Rob Katz

Wall Street Take Heed – Here’s the Alternative (Exchange)

You may have noticed a recent upswing of news about small and medium sized enterprises, much of which has been picked up and discussed on NextBillion. Small local enterprise networks, mesofinance, small and large for-profit venture funds–and now an Alternative Exchange. (Via Timbuktu Chronicles)

AltX is a parallel market focused on good quality small and medium sized high growth companies…AltX plays a vital role within the JSE, by providing smaller companies not yet able to list on the JSE Main Board with a clear growth path and access to capital.

Companies listed on AltX face less daunting requirements–neither profit history nor pre-tax profit is mandatory, while share capital is less than 10 percent of what the Main Board demands.

We’ve talked at length about the importance of bridging the gap between micro finance and formal equity markets. There’s no simple way to do this–it will require an enterprise ecosystem that includes SME incubators, venture funds, formal equity vehicles like AltX, and more. But like any ecosystem, the whole is a sum of its parts. And building successful parts – both formal and informal, small and large – is a good way to push SME development and private sector led development to the forefront.