Nutanix has joined forces with South Africa’s Make A Difference (“MAD”) Leadership Foundation to establish new means of support and development of young people in South Africa, at a time when the continent itself is facing a significant deficiency in skills development – something that can only be tackled by the support of a new generation of leaders and professionals.

Since the inception of the Foundation in 2003, founder and chairman Francois Pienaar has applied an inspiring vision to provide educational access to students with leadership potential but who face economic and other barriers through an individualised and personal approach.

As a result, the foundation focuses on the individual as a whole, ensuring that scholarship recipients not only succeed academically but manifest personal success and positive social engagement traits.

Through comprehensive, personal and long-term support offered through its Scholarship Programme, the foundation develops a body of MAD Leadership Foundation Fellows who will invest their skills into the South African business world, providing a powerful force for positive change in their unique way and leaders in their own right.

Based on this exceptional work, Nutanix has identified the Foundation as a beneficiary of its .heart initiative in South Africa.

Paul Ruinaard, regional sales director and country manager at Nutanix in South Africa, comments: “The MAD Leadership Foundation is carrying out phenomenal work in South Africa with its financial, emotional, personal and academic support for young people. It is this work that led us to select the MAD Leadership Foundation as a beneficiary of our .heart initiative. As a donor, we will assist the foundation and its students with skills development and mentorship, as well as financial support.”

The Nutanix .heart initiative aims to make an ongoing positive impact on the world by lending the company’s voice, time, expertise, products, and funding to help solve complex social problems. With one of South Africa’s primary social issues being education, Nutanix is setting up a series of workshops to increase opportunities for women in technology in general and the field of IT specifically.

As an initial contribution, Nutanix has donated laptop PCs for the foundation’s students, which were handed out at a ceremony celebrating several of them who are studying to become doctors, chartered accountants, statisticians and electrical engineers.