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Pretoria News, 17 October 2018

By Dean and Director Jon Foster-Pedley

The Henley Business School recently won another award, the PMR award, the platinum version. By their rankings taken from the views of corporate HR directors and leaders, this makes it the top MBA business school in the country.

But, says Jon Foster-Pedley, Henley never set out to win awards.

What this award does is affirm the journey we started seven years ago; moving from a staff of five in a single office with one programme – an international MBA – to be a flourishing business which occupies an entire campus and provides a range of training.

“We bootstrapped our way with little investment to where we are today because we kept to our original strategy,” says Foster-Pedley. “This wasn’t a conventional strategy where you learn business models from the past and then perfect them: instead he said “we started off with a three fundamental drivers – re-framing a positive African future, defining our purpose and putting it before all other things and creating a rich environment for networking and connections.

“We wanted to build the leaders who build businesses that build Africa…., ” This is learning in action rather than looking back at what had been done in the past. “When we designed our purpose, it was to create these kinds of business leaders and in the process re-frame capitalism too as thoroughly and profoundly as we were re-framing Africa.”

Foster-Pedley believes that when you look at Africa over the next two decades, you’re going to see a continent not just with the largest population or the youngest, but the most consumers too. This explains why Britain and so many other first world countries are making a play to engage with the continent and be part of that future.

“We need to create leaders who will be able to develop Africa’s economy to make it  more than just a place where stuff is dug out of the ground or grown but rather into a highly diverse intelligent economy with multiple sectors which is much more resilient because it’s based on intellectual and creative capital.

Henley has designed the Creative MBA and actively seeks out creatives who may not had the opportunity  to join in this journey.

“We were determined to create a narrative that was informed by brutal truths about the country in which we live – about the incontrovertible imperative to create opportunities and destroy poverty, using business to do just that ….,”he said.

It is in sticking to that purpose to build leaders that has led Henley to become a successful business, and one proud to be itself teaching business.

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