“Catalyst for Growth intends to provide investors with actionable information about SMMEs completing BDS programmes ….”

Investment Partnerships

Catalyst for Growth intends to provide investors with actionable information about SMMEs completing BDS programmes because we know it can be challenging to find investment-ready SMMEs in South Africa. The Pioneer Investment Partner Programme was developed to recognize those investors who participate early and support the development of Catalyst for Growth as a valuable investment tool.


What are the benefits to using Catalyst for Growth’s SMME database?


Gain access to a sortable pipeline of high-quality deals. Investors that use Catalyst for Growth will receive detailed data on SMMEs completing BDS programmes on the Catalyst for Growth platform. This includes information about profitability, capital needed, existing liabilities, revenue growth, and other data necessary to screen for investable deals. The tool will substantially reduce the amount of time and money spent building a pipeline of SMMEs that fit specific investment criteria.


Reduce the amount of capital spent on BDS. By locating SMMEs who have already successfully completed best-in-class business development programmes, the need for pre-investment BDS can be dramatically reduced. Further post-investment BDS, if required, can focus on bringing the company to scale rather than on building basic capabilities. Further, for investors who use post-investment BDS, the platform is a simple, way to ensure this money is well-spent.

How does it work?

Investors will receive detailed information about SMMEs that need capital. Data submitted by these SMMEs will be verified by the BDS provider with whom they worked. The process is simple


Obtain access to detailed data from SMEs in BDS programmes that are seeking finance


Easily sort through the data to find SMEs that fit internal investment criteria


Communicate with BDS providers, communicate with SMEs, and make an investment decision

Why should I become a Pioneer Investment Partner?

Catalyst for Growth is currently putting together a core group of Pioneer Investment Partners. Becoming a Pioneer Investment Partner has a number of benefits that other investors will not have

Publicly demonstrate a commitment to SMME development. Becoming a Pioneer Catalyst for Growth Investment Partner shows a genuine interest in the types of SMEs that complete quality BDS programmes. This makes a powerful statement about a fund’s commitment to developing the SME sector in South Africa, which can be helpful when raising capital from like-minded limited partners such as foreign impact investors.

Receive access to SMME data. Our Pioneer Investment Partners will have access to Catalyst for Growth data as the first phase of implementation. This will allow SMMEs to be matched the investment opportunity based on the screening criteria provided.

Have a voice in this effort to improve the quality of BDS in South Africa. In the first half of 2014, Catalyst for Growth will conduct a series of workshops that will ultimately form the basis for our ratings methodology. Our first workshop was held in Johannesburg in February. Pioneer Investment Partners are asked to participate and share their views of a) what constitutes good BDS, b) what they consider to be “investment ready,” and c) what information they would like to see on SMEs to quickly screen for investment opportunities that are worth following up on.

What is expected of Pioneer Investment Partners?


Sign the Investor Interest Letter. Becoming a signatory of the Catalyst for Growth Investor Interest Letter shows support for the programme. By formally indicating an interest in the SMEs completing programmes with BDS providers on the Catalyst for Growth platform, investors can increase incentives for BDS providers to sign up. The letter does not represent a commitment to invest in any given SME, but a commitment to broadly consider investment in SMEs coming through the programme.


Sign up via the Investor sign up form on the sign up page. Complete the form indicating the screening criteria you would want Catalyst for Growth to run to find suitable, investment ready SMMEs for investment in the Catalyst for Growth database.

How do I become a Pioneer Investment Partner?

If your fund would like to learn more about accessing Catalyst for Growth data, or may be interested in becoming a Pioneer Investment Partner, please contact us at

Apply to be an Investor

Our Investment Partners