Take your
entrepreneurial journey
one step further.

Wherever you are on your entrepreneurship journey, there is support for you.

Your impact is

part of the equation.

Fellows are co-creators of the entrepreneurial future of South Africa. And as a Fellow, you have come a long way to get to where you are today, but your entrepreneurial journey is far from over.

Within the Association you’ll find all you need to take that next step with the help of your community, no matter in what stage of the journey you are.



What is the Entrepreneurial Academy?

The Entrepreneurial Academy (EA) programme is open to all Fellows who are actively engaged in the Association and are full-time entrepreneurs or are planning to transition full-time in the year that they are applying.

EA is an accelerator programme designed to fast-track the support available to high-impact, responsible entrepreneurs in the Association through relevant, context-specific business growth support services and coaching.

EA has a dual aim:
  • To accelerate the quality of ventures developed by Fellows
  • To accelerate the growth of Fellow-owned businesses that have advanced beyond the ideation stage.

The 2024 EA applications are now open; 12 Fellows with high-potential businesses looking for opportunities to engage in entrepreneurship on a full-time basis and the support structures and mechanisms that allow for the dedication of more time, energy and resources to their ventures and learning journey are invited to apply.

Application Criteria:

  • Be a Fellow in the Association
  • Be in good standing with Foundation (and actively engaged and contributing to the Association)
  • Be committed to entrepreneurial journey development full-time
  • Must not be receiving funding from E-Squared in 2024 or previously have been in the EA or FIR programme

*Preference will be given to Fellows with more mature ventures that have a high potential for impact and growth. These will typically involve ventures that are in the validation and creation stages of their maturity.

Application Process Information:

  • Applications close on 9 February 2024.
  • Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis and Applicants will be informed of further information required if they progress through the screening process.
  • Due diligence will be conducted in early 2024, including business site visits to each shortlisted business.
  • The final selection will be based on a final pitch to a panel of adjudicators who will review the business information to make the final determination.

Venture with impact

Ideation, Validation

and Creation (IVC)

*Applications are open throughout the year

What is the IVC Programme?

As a means of encouraging ideation, the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation has developed a carefully refined internal Ideation Accelerator, known as the IVC programme (Ideation, Validation and Creation). The programme allows for the exploration of an idea through curriculum, business coaching and market testing and has seen a lot of success.

The aims of each stream:

Ideation: For programme participants to learn about the key processes, tools and mindset required to spot opportunities and develop solutions to these problems.

Validation: For programme participants to make sure their ideas are desirable, viable and feasible.

Creation: For Programme Participants to get ready for funding or acceleration.

It’s up to your vision as talent nurtured in Africa to take action to establish global companies to change their community and country.

Application Criteria:

The IVC programme is open to any Candidate Fellow or Fellow who might have a business idea that they would like to pursue.

Must have a commitment to the business idea and entrepreneurial journey

  • Ideation stream: You are yet to discover a problem or potential solution but would like to actively embark on an intentional journey through entrepreneurship and the IVC Programme.
  • Validation stream: You have identified a problem you wish to solve.
  • Creation stream: You have validated your business idea, have found product- market fit, and are post-revenue.

Application Process Information:

  • Applications are open throughout the year
  • Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis and Applicants will be informed of further information required.

Are you a Fellow not running a business or looking for general opportunities to connect with the community?

Discover other relevant portfolio offerings for you

Discover the

Association portfolios


The Association exists to build and strengthen a community whose collaborative efforts result in the realisation of the vision of Fellows becoming high-impact entrepreneurs.

Areas to get involved:
Fellow Connect mixers, Jamboree, Fellow-led initiatives


The Association provides life-long learning opportunities and professional development for Fellows: Giving guidance, support and career-focused opportunities that align with Entrepreneurship.

Areas of support:
Education Funding, Corporate Recruitment Partners, Career Development Coaching, Life Coaching, Mentorship


Keeping Fellows focused on our values and ideals as socially responsible high-impact entrepreneurs. Ethics and values-based leadership is a core component of an Allan Gray Fellow.

Join open conversations:
Facilitated Group Conversations, Dialogue Sessions, Book Clubs, Online Curriculum, Expand Your Horizon


We want to educate and enable the Fellows community to access capital and ecosystem-wide support services that are much needed to further their entrepreneurial ventures and to de-risk the viability of their business concept.

Resources and support:
Pitch training, Pitch Arena, Jamboree, Investment Readiness Coaching, Table 15: Investor Meet & Greet


Provide Fellows with the tools, skills, competencies and support to engage and progress on their entrepreneurial journeys so as to get their businesses off the ground.

Programmes to join:
IVC programme, Entrepreneurial Academy

Areas to get involved:
Business Masterclasses, 1:1 Coaching

We asked

other Fellows:


What advice would you share with any other Fellows looking to join EA or IVC?


“Leverage all the resources available from the very beginning. There’s so much value to derive when you take the opportunity seriously from the beginning such as the coaching and masterclasses.”
“Be consistent and don’t get lost in the sauce of the EA stipend as the year goes by really quickly when you are your own boss. Manage the money wisely and be disciplined on how much you invest into your business.”
“Use every minute to grow your business.”
“Give all your effort and it will pay back.”
“Come in here, ready to work. You only have about 10-12 months to make a change in your business. Use every second of it.”
“Join it and carve your own path, it is only as good as you make it.”
“Be mentally, emotionally and financially prepared to invest into your own entrepreneurial journey and understand that you are responsible for your own progress, any resources provided is purely for you to see where it fits into your business. But don’t forget to enjoy every moment spent into your business.”
“This is a great opportunity to define your business and go-to-market either to grow or scale your operations with access to some of the best industry mentors. This gives you a chance to fail, pick yourself up until you gain product-market fit OR even better achieve success beyond measure. I would highly recommend this opportunity for anyone who wants to jump into entrepreneurship full-time.”


What has been the biggest value received from the EA or IVC support to date?


“The Stipend has allowed me to focus on building the businesses without worrying about rent. The business coach’s assistance has been really helpful as my coach has often helped me stay on course and motivated me to keep on going.”
The financial support has been incredibly helpful. The business coaching has also been a great value add.
The access to business coaches who are experts in their field, the weekly masterclasses and the EA stipend.
Having a support system. A smaller, more intimate group that deals with similar issues as myself.
The masterclasses have provided me with new knowledge: particularly PR and social media, which I have been using in the development of the business. Also, the Emotional Intelligence course has been so much helpful in terms of my personal growth.
I have been able to be full-time in my business and approach partnerships and opportunities from a position of abundance and not desperation. This has given me the chance to turn down bad deals with instant gratification that won’t benefit me in the long term. Access to coaches to bounce ideas and approaches off of has saved me a lot of money [and] time and shielded me from a lot of detrimental mistakes or oversights.