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SA Private Sector’s SME Fund Ropes In Seven Businesses
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SA Private Sector’s SME Fund Ropes In Seven Businesses

Seven, black-owned, mid-sized businesses were Wednesday announced as recipients of the SA SME Fund’s CEO Circle, which would help them scale into significant companies of R500 million plus in value.

The SA SME Fund launched the CEO Circle Initiative in March this year with the aim of helping scale five to 10 high-growth companies run by black entrepreneurs into companies of significant value, as part of the private sector efforts to stimulate the economy and create jobs.

Among the recipients of the CEO Circle Entrepreneurs 2019 Award were BT Industrial, manufactures of high density polyethylene (HDPE) pipes and InnoVent, a company that deals with asset rental and management of computer hardware to corporates.

More than 140 nominations were received, over 20 percent qualified for the second round of business reviews, 13 businesses presented to the selection panel last month, and only seven progressed to the final selection panel. 

Adrian Gore, chairperson of SA SME Fund, said mid-sized companies were an important engine of economic growth. 

“We will leverage the enormous power of the SA SME Fund’s shareholders (top 50 corporates) and fund managers to help grow these businesses into significant players in the South African economy,” Gore said.

Siyeza Fine Chem, which procures and distributes active pharmaceutical ingredients to manufacturers; as well as TSK Interiors, a turnkey interior fitouts and related construction solutions, were also named as recipients 

Family business SignCraft Africa, a one-stop shop that manufactures, installs, delivers and maintains corporate signage, also made the cut. All the recipient businesses generate more that R100 million in revenue per annum.

Each recipient will receive a personalised plan to accelerate their growth, that will include access to capital providers, introductions to and mentoring by senior executives and decision makers in SA SME Fund shareholder companies, and other tailored business support.

Fani Titi, joint chief executive of Investec, said the calibre of the recipients of the CEO Circle Entrepreneurs 2019 Award was impressive. 

“These entrepreneurs have through sheer hard work and perseverance already built solid companies. With the CEO Circle as a catalyst, these businesses are poised to become significant players,” Titi said.

Shameel Joosub, chief executive of Vodacom and one of the judges, said they were looking forward to seeing these companies grow into national champions, and paving the way for younger entrepreneurs to follow in their footsteps.


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