These organisations have committed capital to the fund. While the Fund is now closed to new investors, we are continuously engaging Development Funds and other institutional investors to invest into accredited funds alongside the SA SME Fund, as well as lend support to the ecosystem development initiatives that we are involved in.
One of the key objectives for the Fund is to strengthen the SME ecosystem in an additive way. As such, the government is an important stakeholder, given its array of support structures and mechanisms, and the importance of the Fund not duplicating existing efforts.
We have had positive engagement with various government departments that play a role in the development and support of small business. We will continue discussions to explore possible areas of cooperation in areas such as mentorship, research-sharing and ecosystem analysis.
An integral element for the Fund's growth and employment objectives is a fundamentally healthy small and micro enterprises sector, and we believe it is important for formal corporate businesses to support these smaller businesses. In this regard, we have partnered with the National Mentorship Movement (NMM), which has assembled an impressive group of business leaders, sponsors and supporters to introduce business mentorship at scale across the country.
It does so by mobilising entrepreneurs, professionals from the corporate sector and other volunteers as mentors, and matches them to entrepreneurs who fall outside the scope of traditional business development support providers. It uses a technology platform which provides the parties with relevant information and support, and which monitors the health and effectiveness of the mentorship relationship. NMM is expanding its operations and we are proud to partner with them.Read more about NMM here.
We have also commissioned research and have engaged with relevant stakeholders on additional areas that have an impact on the growth prospects of small businesses, namely liquidity and cash flow, as well as access to finance. This generally includes the ability and/or readiness of small businesses to raise funding.