In December 2019, FINSEC announced the Growth Enterprise Market (GEM) portal which they described as an “online platform designed for SMEs in need of raising capital for retooling operations, increase productivity, or to increase their product range and or to expand into diversified markets.”
At the time of the announcement of the GEM, one wouldn’t be blamed for not knowing how the launch of this securities platform for SMEs would tie-in with the announcement made by the Finance Minister during the 2020 Budget presentation a month earlier.
Hon. Mthuli Ncube mentioned back then that the government would be unveiling a ZW$500 million venture capital fund to provide Small-Medium Enterprises patient capital that they desperately need.
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It turns out that $500 million funding will be dispursed by Growth Enterprise Market following guidelines set in place in a draft framework which is awaiting approval from the relevant authorities according to FINSECs General Manager:
We have been tasked to come up with a framework that will govern how the funds will be disbursed.
The first draft is already in place and waiting to be cleared by SECZIM and the Ministry of Finance, once we get these clearances, we can finalise it and move to the next step.Garikayi Munema – FINSEC General Manager
FINSEC expects to operationalise the GEM in the first quarter, “We must cover much ground in this Q1 from planning to witness actual listings.”
In January, FINSEC were bullish regarding prospects of SMEs applying to be part of the portal. The securities exchange said they had received 30 applications, without any marketing efforts on their part:
The response we have received from the market so far is encouraging. We have received about 30 applications in January alone, and this is before we have even gone full scale in marketing this initiative. We can see there is a lot of interest from the market.Garikayi Munema – FINSEC General Manager
With one month left in the first quarter, one would hope FINSEC can meet its deadlines and launch this much-needed platform which could change the way startups in Zim finance their operations