President Cyril Ramaphosa had lauded the launch of the small- and medium-enterprise (SME) fund CEO circle, which aims to propel economic growth and create employment. “This initiative is beginning to pay off and is operating at a level that matters most. SMEs create the jobs we need the most. It is the SMEs you are targeting and that is precisely where we want you to keep your focus,” Ramaphosa said at the launch in Sandton on Thursday morning. The CEO circle will focus on funding, mentorship and access to the market for SMEs. The fund, headed by Ketso Gordhan, has pledged R1.4bn for SMEs. Of this, R725m has already been committed with the balance expected by August; the total amount will support 10 significant black businesses, 200 SMEs, and five black entrepreneurs over the next five years. “By August we will be the largest institutional investor in venture capital in SA,” Gordhan said. The fund was set up under the auspices of the CEO Initiative in 2016 to stimulate growth and in...

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