The Western Cape Government’s Department of Economic Development and Tourism (DEDAT) and the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE), the largest exchange on the continent, announced a multi-year Small to Medium Enterprises (SME) development programme to stimulate the growth of the SME sector in the province.
Speaking at the launch, Western Cape Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities, Mireille Wenger, said, “It is a great pleasure to officially launch the SME Accelerator Programme, a unique collaboration with the public and private sector, between the highly esteemed Johannesburg Stock Exchange and the Western Cape Government (WCG), to ensure that a targeted 100 small and medium-sized businesses have access to the expertise they need to expand and to create many more jobs in South Africa.”
Capital Matching Roadshow in Cape Town
The three-year programme will focus on numerous initiatives to facilitate the development and growth of SMEs in the province. The first year (2023) will focus on a ‘capital matching’ initiative where SMEs will be introduced to capital providers who are interested in funding SME businesses in their growth phases.
“I am on a mission to see many more of these kinds of collaborations because I strongly believe that when we come together, we can succeed in creating a much more prosperous future full of hope, with an economy that is growing, creating jobs, and where all businesses who want to expand, are able to,” continued Minister Wenger.
Premier Alan Winde said, “Small and medium-sized businesses are the heart and soul of our economy. If they succeed, so too does our economy. I welcome all initiatives and measures that help SMEs realise their full potential. One such intervention is our Growth for Jobs (G4J) strategy, which maps out and drives the Western Cape’s economic growth and job creation trajectory towards a trillion-rand, jobs-rich, inclusive economy by 2035. To effectively create an enabling environment for economic growth that creates jobs, we need to take the lead and enhance the work of businesses, entrepreneurs, and informal traders.”
The Capital Matching Roadshow that will be hosted in Cape Town aims to match 100 companies predominantly from five sectors, including tourism and film; agriculture and agricultural processing; real estate; the green economy and technology; and manufacturing with capital providers with the aim of upscaling the SMEs and driving job creation and increased economic activity.
Three Phases of the Initiative
The initiative consists of three phases: recruitment of SMEs, capital or investor readiness support for the SMEs and an event in Cape Town where SMEs will get the opportunity to present their investment cases to investors for funding consideration.
JSE Group CEO, Leila Fourie, commented, “The JSE is focused on making a continuous meaningful contribution to the country’s national agenda and economy. We devote significant resources to our business to provide tangible solutions to fast-track SME growth and facilitate access to capital. This new initiative with the WCG is a substantial aspect of the JSE’s strategy to align our activities and services with the needs of our clients and country. We will continue to work tirelessly to collaborate with the government to bring enhanced services that can add much-needed value to economic growth.
“At the very heart of our ambitious economic plan, G4J is the understanding that it is the private sector, and particularly, citizens, entrepreneurs and SMMEs, that create jobs. To put it simply: it is the private sector that creates jobs, and it is our job as government to make this as easy as possible. I look forward to tracking the progress of this exciting collaboration, as well as the benefits and expansion of those SMEs participating. There is much to look forward to,” concluded Minister Wenger.
For further information on this year’s capital matching initiative and entry criteria for SME’s visit here.