Across the country, school learners like Tshiamo Thabita Lesenyeho have been exposed to the possibilities and opportunities offered by investing in the stock market. Through the JSE Investment Challenge and a virtual million rand they are tasked with growing, youth spanning urban environments to rural schools with very little resources, are becoming financially literate, learning about how the economy functions and more importantly, how they can take part in it. With the power of the knowledge and an app on their phones, learners like Tshegofatso, Siyamthanda and Tshiamo are starting to invest in their futures, tracking the markets daily and sharing their learning with families and communities to encourage and promote a culture of savings and investment in South Africa.
Grant van Heerden is the CEO of Signcraft Africa, a family business he took over from his father. As a born entrepreneur Grant has always had his eye on opportunities for growth and the JSE Enterprise Acceleration Programme was the perfect platform for just that. Through the programme, Grant gained the insights needed to take the business into the digital era and with the help of a strategic mentor, he has set-up the digital transformation roadmap to open up his business to exciting markets across the continent and beyond.
Vuyo Lee is the Director of Marketing and Corporate Affairs at the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, and together with her team, she is ensuring that Africa’s largest market for capital raising is also concurrently advancing the socio-economic development of South Africa. One such mechanism is the JSE Enterprise Acceleration Programme and Cleola Kunene is passionately working to ensure that through mentoring, coaching and industry specific support, the programme is catalysing the rapid growth of medium sized businesses into large enterprises, enabling job creation and economic growth in the sector where we need it most.
The JSE’s Private Placement platform (JPP) JPP platform is another initiative driving this agenda with Sam Mokorosi at its head. Enabling unlisted companies to raise capital through the platform, by introducing them to prequalified investors, the JSE is able to make a significant contribution to creating a society where SMES are thriving and growing employment, and foster an inclusive environment where some of the social ills are being sustainably solved through corporate interventions.
POWERING ECONOMIC GROWTH AND A CULTURE OF A SAVING
Enter the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. Tasking itself with advancing socio-economic development in South Africa, the JSE has instituted a number of programs to engage with this critical sector. The Enterprise Acceleration Programme is designed to support the rapid scaling of medium sized businesses into large enterprises; whilst the innovative new JSE Private Placements platform connects pre-qualified investors in the private equity space with relevant and viable projects looking for appropriate investment partners.
SAINC went off to explore these initiatives and the great strides they are making in contributing to our economic growth. We visited some of the inspiring entrepreneurs accessing these much-needed platforms and programmes to see first-hand how the partnership interventions, mentoring, masterclasses and industry specific support are empowering businesses to grow and scale, expanding their creative horizons and creating jobs and employment. And what’s more, helping to build businesses that are designed to address some of the social and environmental challenges we face today.
Beyond supporting the acceleration of the unlisted sector, SAINC also had the opportunity to connect with youth participating in the JSE Investment Challenge. A long-standing initiative that is designed to educate youth on the workings of the capital market, its role in the economy and how to invest in shares. The program is implemented in schools spanning the rural to urban landscape of the county. And with a virtual million rand that each team is tasked with growing, these youth are building the independent thinking skills and understanding to drive a South African culture where everyone is included financially, and people are empowered to make informed decisions.