Representatives of the winning companies of the CEO Circle Initiative of the SA SME Fund are rewarded on Thursday at the Discovery Holdings offices. Picture Supplied/Conversations Media

DURBAN - The SA SME Fund’s Chief Executive Circle has selected seven recipients for the Chief Executive Circle Entrepreneurs 2019 Award.

Each of them is deemed a high potential black business with the ability to grow into a significant company of R500 million-plus in value.

A panel of Chief Executives chaired by Adrian Gore of Discovery, joined by Fani Titi of Investec, Shameel Joosub of Vodacom and Bongani Nqwababa of Sasol, was so impressed by the seven finalists, that they selected them all.

Starting in August, each recipient will be provided with personalised support to help them scale into significant companies of R500 million-plus in value, as part of SA’s private sector efforts to stimulate the economy and create jobs. Each will receive mentorship from one of the top Chief Executives in the country.

"The idea is to select a new cohort of CEO Circle entrepreneurs each year. At a minimum, the 2019 cohort will continue to receive support until they reach the target of a company worth R500 million-plus in value. However, we expect our relationships with these entrepreneurs will continue for a long time, with the Chief Executive Circle network becoming a virtuous cycle," said Lisa Klein, Executive Director at Chief Executive Circle

The SA SME Fund is a private sector-led initiative born out of the “Chief Executive Initiative”, a partnership between the SA Government and Chief Executives to stimulate the economy and create jobs. The R1.5-billion Fund focuses on building entrepreneurs and small and medium enterprises.

The following companies are recipients of the Chief Executive Circle Entrepreneurs 2019 Award: 

BT Industrial

Manufactures High-Density Polyethylene pipes and provides an array of complementary services to customers including engineering, project management, quantity surveying, and maintenance solutions.

InnoVent

Has a dual offering: asset rental and management (computer hardware) to corporates, and the re-rental of refurbished computers to customers including large corporates and SMEs.

KELE Mining Solutions

Niche contract mining services (load and haul and drilling) with a view to using data analytics to improve productivity and efficiency in the industry.

Sentio Capital Management

Boutique asset manager focused on integrating AI and machine learning with qualitative bottom-up research to build portfolios for institutional and retail clients.

SignCraft Africa

A one-stop-shop that manufactures, installs, delivers and maintains corporate signage. Operates nationally, and has a presence in 14 African countries.

Siyeza Fine Chem

Procures, supplies and distributes Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients and other raw materials to pharmaceutical, nutraceutical and cosmetics manufacturers.

TSK Interiors

Deliver high quality, multi-million rand turnkey interior fit-outs and related construction solutions through strategic partnerships with skilled core suppliers.

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

Adrian Gore, Chairman, SA SME Fund said, "Mid-sized companies are 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". 

"Small businesses are central to economic growth and job creation. Indeed, with the Government’s budget constraints and a difficult economic climate, these small to medium enterprises become even more important as job creators and contributors to GDP," said Klein.

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