Shriyaa Sooklal flew the Maris Stella High School flag high when she got crowned the champion of South Africa’s leading digital learning challenge – the Allan Gray Entrepreneurship Challenge (AGEC), conceptualized specifically to develop the minds of young would-be entrepreneurs and coach them on how best to think like entrepreneurs.
The results were recently announced at the second annual AGEC grand finale at Gold Reef City in Johannesburg.
The AGEC top five also included;
- 2nd place: Sara Gopel – Riebeek College Girls High School
- 3rd place: Saheel Rajnarain – Crawford College
- 4th place: Kai Parsons – Cedar House School
- 5th place: Tahir Omar Carrim – Sutherland High School
AGEC was established by long-term investment company Allan Gray and developed by the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation – a foundation committed to investing in the education and development of individuals with entrepreneurial potential in Southern Africa.
The Challenge was designed to develop a culture of entrepreneurship in the minds of grades 8-12 using digital learning and gamification. Currently, in its second year, the Challenge seeks to inspire pupils on how to influence change in their community, the country and ultimately the world.
The pupils were required to complete weekly micro-challenges that further exposed them to a variety of entrepreneurial skills, which were then applied to real-world scenarios.
During weeks one to three, learners began their entrepreneurial journey by exploring local challenges and opportunities in the areas of social entrepreneurship, transportation, and healthcare.
In weeks four to six the competition shifted focus to global themes of climate change, artificial intelligence and blockchain technology. Last night’s event wrapped-up six weeks of inter-school and inter-pupil participation across the country.
According to Anthony Selley, AGEC’s Head of Gameplay, entry participation doubled for the 2018 season, from 4 000 in 2017 to more than 8 000 in 2018. In addition, more than 600 schools across the country participated in this year’s Challenge.
“We are incredibly proud of every participant, and for the second consecutive year this Challenge proved that web-based experimental learning is an effective way to foster a culture of entrepreneurship among our country’s young folk,” Selley says.
Selley says the Challenge seeks to directly address the country’s alarming levels of unemployment using entrepreneurship as the main vehicle for change. The competition focussed on developing five overarching ‘habits of thought’, identified through academic research as key components of an entrepreneurial mindset.
These include: intellectual imagination (innovation); personal initiative (initiative); courageous commitment (resilience); spirit of significance (change maker) and achievement excellence (drive).
Generation Schools Hermanus is the challenge’s top performing school with Glenwood House in second place, followed by Maris Stella, Kloof High School, Somerset College, in third, fourth and fifth place respectively.
“It’s been a phenomenal season, candidates have demonstrated impeccable skill and they’ve proved that they have what it takes to think like entrepreneurs. The success of this year’s event means we’re already in the planning phase for a bigger and better 2019 season,” Selley said.