Picture: Startup Stock Photos/Pexels
Picture: Startup Stock Photos/Pexels

OPINION: Growth challenge aims big for startups

By Opinion Time of article published Aug 18, 2020

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By Mahlatse Tolamo

JOHANNEBSURG - On the August 12, our Growth Challenge winners, MaxiCash, HonestCare, Nubian Smart, Exploring Intellect and Ngcobo Molapo Logistics, enjoyed an invaluable opportunity to meet the JSE chief executive, Leila Fourie, as a reward for their hard work.

We launched the Growth challenge on the November, 14, 2019 in partnership with the JSE. The aim of the initiative is to cultivate a properly thought-out long-term strategy, develop resiliency, mirror market challenges and acknowledge and celebrate the positive financial performance of startups.

Entrepreneurship is a difficult journey and we need to help our startups celebrate each milestone.

The Growth Challenge is a form of positive psychological reinforcement, which serves to encourage startups to achieve the desired behavioural patterns in order to exceed their goals and outperform their competitors.

Every month, our startups are given financial operational and marketing goals, which are aligned to their Growth Map. These goals must be accompanied by a strategy and an action plan. Business performance is measured at the beginning and at the end of the month/quarter to assess whether each startup has met its target.

The meeting with Fourie proved highly informative and motivational, as our startups had the chance to discuss the challenges they face - or have faced - during their entrepreneurial journey. It was indeed both an honour and a privilege for them to receive first-hand advice from the chief executive of Africa’s largest stock exchange. The key take-out of the meeting was to encourage startups to remain resilient and positive, as they continue building their businesses, capitalising on the insight and knowledge given by Fourie.

The JSE is dedicated to support small medium enterprises (SME) to get access to markets and capital through various initiatives, such as the African Securities Exchange Association , which focuses on improving the efficiency of SME markets in Africa and AltX , which was created for SMEs which are not yet ready to be listed on the JSE’s main board make swifter inroads towards access to capital.

SMEs account for some 80 percent of gross domestic product on the continent and they play a vital role as highly productive drivers of inclusive economic growth and development in South Africa.

As an incubation hub, our aim is to help ensure the sustainability of startups. Through the Growth Challenge initiative, we are confident that many of our startups will not only reach their goals but exceed them - and soon become JSE-listed companies.

Mahlatse Tolamo is an ecosystem enabler, 22 On Sloane


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