Pathways Road Show – March 2022

Rita Baptista, Venture Builder Operations Manager and one of our newest team members, had this to say, “For me, it was all new and exciting! The trip to Makanda to visit Nambu was an absolute pleasure, and the long drive afforded me the opportunity to spend quality time with fellow team members, Danielle, Siphelele, and Peter. We shared some meals together, met up at the Amazwi South Africa Museum of Literature for a poetry reading by prize-winning author Dominique Botha and bought some pineapple jam at the HUGE pineapple before reaching Pathways investee, Nambu Group’s farm.  

The site visit to Nambu was inspirational and the humility, passion and involvement of Lowell Scarr was just lovely to experience. His impact in this space is undeniable and because of their low-tech approach, it can be replicated easily and at a low cost, making the solution very scaleable in Africa. Danielle and I were brave enough to taste some of the high-protein larvae! I look forward to working with him on the new facility and helping ease some of the pressures on landfills by having these magic little Black Soldier Flies do their work.

The trip to Cape Town was likewise lovely. My wingman was Siphelele Ndlovu, E Squared Associate Investment Officer; a perfect gentleman. We had lovely talks and most importantly got to spend time with some of the Allan Gray Fellow community.

We met with Tshepo Bhengu at Rewoven who very kindly walked us through his operation and we got permission to go on-site at The Foschini Group site, which afforded us a better understanding of their operations. Tshepo is a very impressive young man, knowledgeable, and keen to listen and share. 

On the way to see Sibu(sisiwe) Maseko from Silimela we drove past social enterprise investee, We Think Code, for an impromptu visit and they very kindly showed us around – which was so nice.

Sibu from Silimela showed us the rooftop at Bayside mall so we could talk through her plans, and we came away with some next steps and action plans in place.

We then met up with George at The Boxer Coffee Company where we had a FABULOUS cappuccino. Onwards to the Allan Gray Fellow Hangout Dinner where we were able to elaborate on Pathways’ bespoke offer of tailored coaching and advisory, i.e. non-financial support, to the specific needs of each participating business. We were further able to give clarity to some questions around the programme through a few of the personal journeys of a few of the participants, potential applicants and aspiring Pathways entrepreneurs.”

Peter Paradza, Venture Builder – Programmes says, “A great outcome of the trip and dinner were the opportunities presented for Fellows to network with one another and find synergies between their various businesses and/or skillsets. On this particular night, a few Fellows in different industries got a better understanding of each other leading to possible future work collaboration and gave the E Squared team the opportunity to be available for more personal meetings and interactions.”