Our Story

The late Dr Allan Gray recognised his responsibility to society thirty years ago. We are a reality of his vision. 

We were founded and launched in 2007, being set up as an Allan Gray BEE partner. After a number of years to capitalise the business, E Squared began its funding activity in 2016.

Vision: An economically inclusive South Africa with meaningful opportunity for everyone.

Mission: To empower responsible entrepreneurs to become the catalysts for economic development, transformation and social upliftment in South Africa.

Meet the team

Venture Analyst: Investments

Tamala Manda

Venture Analyst: Investments

Tamala Manda

Tamala Manda joined E Squared as Venture Analyst in our investment team March 2023.

Tamala has 4 years of experience working for investment companies with a keen investment interest in technology, pharmaceutical and education.

Previously, Tamala worked for Hlayisani Capital, a Venture Capital firm as an Investment Analyst, which sparked her interest in the South African entrepreneurship space and also developed her qualitative and quantitative research skills that include financial analysis, due diligence and asset pricing.

Tamala is a University of the Witwatersrand alumni with a BSc (Honours) in Quantity Surveying and a Masters of Management in Finance and Investment.

Tamala is passionate about teaching and mentorship, social upliftment and using entrepreneurship to close the financial gap in South Africa. She is a passionate Sunday school teacher, with an interest in financial inclusion and community upliftment programmes and hopes to further contribute towards upliftment in South Africa.

Venture Builder: Search and Pipeline Programmes

Timothy Page

Venture Builder: Search and Pipeline Programmes

Timothy Page

Tim Page joined E Squared in February 2023. 

Tim is a seasoned economic development practitioner with 10 years of experience in Local Economic Development, Entrepreneurship Development and Enterprise and Supplier Development (ESD), with a B-Tech Degree in Management in Entrepreneurship (Cape Peninsula University of Technology), and a Certificate in Public Sector Monitoring and Evaluation  (Stellenbosch University).

Tim spent 4-years at Black Umbrellas in various business development and coaching, project, and regional management (incubation) roles.

Tim has also managed the implementation of ESD programmes for SOEs, government and corporates, and served as Managing Director for a business mentorship facilitation and management entity. During his 5-year tenure at the City of Cape Town’s (CoCT) Economic Development Department, he developed and managed the implementation of entrepreneurship development projects across the Cape Town metropole.

Venture Builder: Search and Pipeline Programmes

Tumisho Sedibe

Venture Builder: Search and Pipeline Programmes

Tumisho Sedibe

Tumisho joined E Squared in February 2023. She is a venture builder in the Search and Pipeline team with experience in the business incubation and Enterprise Supplier Development (ESD) space with a passion for inclusive growth, impact and business sustainability, making her a great asset to the E Squared team. Previously Tumisho worked for Black Umbrellas and has completed an MBA at GIBS Business School which sparked her interest in impact investing.

Venture Builder: Search and Pipeline Programmes

Obakeng Maema

Venture Builder: Search and Pipeline Programmes

Obakeng Maema

Obakeng joined E Squared in February 2023 as Venture Builder in our Search and Pipeline team.

Obakeng has experience in technology innovation and development, investment lifecycle management, due diligence assessments and commercialisation of intellectual property assets in the bioeconomy sector. Using his diverse skillset in Biotechnology and his experience of taking several university R&D ventures and start-ups through the investment lifecycle towards product registration and launch, he is able to create huge value in the early-stage start-up space.

Obakeng is qualified in management and leadership development, project and intellectual property management.

Executive Assistant

Thembisile Radebe

Executive Assistant

Thembisile Radebe

Thembisile Radebe joined E Squared in September 2021 as an Executive Assistant.

Thembi has over 15 years of experience in the secretarial field in law, finance and healthcare.  Prior to joining E Squared Thembi was employed as the Executive Assistant to the CEO and the Executive team members at Medu Capital Investments. She holds a certificate in Governance Risk and Compliance from Milpark and completed some studies towards an LLB at WSU in the Eastern Cape, before circumstances took her in another direction.

Thembisile is an integral part of the team, often working hard behind the scenes to keep us organised.

Investment Manager

Shaun Coetzee

Investment Manager

Shaun Coetzee

Shaun joined E Squared in September 2022 in the role of Investment Manager in our investment team.

Shaun has a legal and finance background. He is an admitted attorney and holds a B.Comm Law, LLB, Masters in Corporate Law, and has completed the CFA programme.

After leaving practice, Shaun spent time at Deloitte Legal in corporate and commercial advisory in Sub-Saharan followed by various roles in compliance, governance, and credit at Nedbank CIB. 

Shaun brings with him a wealth of experience in project finance and corporate lending in the telecommunications, water, and infrastructure sectors and is well-placed to invest in young South African entrepreneurs for long-term sustainability.

Chief Executive Officer

Gladwyn Leeuw

Chief Executive Officer

Gladwyn Leeuw

Gladwyn Leeuw joined E Squared as Chief Investment Officer in June 2022.

Gladwyn has multi-dimensional expertise and experience in investment, having served across various sectors (most notably ICT and finance) in senior leadership and executive positions within large corporates, multinationals and SMMEs at Kingson Capital, CCI South Africa, and Anglo American. He lectures occasionally on entrepreneurship at the University of Witwatersrand, is both a debt and equity investor, and is also a business founder of a peer-to-peer lending platform.

Gladwyn holds a Master of Management degree in Entrepreneurship and New Venture Creation, a Postgraduate Diploma in Business Administration Management, and a Bachelor’s degree in Economic Studies and International Relations.

 

Programmes Administrator: Search and Pipeline

Katleho Sithole

Programmes Administrator: Search and Pipeline

Katleho Sithole

Katleho Sithole joined E Squared as Programmes Administrator for the Search and Pipeline team in May 2022.

Katleho joins us from I AM AN ENTREPRENEUR where she was an Enterprise and Supplier Development Assistant working with SMMEs. Prior to that, she was at SAICA Enterprise Development.

Katleho is a haircare entrepreneur with a BCom degree in Entrepreneurship & Business Management and a Postgraduate Diploma in Education. She has also formed a non-profit organisation (NPO) which provides aspiring entrepreneurs with a platform to showcase their products and services.

With her passion for social impact and her experience in business and NPO's, she can play a pivotal role in supporting entrepreneurs for growth and impact at E Squared.

Chief Portfolio Officer

Tshilidzi Matlala

Chief Portfolio Officer

Tshilidzi Matlala

Tshilidzi Matlala joined E Squared as Chief Portfolio Officer in July 2022.

Tshilidzi has 13 years’ experience in the Venture Capital (VC) and Development Finance Sectors. Her engineering expertise coupled with her experience as an advisory committee and investment committee member of various VC Funds and as an entrepreneur in the retail and service space, provides her with a holistic perspective on supporting high-growth sustainable entrepreneurship at E Squared.

As an experienced transactor across multiple industries, who has managed numerous post-investment start-ups and provided strategic direction as a board member to ensure successful investments and profitable exits through various liquidity events, she brings pioneering and proficient problem-solving to the unique space of impact investing in responsible enterprises.

Tshilidzi holds a BSc Chemical Engineering Degree from the University of Witwatersrand and a VC Executive Programme certification from the University of California Berkley’s Haas School of Business. She is also a CFA Charterholder.

Head of Finance and Operations

Ofentse Mkhandawiri

Head of Finance and Operations

Ofentse Mkhandawiri

Ofentse is the Head of Finance and Operations at E Squared. Ofentse joined in 2016 and is responsible for developing and executing finance and operational processes.  These roles include finance, governance, treasury functions and portfolio valuations.  He was instrumental in developing the various processes within these functions for operationalisation and scale in anticipation of the organisation’s growth. 

Ofentse is a qualified Chartered Accountant (SA) and completed his articles at PricewaterhouseCoopers. Ofentse obtained his BAccSci and HDipAcc from the University of the Witwatersrand and is a member of the Golden Key Honour Society.  Ofentse believes that his role at E Squared will contribute to breaking the cycle of poverty.  Within his own family he sees the impact on those where the cycle has been broken through new generations having received education and employment opportunities.

Accountant Analyst: Finance

Lerato Tabane

Accountant Analyst: Finance

Lerato Tabane

Lerato joined E Squared in March 2019 and is responsible for the execution of finance and accounting processes. Lerato has more than five years’ experience in the financial services sector, having worked previously as a Private Banking Specialist for 3 years at Investec, specialising in high-income earners and businesses. Lerato completed her articles at Papilsky Hurwitz Chartered Accountants in Johannesburg after obtaining her BAcc degree from the Midrand Graduate Institute and a HDipAcc post-graduate qualification from the University of South Africa. Lerato is passionate about the opportunity she has, through E Squared, to impact the lives of our youth, by supporting them through entrepreneurship.

Head of Search & Pipeline Programmes

Sipho Pilime

Head of Search & Pipeline Programmes

Sipho Pilime

Sipho is the Head of Search and Pipeline at E Squared.  He joined the E Squared team in 2017 and is responsible for entrepreneur development.  His role involves curation of events and programmes that promote responsible, high-impact entrepreneurship, supporting early-stage venture creation and developing a pipeline of investable opportunities. 

Sipho is a business mentor, coach and banker with more than 17 years of banking experience, facilitating business growth across a range of industries in financial and advisory capacities has spent the past decade honing his skillset in the design and management of effective enterprise and entrepreneur development programmes.  Sipho has also been an entrepreneur himself and is passionate about the role that intentional and tailored early stage support for entrepreneurs can play in creating businesses with potential to eradicate poverty in Africa.

Value Creation Manager: Post Investment Management

Peter Paradza

Value Creation Manager: Post Investment Management

Peter Paradza

Peter works as a Value Creation Manager providing post-investment support to the E Squared Ventures portfolio entrepreneurs.

Peter studied Economics and International Relations at Wits University and a Post Graduate Diploma in Management (Business Administration) at the Wits Business School. He brings a wealth of experience having co-founded ventures and advised entrepreneurs in a variety of sectors including the mining, entertainment, beauty and personal care, tourism and digital marketing technology sectors. He is passionate about the role entrepreneurs can play in solving South Africa's challenges.

Head of Stakeholder Engagement and Communications

Audrey Makumula

Head of Stakeholder Engagement and Communications

Audrey Makumula

Audrey leads E Squared's stakeholder engagement activities and is responsible for developing and implementing communication strategies to ensure effective internal and external communication, fostering positive relationships with stakeholders and enhancing the organization's image and reputation.

Qualified in Public Relations, Audrey has for more than ten years, worked in stakeholder relations, event management, publicity, and income generation, primarily for NGOs and organisations with a mandate for social impact. She is passionate about the development of entrepreneurs and has worked in Enterprise Development for a number of years with a particular enthusiasm for helping businesses define their identity and develop their unique selling proposition.

Value Creation Manager - Post Investment Management

Rita Baptista

Value Creation Manager - Post Investment Management

Rita Baptista

Rita joined E Squared in February 2022 in a role designed to support our portfolio entrepreneurs operationally. Rita is an experienced business outcomes manager with over 20 years of management experience in retail, operations, and warehousing for companies like Barloworld, JD Group, and Cube Route Logistics.

Rita’s hands-on, outcomes-driven management advisory will assist in the implementation of positive change management, operational excellence, and cost-saving initiatives for our portfolio start-ups where needed. Rita has a passion for impacting and uplifting teams, believing that higher levels of performance, accountability, and responsibility lead to a better society; effected one person at a time.

Head of Social Entrepreneurship

Cheryl Jacob

Head of Social Entrepreneurship

Cheryl Jacob

Cheryl Jacob joined E Squared in 2019 and serves as the Head of Social Entrepreneurship. She is responsible for social impact investments in Public Benefit Organisations. She has over 15 years’ experience in International Development working with civil society organisations across the global south. Cheryl is a Certified leadership coach and trainer with the John Maxwell Team and has spent the past 5 years as a consultant, providing coaching, training, and capacity building initiatives for the Global Fund, Obama Foundation and Government amongst others. Cheryl brings her experience, passion, and energy to commit to E Squared’s vision to support social enterprises to build and scale social impact in South Africa.

Social Impact Officer

Raees Hajat

Social Impact Officer

Raees Hajat

Raees joined E Squared in 2021 as a Social Entrepreneurship Junior Analyst intern, but secured a permanent position in 2022 where he now serves as a Social Impact Officer. With our Head of Social Entrepreneurship, he assists with social impact investments in Public Benefit Organisations.

Raees holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Business Administration from The Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) as well as a Bachelor of Science in Human Physiology, Genetics and Psychology with a final year major in Pharmacology. He is currently studying towards a Chartered Financial Analyst qualification.

Raees has experience in sales and operations management and brings passion and a strong work ethic along with an open mind and fresh ideas to the team.

Impact Investment Officer

Siphelele Ndlovu

Impact Investment Officer

Siphelele Ndlovu

Siphelele Ndlovu joined E Squared’s Investment Team in 2019 and is responsible for investment activities and portfolio management. Siphelele is a BCom Finance and Economics graduate from the University of KwaZulu Natal and also holds a Post-Graduate Diploma in Project Management from the Management College of Southern Africa. He is passionate about enterprise development and empowerment and has over 10 years’ experience in deal-making, development finance, supplier development banking, business coaching, and mentorship.

Office Administrator

Karabo Mohlala

Office Administrator

Karabo Mohlala

Karabo joined E Squared in 2021 and has over 3 years of experience in operational support in Food Manufacturing and IT. Karabo holds a higher certificate in Business Sciences from Monash South Africa and is currently completing a BCom degree part-time.

Karabo is passionate about developing South Africa’s youth, demonstrated by the work she did together with her family in 2019,  to start a small fleet company aimed at supporting the young women and men in her area to achieve their full potential. She is energised by the opportunity of working in an organisation that aids the development of entrepreneurs, as well as the youth.

Executive Assistant

Thembisile Radebe

Executive Assistant

Thembisile Radebe

Thembisile Radebe joined E Squared as an Executive Assistant in 2021.

Thembi has over 15 years of experience in the secretarial field. Prior to this, she was employed as Executive Assistant to the CEO and the executive team members at Medu Capital Investments. She holds a certificate in Governance Risk and Compliance from Milpark and has partially completed an LLB degree.

Thembi ensures that things run smoothly in the organisation so that we can help entrepreneurs have maximum impact. When she's not at work, Thembi enjoys reading, interior design, and crafting beaded pieces.

Meet the trustees

Trustee

Lumka Ngqola-Sebone

Trustee

Lumka Ngqola-Sebone

Lumka is a qualified Chartered Accountant that possesses a Master’s degree in Development Finance from the University of Cape Town (UCT). She is an Investment Manager at Harith General Partners with over 14 years of experience in deal-making, financial analysis and modelling, and due diligence.

Prior to joining Harith, she served as an Account Manager/ Dealmaker at the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), where she worked on several transactions, across sectors, such as agro-processing, forestry, metals, and renewable energy. Before this, Lumka was a Financial Analyst in Assets and Liabilities Management at the National Treasury.

Lumka is passionate about entrepreneurship, development finance and impact investing.

Chairperson

Nazeem Martin

Chairperson

Nazeem Martin

Nazeem is a founding member and Chairman of the Wallflower Group. He also served as Deputy Director-General at the National Department of Public Works in Nelson Mandela’s government. Nazeem has a BA and a Higher Diploma in Education from the University of Cape Town, and a Master of Urban Planning from the City University of New York. He also completed the Advanced Management Programme at Harvard Business School.

Trustee

Malik Fal

Trustee

Malik Fal

Malik holds both executive and trustee roles at E Squared, currently serving as CEO. Raised in Francophone Africa, schooled in Europe and trained in the US (Babson College & Harvard), Malik built strong business foundations in operations at PepsiCo and strategy at Monitor Group, and later in the tech investment space with Pan-African roles at Microsoft, Endeavor South Africa and Omidyar Network. Malik’s passion for ‘beneficial knowledge’ has seen him involved in related initiatives in which he co-authored a publication on enterprise solutions to poverty “In the River They Swim”, was part-time faculty on Harvard’s ‘Making Markets Work’ Africa executive program and taught elective MBA modules on competitiveness and strategy at the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS).

Trustee

Anthony Farr

Trustee

Anthony Farr

Anthony Farr is CEO of Allan & Gill Gray Philanthropy Africa, responsible for the execution of the Gray family philanthropy across the continent. Previously, he was the founding CEO of the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation. Prior to this Anthony co-founded the Starfish Greathearts Foundation in 2001. He is qualified as a CA (SA) and Chartered Financial Analyst.

Trustee

Ntebo Hlapane

Trustee

Ntebo Hlapane

Ntebo Hlapane is a Director at Hlapane Attorneys Inc. As a professional attorney with over 23 years’ experience, Ntebo worked for some of South Africa's leading blue-chip companies along with the establishment of large compliance and legal divisions within highly complex environments. Ntebo’s experience ranges from providing legal opinion across entire business landscapes both at at a strategic level like the establishment of policy frameworks, to more technical legal aspects such commercial contracts, compliance and risk.

Trustee

Zipho Sikhakhane

Trustee

Zipho Sikhakhane

Zipho Sikhakhane is CEO and Founder of EMZ Advisory which provides business and leadership solutions for medium to large corporations that have a national, continental and global economic footprint. Zipho was the first black South African to complete an MBA at Stanford University, has a BSc first-class honours from the University of Cape Town and completed leadership courses in Austria, China, Czech Republic, Russia, and South Africa. In 2016 she received the Outstanding Young Achiever Award from UNESCO Center for Global Education. Zipho has held positions in industry-leading corporations worldwide for Inditex Zara; Edcon and McKinsey. Zipho invests in entrepreneurs across Africa and through her experience, brings a global perspective to local opportunities and challenges.

Portfolio

Together we empower entrepreneurs to deliver real impact. We work with an ever-increasing network of like-minded businesses and service providers in order to provide the best support for our entrepreneurs. 

Allan Gray Fellows

Zoie Health

Year invested -2022

Pele Green

Year invested -2023

Digital Africa Ventures

Year invested -2020

Nambu

Year invested -2020

Excel@Uni

Year invested -2021

Xplorio

Year invested -2020

Media Measure

Year invested -2020

Oh My Cake

Year invested -2021

Rewoven

Year invested -2020

Nafasi Water

Year invested -2019

Khula!

Year invested -2020

CapeBio

Year invested -2020

Non-Allan Gray Fellows

Your Bike Club

Year invested -2020

Skrmiish

Year invested -2023

Consumption Information Real Time (CIRT)

Year invested -2021

LocumBase

Year invested -2021

Zinacare

Year invested -2021

Kuloola

Year invested -2021

GoMetro

Year invested -2021

Peach Payments

Year invested -2020

SignApps

Year invested -2020

Comparisure

Year invested -2020

Synatic

Year invested -2020

MFS

Year invested -2020

Social Enterprises