Jonathan Oppenheimer, Executive Chairman of Oppenheimer Generations, announced a partnership with the Harambe Entrepreneur Alliance during the fifth biennial Harambeans Rome Forum held at the Vatican in September. Oppenheimer Generations represents the global interests of Nicky and Jonathan Oppenheimer.
Jonathan, who was in Rome for the event, said that the partnership would leverage the knowledge within the Alliance to accelerate the growth of African innovators. A key feature of the partnership is the inaugural Harambeans Global Summit being held February 28 to March 1, 2020 in Franschhoek, South Africa.
“The fabric of society that makes sustainable development possible is the promotion and creation of people who can lead. Harambe is the identification of a group of entrepreneurs and the enablement of that group to be as successful as they can be. Our hope is that our partnership with Harambe will give us a platform where we can leverage what we bring to the table alongside these extraordinary entrepreneurs so that they can start to move the dial, not only in Africa, but globally. We need such extraordinary success in Africa, given the scale of the challenges we face, that we don’t just need three, five or seven Harambeans. We need thousands of them,” said Jonathan.
Bridget Fury, Head of Oppenheimer Generations Philanthropy accompanied Mr Oppenheimer on his first Harambean ‘Romecoming.’ Oppenheimer Generations Philanthropy is responsible for the philanthropic giving of Nicky and Jonathan Oppenheimer. “We focus on several areas,” Bridget explained “but the one I’m most excited about relates to youth…youth development, job creation, entrepreneurs and ethical leadership. We’re looking for entrepreneurs who have new approaches to problems, individuals who we can back with out-of-the-box ideas who are trying to create new prospects and a new vision for Africa. I come from a background of supporting entrepreneurs in Africa, so Okendo was one of the first people I met when I joined the team. What I find unique and appealing about Harambe is firstly, this unusual alliance of African diaspora who come out of prestigious institutions and want to give back and secondly, the informal nature of the Alliance and that there is magic in that!”
The Global Summit will become a key stop on the Harambean global circuit, which currently includes regular gatherings in Bretton Woods, the Vatican and the British Parliament. “We’re truly humbled by the opportunity to launch our inaugural Summit in South Africa in partnership with a historical and impactful family like the Oppenheimers,” noted Okendo Lewis-Gayle, Founder of Harambeans. “In my interactions with the family over the last twelve months and in our heartfelt exchange here at the Vatican, I have come to appreciate their genuine alignment with the values of our Alliance and the bold aspirations of Harambeans. Perhaps it’s no coincidence that Elsie Kanza, the Africa Lead at the World Economic Forum, is here with us, because I truly believe that our little Franschhoek Summit will grow up to be the Davos of market-creating innovation across Africa. Audacious optimism, I know, but then again the Pope just said ‘Harambeans’ and gave us all a blessing. I guess it’s ok to dream big today. Tomorrow we’ll put the dream on a piece of paper and get back to work.”
Reflecting on the fact that the Global Summit will be the first major gathering of Harambeans on the continent Jonathan remarked, “The African piece is vital. It’s one thing to have the donor and sponsor community in the north supporting an ecosystem in the south, but that won’t naturally work forever. It’s really important to begin to bring not only the North-South partnership, but the South-South partnership to the table, and it’s our hope that the Global Summit in 2020 will bring the Harambean community together again. And every time you do that you see this extraordinary multiplication of ideas. The Global Summit will bring together people that are already well established in South Africa as well as people from other economic centers on the continent. Exposing them to these extraordinary human beings [Harambeans] and the potential that they represent, as well as widening this community of like-minded, committed, exciting and driven people is going to be a really important part. And doing that in Africa, with Africans – who could ask for more!”
The Global Summit will be the first Alliance event to welcome entrepreneurs and investors from outside the network.
To request an invitation please visit www.harambeans.com/globalsummit