Foundation Board of Trustees

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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 awarded scholarships for 22 students, helping them earn a world-class MBA.

How to donate

You can donate to the GSB Foundation in two convenient ways:

  1. Make a once-off donation:
  2. Make a regular contribution for as little as R100 per month:

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: 

Why give back?

The mission of the Foundation is: “Building leaders building Africa.” The scholarships allow 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.

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GSB Foundation Trustees: Kosta Kontos, GSB MBA 2009/10 (Chair); Stewart Cohen, GSB MBA 1969; Tiger Wessels, GSB MBA 1969; Dr Catherine Duggan, GSB Director; Ian Reid, GSB MBA 1993; Raymond van Niekerk, GSB MBA 1996. The GSB Foundation is registered in South Africa as a trust (IT002858/2015(C)) and non-profit organisation (169-125 NPO). It is registered as a Public Benefit Organisation (PBO ref. no. 930052029) in terms of Section 30(3) of the Income Tax Act No. 58 of 1962 and is approved for the purposes of Section 18A(1)(a) of the Act. The GSB Foundation is a Level 1 B-BBEE contributor.

It’s about community

Mukona Khalushi, GSB PGDip '17 and member of the GSB Alumni Board, PGDip Subcommittee

Mukona Khalushi / GSB PGDip ’17 and member of the GSB Alumni Board, PGDip Subcommittee // I wanted the PGDip fundraising to be more effective and realised that it’s a bigger job – you need more ideas and a committed team. That’s how the idea of the alums subcommittee started. You need PGDip alums who relate to the course and the outcome of the course, who get together with others just as excited to be joining forces. I know what the PGDip did for me – it helped me see myself beyond my limit, it helped me grow as a leader, I’m more visionary now. Yeah, it’s the best thing I’ve ever done. Fundraising is about community; it gives people the opportunity to invest in others, impact other people’s lives and go beyond where they can reach. There could be someone who is going online right now, they want to study for a PGDip but don’t have the funds. Having an option of financial aid still motivates them to apply – so if there are funds available, that is an opportunity for that individual.

Congratulations, class of 2022!

Dear GSB MBA students,

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

Kosta Kontos (GSB MBA 2009/10)
Board member of the GSB Foundation and Chair of the GSB Alumni Board 

The impact of scholarship funding on future leaders

GSB Foundation scholar Shadi Lekgoathi

Shadi Lekgoathi, a GSB MBA 2021 and GSB Foundation Scholar, is featured in the “Entrepreneurship & Innovation” segment of the GSB Ideas Exchange, the online platform of the UCT GSB Press Office.

Reflecting on her MBA experience a year later, Shadi shares that it has had a profound impact on her self-perception and her ability to make a difference in the world. “The biggest takeaway from my MBA is my mindset change about Africa and my willingness not to leave but to stay here. What follows for me is […] to be interested in how my contribution fits into the larger ecosystem,” she explains. While challenges still exist, she’s changed her perspective to asking what opportunities might become available in the midst of these challenges. “How do we make people’s lives better?” she asks.

Rayner Canning, Business Development Director at the UCT GSB, adds, “It is incredibly important that as a school we make this funding available not only to boost the careers of individual students but for the benefit of the broader economy and society. We find that a large number of our graduates – as African leaders of substance – go on to add tremendous value to their work and society.”

Read the full article: Don’t let finances get in the way of your MBA dream.

Our alumni network is remarkable

GSB Foundation Scholar Vishal Patel

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.