entrepreneur profiles: Michael Louis
Michael Louis was born in Bloemfontein, South Africa and studied law at the University of Orange Free State. He has post-graduate studies at the Harvard University. His experience is varied as a property executive for some of the largest insurance companies in South Africa, where at 28 years of age he already had the responsibility of 1 billion rand in investments per year. For a period of seven years, he developed, managed and leased more than 30 shopping malls.
At the start of the Mandela Era in 1994, he encountered a spiritual calling into politics and became a member of the Provincial Parliament of the Western Cape. He was a founding member of the African Christian Democratic Party in South Africa and served as chairman for six years. His focus and attention was to encourage Biblical principles in government and he served on numerous Christian platforms. He also fulfilled a cabinet position with the portfolios of public works, asset management and development planning. During this time, he was also privileged to represent his political party in drafting the country's new constitution. He was instrumental in the preamble of the constitution being passed "under humble submission to Almighty God."
Michael presently serves his family business, The Louis Group, celebrating 93 years of existence, having originally been established by his grandfather. With more than 407 employees and offices in London, Isle of Man, South Africa, Switzerland, Germany and Namibia, the company has been nominated for numerous awards, namely Top 100 Companies, Top Managers of South Africa and Top Companies to Work For. The company focuses on property investments, finance, leisure and media, maintaining a Christian ethos of integrity, innovation and excellence.
Michael is the strategic initiative director of The Louis Group Investments and sources opportunities for the group. He is particularly interested in developing relationships with key strategic partners. Regent University is key in the group's focus of entrepreneurial studies and leadership. Michael serves on The Louis Group Business Academy Board, which trains leaders in business ethics and the fundamentals of a Christian focus.
Michael's passion includes training leaders and developing better education for Africa. He serves on numerous boards, which include Bishops School Council, Transformation Africa, Louis Group Academy, Cornerstone College, Michael Cassidy Leadership Board and Komsberg Farming.
Having won the Harvard Team Leader Award at the JF Kennedy School for Privatization, Regulatory Reform, Michael has also been nominated for numerous leadership awards including being nominated as one of South Africa's 20 mentors in the book Mentors. He also recently experienced a successful climb of Mt. Kilimanjaro in May 2007, where 41 Christians planted a cross and prayed for Africa.
Michael believes he is an African by birth and for a specific reason. In this new season of his life, he would like to spend more time mentoring a new era of South Africans to be Christ centered in all areas of their lives and to make a meaningful difference to the continent of Africa.