Allan Gray Fellows

Our Allan Gray Fellows’ programme enables entrepreneurs to establish and grow responsible businesses. We offer various forms of bespoke support, from ideation to acceleration and beyond.

We support Allan Gray Fellow businesses at all stages

Stages of Business

We help Allan Gray Fellows grow their business, whatever stage it is in, be it ideation, seed, scale-up or growth.


A business is in idea phase. Its business model has not been validated and a registered business may not exist.


At this stage, a business is registered with a validated model, but needs both financial and non-financial support to accelerate its development.

Scale Up

The business has reached, or is close to reaching, commercial viability and is able to scale up.


An established business is looking for other opportunities for growth.

Engagement Models

We tailor our offering and support depending on the individual needs and the context of the business life cycle.


  • Bespoke analysis of a Fellow’s idea and plan
  • Access to capital needed to start or grow a high-impact business
  • Other support to run a business smoothly and responsibly, such as mentorship


We partner with Allan Gray Fellows to establish and grow responsible businesses.

We offer bespoke support to Fellows who share our vision. Our support includes finance, mentoring, access to industry specialists and other forms of assistance.

We work to partner with any eligible Allan Gray Fellow to follow their entrepreneurial journey

Support (Structures)

Financial Support

Available Instruments

  • Debt funding
  • Equity funding
  • Quasi-equity funding
  • Options
  • Other instruments that may be more applicable depending on the needs of the business
  • Apply here for investment funding
Financial Support

E Squared is able to offer various forms of financial support to entrepreneurs depending on their goals and requirements, as well as the stage of business that they are currently in.

The financial support can be delivered through various instruments and tailored to suit the business needs

Post Investment Management

Available Instruments

  • continued performance monitoring tools
  • unique insight into investee businesses
  • helping teams remain focused on objectives
  • targeted growth strategy support from professionals and SMEs
  • key business and management advice
Post Investment Management (PIM)

We offer post investment management (PIM) support to Fellow-led businesses, equipping them to systematically drive financial growth, build enterprise value and deliver measurable impact underpinned by our commitment to long-term partnership and promotion of responsible entrepreneurship.

Partnering Process

Our partnering process is designed to help us identify Allan Gray Fellows and businesses with the best possible chance of success. We aim to complete the process from Application to Feedback over 3 months.

Initial Engagement
Informal introduction to the business by the Allan Gray Fellow through phone call, email or in-person meeting
Allan Gray Fellow to complete a funding application form and submit the required due diligence information.
Due Diligence completion
A staged due diligence process which would involve regular engagement and feedback from the Allan Gray Fellow. Satisfactory completion would result in submission of the proposal to the Investment Committee for approva
Investment Committee deliberation on the proposal
Immediate feedback would be provided to the Allan Gray Fellow following the Investment Committee decision, which may include additional work to be done on the proposal
Partner or Decline
Agreement to be obtained from the Allan Gray Fellow to proceed with the funding process through further engagement and the execution of legal documentation


We offer interventions to help Allan Gray Fellows start-up or grow responsible businesses. Our Start-up Challenge Award helps individuals access funding for a new business. Our Accelerator programme helps existing businesses develop to establish the foundations for commercial viability.

Pathways Programme

Programme Benefits

  • Tailored “path to investment” for earlier stage Fellow businesses
  • Direct financial and non-financial professional business support and other tailored service offerings
  • Curated interventions develop disciplined and systematic early-stage venture growth
  • Self-paced growth for founding teams with the alignment of outcome-based commitments
  • Potential to partner with E2 on a longer growth journey right from ‘proof of concept’ to ‘establishment of the business’ and ‘traction’
  • Dynamic on-and-off-boarding (i.e. no programme start/end dates)

Eligibility Criteria

  • Available to Allan Gray Fellows working part or full-time in their registered business
  • Commit to a rigorous selection process to confirm Pathways readiness, values and outcomes alignment
  • Fellows must demonstrate at least prior concept validation and initial interest in their business (E Squared will help refine and further validate), but can enter Pathways at one of three phases whose eligibility requirements differ based on business maturity and needs:
  • Phase 1a: Proof of concept and pre-revenue
  • Phase 1b: Commercial revenues achieved but no repeat sales
  • Phase 2: Achieve operational breakeven with repeat sales
Pathways Programme

E Squared Pathways is a programme designed to better support Fellow entrepreneurs in early-stage venture creation. We believe bespoke, earlier interventions are critical to build investment-ready businesses that will create greater impact.

Please get in touch for more information about the application processes and qualifying criteria by Contacting Us or submit your pitch deck here.


Varsity Pitch

Programme Benefits

  • Opportunity to gain practical entrepreneurship skills, funding and foundational knowledge to systematically build scalable and ultimately impactful ventures.
  • The opportunity to obtain honest and independent assessment of their businesses in both validation and venture phase
  • Receive expert guidance and referrals during the process

Eligibility Criteria 

  • Varsity Pitch is designed to equip entrepreneurial Candidate Fellows
Varsity Pitch

Varsity Pitch is an important alliance between E2 Investments and the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation as one of our first major organisational alignment engagements that helps Candidate Fellows maximise their potential as leaders and entrepreneurs.

Creation Award

Programme Benefits

  • Grant of up to R60,000
  • Recommended to be utilised while undertaking the Foundation’s IVC programme; Enables development of initial relationship between E Squared and the Allan Gray Fellow

Eligibility Criteria

  • In the business’s ideation phase
  • Demonstrated effort and time spent in validating the idea
  • Company registration not necessary
  • Available to Allan Gray Fellows only
  • Application Form
Creation Award

We offer interventions to help Allan Gray Fellows start-up or grow responsible businesses. Our Start-up Challenge and Creation Awards help individuals access funding for a new business. Our Accelerator programme helps existing businesses develop to establish the foundations for commercial viability.

Our Entrepreneurs



A 'farmers’ marketplace where customers buy directly from the source

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Nafasi Water


Leading water technology and water utility service company

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A community website for towns/cities, empowering community members to actively showcase their business and information on a shared platform

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Media Measure


An African media compliance and marketing insights business

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Upcycling, recycling and textile waste reconstruction into quality fabric

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Innovative bio-discovery research company

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Growth solutions for transport businesses

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Oh My Cake!


Production, online & in-store sales & delivery of specialised cakes, cupcakes & macarons to sweet-toothed customers in Gauteng

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A technology platform that connects verified landlords to quality, creditworthy tenants

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How to Apply

Access to our Start-up Challenge and Accelerator programme is initiated through an application form that will be provided for each opportunity . Fellows should simply get in touch with E Squared if they meet the application criteria.

Contact Us