Our Story

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

E Squared was 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 and 2017.

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

Impact Investment Lead

Asgar Bhikoo

Impact Investment Lead

Asgar Bhikoo

Asgar Bhikoo joined E Squared as Impact Investment Lead in May 2022.

Asgar comes with more than 10 years of Monitoring & Evaluation experience, where he has worked across different sectors as an M&E Specialist, Knowledge and Research Manager, Senior Impact Manager, and independent consultant. He served on the South African Monitoring and Evaluation Association (SAMEA) board and the Aspen Network of Development of Entrepreneurs (ANDE) steering committee. 

Asgar’s passion for knowledge sharing and lean impact measurement is at the core of transforming economies through sustainable enterprise and responsible entrepreneurship and he brings a wealth of insight from his time at the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation.

He has a Masters in Philosophy: Programme Evaluation, a Business Commerce Honours: Organisational Psychology degree specialising in Training Evaluation, a Business Social Sciences qualification majoring in Organisational Psychology, and a Diploma in Business Analysis.

Chief Investment Officer

Gladwyn Leeuw

Chief Investment 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

Katleho Sithole

Programmes Administrator

Katleho Sithole

Katleho Sithole joined E Squared as Programmes Administrator 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.

Associate Financial Officer

Ofentse Mkhandawiri

Associate Financial Officer

Ofentse Mkhandawiri

Ofentse is the Associate Financial Officer of E Squared. Ofentse joined in 2016 and is responsible for developing and executing finance 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; give the chance at improved lives, but in other parts of his family, the cycle continues unabated due to limited opportunity – this pains him a great deal.

Accountant Analyst

Lerato Tabane

Accountant Analyst

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.

Associate Programmes Officer

Sipho Pilime

Associate Programmes Officer

Sipho Pilime

Sipho is the Associate Programmes Officer of 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.

Venture Builder

Peter Paradza

Venture Builder

Peter Paradza

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.

Programmes Co-Ordinator

Audrey Makumula

Programmes Co-Ordinator

Audrey Makumula

Audrey is responsible for co-ordinating various projects and events and providing support to the Programmes Associate in rolling out and communicating planned E Squared initiatives.

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 small businesses define their identity and develop their unique selling proposition.

Venture Builder Operations Manager

Rita Baptista

Venture Builder Operations Manager

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.

Communications Lead

Megan de Villiers

Communications Lead

Megan de Villiers

Megan has consulted to E Squared on Communications since 2019, accepting a permanent post in 2022 with a keener focus on ecosystem development. 

 

Megan’s experience lies in guiding and adapting marketing strategy for multiple channels in different industries, communication management, execution, and implementation for global organisations in the consulting, engineering, and not-for-profit sectors. 

 

Megan has also worked extensively within the area of business process outsourcing in India, international development, sustainable design engineering, and the promotion of high-impact entrepreneurship and brain gain in developing countries.

 

Megan is a graduate and also an experienced business owner which often offers great insight into how she can best support entrepreneurs in the E Squared ecosystem and help them make the biggest positive impact on the lives of ordinary South Africans.

Senior Investment Associate

Lwazi M. Goba

Senior Investment Associate

Lwazi M. Goba

Lwazi M. Goba is a Senior Investment Associate and brings corporate and project finance experience across multiple markets and industry segments. A registered Chartered Accountant (SA), he completed his articles at Ernst & Young and graduated from the University of the Witwatersrand with a Bachelor of Accountancy degree (B.Acc). Prior to E Squared, Lwazi held roles in private equity, and corporate and investment banking.

Associate Investment Officer

Siphelele Ndlovu

Associate 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.

HR Manager

Tina Makabe

HR Manager

Tina Makabe

Tina is a qualified HR Professional with over 10 years experience working in the manufacturing and financial services sector.
Her passion is endorsing a people centric culture in the the workplace.
Her experience and skills include driving HR strategies to meet organizational goals through implementation of HR processes, talent management, change management, organizational effectiveness, as well as managing the full HR spectrum.

Office Administrator

Karabo Mohlala

Office Administrator

Karabo Mohlala

Karabo joined E Squared in 2022 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.

Chief Executive Officer

Malik Fal

Chief Executive Officer

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).

Meet the trustees

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

Yogavelli Nambiar

Trustee

Yogavelli Nambiar

Yogi joined the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation as CEO in 2017 following her role as Founding Director of the Enterprise Development Academy at the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS). Prior to this she was Country Director of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women initiative. She is also a Founder-Director of the Enterprise Development Council of South Africa, a READ Educational Trust board member and sits on a Ministerial task team to develop a National SMME Development Master Plan. Yogi lectures on the Social Entrepreneurship Programme at GIBS and has founded and run two businesses: an experiential travel company in South Africa and India; and a social development advisory. Seven years prior, Yogi worked in women’s human rights and disabilities India as featured in the 2014 book “Inspired” by Jennifer Renton. She has a MBA from GIBS and degrees in Development Studies and Community and Health Psychology from UNISA.

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

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

Ofin

Year invested -2020

Nafasi Water

Year invested -2019

Khula!

Year invested -2020

CapeBio

Year invested -2020

Non-Allan Gray Fellows

GoMetro

Year invested -2022

Peach Payments

Year invested -2020

SignApps

Year invested -2020

Comparisure

Year invested -2020

Synatic

Year invested -2020

MFS

Year invested -2020

Social Enterprises