While a free listing on the JSE's Alt Exchange will have significant benefits for the winner of this year’s Go4Growth competition – to be announced on 10 November – all entrants and finalists in the competition will reap rewards from the process, says JSE senior GM for marketing, Noah Greenhill.

Greenhill says many SMEs in South Africa could gain considerably from being listed. “Fear and ignorance are two factors that hold many of these companies back from listing and realising their full potential,” he says.
A shortlist of finalists will undergo an enterprise situation workshop to help the competition partners – SAP, the JSE, Vunani Limited, Deloitte corporate finance advisory, Hasso Plattner Ventures and growth advisory firm SAP Growth Support Services – understand their businesses better. Greenhill says while only one company will win the listing, all the finalists in the Go4Growth competition will benefit from the process.
Advantages for the winner of the JSE AltX listing include access to capital, an enhanced profile and the ability to use its scrip as currency. “The winning SME will be able to fast-track its growth and exceed its own expectations of itself,” says Greenhill.
Go4Growth, which is hailed as the country’s largest and richest business competition for SMEs, gives this year’s 340 entrants the chance of winning a free listing on the JSE Alt Exchange as well as millions of rands’ worth of SAP business software, venture capital funding from Hasso Plattner Ventures and business advisory assistance from Deloitte advisory services.
All finalists will engage with the competition partners/service providers and evaluate the quality of their businesses with a view to putting disciplines and disclosures into place to enhance their performance. “This will, in turn, stimulate further growth, allow the SMEs to employ more people and make a positive contribution to the economy,” says Greenhill.
Companies that do not make the shortlist will gain from obtaining an expert and independent assessment of their own strategy and operations – as part of the panel of judges’ process of compiling a short list of potential winners.
SAP’s director of SME business in Africa, Derek Kudsee agrees with Greenhill, saying the true value of the Go4Growth competition is that every company that enters can benefit. “It’s about providing a combination of advice and practical support that really does help entrants grow their business operations,” he says.