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

Investment Principal

Llewellyn Fredericks

Investment Principal

Llewellyn Fredericks

Llewellyn Fredericks joined in 2008 and is currently responsible for post-investment management, but is also active across the E Squared value-chain. Llewellyn is a qualified chartered accountant. He completed articles at Ernst & Young in Cape Town after obtaining a B.BusSci and PGDA at the University of Cape Town where he also holds a MComm in Financial Management. Llewellyn has a great deal of experience in assisting entrepreneurs through the start-up, investment and growth phases of their businesses.

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 coordinating 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 relationship management, 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 particular enthusiasm for helping small businesses define their identity and develop their unique selling proposition.

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.

SE Junior Intern

Raees Hajat

SE Junior Intern

Raees Hajat

Raees joined E-squared in 2021 and serves as the Social Entrepreneurship Junior Analyst. He works closely with our Head of Social Entrepreneurship assisting with social impact investments in Public Benefit Organisations. 

Raees has recently graduated from The Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) where he completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Business Administration. He also holds a Bachelor of Science in Human Physiology, Genetics and Psychology with a final year major in Pharmacology. 

Raees has experience in sales and operations management which he has gained from previous working experiences. Raees brings passion and a strong work ethic along with an open mind and fresh ideas to the team.

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 joining E Squared, Lwazi held roles in private equity as well as in corporate and investment banking.

Senior Investment Associate

Lucretia Chopera

Senior Investment Associate

Lucretia Chopera

Lucretia serves as Senior Investment Associate at E Squared. She is responsible for deal origination and portfolio management. Lucretia brings to E Squared more than 18 years experience working in the financial services sector. She spent the last 10 years working for a USAID Development Fund focused on SME investments in South Africa and the SADC region. Lucretia studied for her MBA at the University of Witwatersrand and has an Advanced Diploma in Banking and Finance from the University of South Africa. She also holds a BSC Honors Economics Degree from the University of Zimbabwe.

Lucretia is passionate about impact investing. She has extensive experience structuring hybrid transactions aimed at promoting high impact businesses that bring about social and environmental change, alongside financial returns to investors.

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.

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 grew up in Francophone Africa, was schooled in Europe and trained in the US (Babson College & Harvard). Malik built strong business foundations in earlier roles in operations at PepsiCo and strategy at Monitor Group, later extending his experience in the tech investment space with a series of Pan-African roles at Microsoft, Endeavor South Africa, Omidyar Network and now at E Squared in a trustee and executive role. 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

Peach Payments

Year invested -2020

SignApps

Year invested -2020

Comparisure

Year invested -2020

Synatic

Year invested -2020

MFS

Year invested -2020

Social Enterprises