Fintech companies hold the keys to close $2 trillion funding gap for SMEs

Updated on 26 January 2016

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Today's top entrepreneurship and business stories (26 January)


Fintech companies are leading the way in disruptive innovation in financial services, and helping “to bridge a $2 trillion funding gap for millions of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) seeking credit to grow their business.”

This is according to a paper titled The Future of Fintech – A Paradigm Shift in Small Business Finance written by a team of MBA students from Saïd Business School, Oxford.

Oxford Saïd MBA, Daniel Drummer, the lead writer of the report said: “In this report we looked at fintech from a truly global angle. It is intriguing to see how much more innovation is happening in emerging markets which is leapfrogging the west. For example, with the e-KYC (Electronic, Know your customer) feature, a merchant in India can open an account faster than in many European countries. In Zimbabwe, mobile payments already account for one-fifth of the domestic GDP. And in China, applying for credit via smartphone is now feasible for millions of small business owners. Another powerful trend is the rise of  new entrants in the lending business. Amazon, Square or Alibaba have significantly expanded their credit operations over the past years. The importance of those players for small business lending is only expected to increase going forward.

South Africa’s JSE expands to Cape Town

The Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) is opening a new office in Cape Town so it can enhance its service to clients, build and strengthen relationships and provide accessible support to the market.

JSE capital markets director Donna Oosthuyse described the Mother City as a major centre for global and local institutional investors as well as listed companies.

“Being the second largest economic hub of South Africa, and the head office base of many institutional clients and an increasing number of member firms and brokers, an office in the city is a logical part of the JSE’s client strategy,” she said. (

Department of Small Business Development embarks on nation-wide stakeholder consultation 

The Department of Small Business Development is embarking on a massive nation-wide stakeholder consultation process. The process seeks to solicit input from the department’s stakeholders on the review of the National Small Business Act, 1996 (Act Number 102 of 1996), read with the National Small Business Amendment Act, Number 26, 2004 as well as engage stakeholders on the proposed National Minimum Wage.

The stakeholder consultation is scheduled to take place from the 25 January to the 5 February 2016 covering all the nine provinces.

These will culminate into a National Stakeholder Indaba on the review of National Small Business Amendment Act and the National Minimum Wage, which is planned to take place in Gauteng.

Each consultation session will take place over two days. The first day will be dedicated to the review of the National Small Business Act and the second day will focus on the National Minimum Wage.

Travel trends reveal which sectors are thriving and which aren’t

Analysis of the business travel habits of Corporate Traveller’s clientele reveals which parts of the economy are “thriving, stagnating or struggling”.

Raylene Pienaar, Corporate Traveller General Manager said: “There has been strong business travel growth this year in the energy sector, and especially in companies and entities whose business is in sustainable and so-called ‘green’ energy. Renewable energy businesses, especially, are showing great growth, booking more flights both locally and abroad than ever before,”says Pienaar.

Sectors which are experiencing an increase in business travel are financial institutions and management consulting companies, says Pienaar, especially on the continent, “perhaps indicating that these skills domiciled in South Africa are in demand on a continent that’s been identified as a global economic growth region,” she says.

Sectors experiencing a decline include mining houses and industries that support the mining industry.

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