In a surprise announcement, two SMEs – NutriLida Healthcare and Pilot Crushtec – won listings on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange's AltX Exchange in the 2008 Go4Growth competition.
An additional seven companies – LPM reinforcing, Electrosense, Forge Business Online, (TBC), Renasa Insurance Company Limited, Bloodhound Technologies, Fraxion and Umlimi Holdings – have won millions of rands' worth of SAP business software, potential venture capital funding from Hasso Plattner Ventures and business advisory assistance from Deloitte advisory services.
Global SAP SME president and CEO, Hans-Peter Klaey says SMEs are the growth engines of the economy. "The Go4Growth competition is the only competition of its kind worldwide. It's an innovative way to build optimism and energy in a very exciting market," he says.
The two AltX winning companies were judged the most growth-oriented SMEs from a shortlist of 10 finalists, selected from a total of 320 entries in the Go4Growth competition.
Wessel van der Merwe, JSE approved executive of Vunani Corporate Finance and an active designated adviser to a number of AltX-listed companies, says the top five companies were all strong contenders in the competition and suitable for listings. "We selected two companies that we felt were most likely to sustain their growth and benefit from a listing going forward," he says.
NutriLida Healthcare is a Gauteng-based supplier of over-the-counter nutritional supplements and other healthcare products to pharmacies and wholesalers. Pilot Crushtec is a supplier of mobile and semi mobile crushing, screening and materials handling solutions.
NutriLida Healthcare MD, Hilda Lunderstedt, and Pilot Crushtec CEO and founder, Sandro Scherf, received the listing prizes at a function held at the JSE last night.
JSE CEO Russel Loubser says Go4Growth has been invaluable from the JSE's point of view because it has highlighted for a very broad range of businesses that AltX is an obtainable and viable option for them to raise growth capital.
Lunderstedt says the award will encourage NutriLida Healthcare to pursue audacious goals going forward.
"As an entrepreneurial enterprise, a lot of decisions are made on intuition, so it is fantastic to have our efforts recognised and know we will receive the support of a team that has in-depth knowledge and experience in corporatising businesses," she says.
Scherf of Pilot Crushtec says the win is acknowledgement that Pilot Crushtec is a company worthy of being listed.
"Our objective was to win and we're very excited about the process ahead as well as the exposure this award will provide us with. It also gives us added motivation to keep growing and working as hard as we do," he says.
SAP SME director for Africa, Derek Kudsee said LPM Reinforcing, ElectroSense and Forge Business Online won SAP's Business One software aimed specifically at small businesses and Renasa Insurance Company Limited won SAP's Business All in One software for medium-sized businesses.
"Deciding on both small and medium-sized enterprises as the winners in the competition allowed SAP to offer software to more than one category of winner. "These companies will hopefully benefit from the competition in terms of value and growth, which is after all what Go4Growth is all about," says Kudsee.
Andrea Böhmert of Hasso Plattner Ventures said the two potential venture capital funding winners – Bloodhound Technologies and Fraxion – could benefit from a financial injection, as well as experienced management, international networks and access to the latest market research and technology trends.
Umlimi Holdings won R1-million worth of corporate finance advisory services from Deloitte.