SA SME fund in SA to raise more capital

‘We are talking to everybody’ – fund CEO Ketso Gordhan.
Image: Waldo Swiegers / Bloomberg

A fund created by South African companies to help startups is seeking more cash after allocating all of its capital during its first year.

The R1.4 billion ($88 million) SA SME Fund was contributed to by 50 companies including Anglo American Platinum and Standard Bank Group with the aim providing financing for black entrepreneurs.

The fund has distributed its money to enterprises ranging from 4Di Capital, a technology venture-capital fund, to A2Pay, which supplies point-of-sale equipment to informal supermarkets in townships and lends them money to expand. Other recipients include a biotech fund and an all-women owned and managed private-equity firm.

The organisation, which is chaired by Discovery Chief Executive Officer and co-founder Adrian Gore, is now seeking to raise a further R1 billion. Its aim is to try and boost the participation of black businesses in the economy after their exclusion during apartheid.

“We are talking to everybody,” SA SME CEO Ketso Gordhan said in an interview in Johannesburg. “Development-finance institutions, family offices, companies. Venture capital is our future.”

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Is this yet another ‘Blacks only’ thing? If ‘yes’ and this may sound extreme but it really is time that minorities took to the streets to protest.

Discrimination of any kind is not acceptable.

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