As a proven catalyst of job creation, private equity and venture capital investment holds the potential to drive real economic growth and development across South Africa. Over the past two decades, the sector has shown remarkable expansion, with a total compound annual growth rate for venture capital and private equity funding of 9,4%.
However, with the region’s attractiveness as an investment destination having come under increasing scrutiny in recent years, it is vital to demonstrate to investors that Southern Africa possesses the necessary capabilities to identify and maximise these investment opportunities.
This is according to Tanya van Lill, CEO of the Southern African Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (SAVCA), who points to research by the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) which reveals that companies with investment from the private equity and venture capital sector experience an average growth in their staff complement of 40%.
“Considering that job creation remains one of the most critical challenges facing Southern African economies, it is key to recognise not only the role that venture capital and private equity can play in contributing to the success of investee companies, but also the positive impact that this type of investment can have on the broader economy and society.”
Craig Dreyer, Chairman of SAVCA says that it is against this backdrop that the SAVCA Industry Awards were launched in 2018. “The objective of the awards platform is to create an event that not only recognises the portfolio companies that have thrived from private equity and venture capital investment in the region, but also to promote the significant positive impact that these thriving businesses have on the economy.”
Aside from the vital benefit of capital injection that these asset classes can provide, Dreyer explains that investee companies also gain access to a wealth of experience, financial acumen and strategic foresight. “Gaining access to capital is important, but real value is derived in the form of sweat capital through mentorship, the promotion of market access, business development, guidance around corporate governance, and the general support from seasoned experts within the private equity and venture capital industry.”
“As these investee companies formalise their operations, they are in turn creating meaningful employment opportunities and contributing to the national fiscus; thereby increasing government’s ability to invest in infrastructure and social development,” he explains.
The winners for the inaugural SAVCA Industry Awards will be announced at a gala dinner and awards ceremony – an even that is open to anyone with an interest in the industry says Dreyer. “There are still a limited number of tickets available to the formal gala taking place at Montecasino on 8 November 2018, which promises to be a spectacular evening of industry celebration and networking.”
In order to attract promising talent into the industry, Dreyer says that all ticket proceeds will go to the SAVCA Bursary Fund. “The purpose of this fund is to provide financial aid to a deserving student who has an exceptional academic record and demonstrates an aptitude for a potential career in the industry,” he concludes.