J.P. Morgan SME Catalyst for Growth Program launches in Johannesburg
Mar 01, 2012
J.P. Morgan is helping to address the high level of unemployment and low economic growth rate in South Africa through a new philanthropic program focused on entrepreneurship.
The firm kicked off the SME Catalyst for Growth Program, a new initiative focused on stimulating entrepreneurship through the development of small businesses in South Africa. The project is in collaboration with three leading organizations working in the entrepreneurship space: Dalberg Global Development Advisors, Aurik Business Incubator and Raizcorp.
To identify the gaps in the Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) market and to address the essential business needs of these entrepreneurs, J.P. Morgan, in partnership with Dalberg, undertook primary research, which confirmed that while access to finance is a challenge for SMEs in the country, a more pressing issue is the lack of management capacity and skills in the start-up and early growth phase of a small business.
The program seeks to support early to growth stage enterprises through high quality and holistic business development support (BDS) services. Such services will include mentoring and technical skills training as well as business and marketing strategy. The program will also include a strong impact assessment component.