Large-cap shares such as Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA) and Wesfarmers Ltd (ASX: WES) are household names which no doubt feature in many readers’ portfolios. These types of shares are often low-risk investments which provide investors with steady returns.

At the other side of the market you have small-cap shares. Due to their size they can be high-risk investments, but can provide investors with the potential for strong returns.

After all, it is much easier for a company with a market capitalisation of $250 million to double in size than it is for a company with one of $25 billion.

Not all small cap shares are destined to grow beyond their small cap status, but there are a few that might. I have picked out four which I believe could have a bright future ahead and would be well worth adding to your watch list today.

Catapult Group International Ltd (ASX: CAT)

Catapult Group is an exciting sports analytics company operating in a market which is expected to grow to be worth $4.7 billion by 2021. I believe that as one of the market leaders with a client list that includes the biggest sports clubs in the world, Catapult is in a great position to grow at a strong rate for at least the next few years.

Gage Roads Brewing Co Limited (ASX: GRB)

Gage Roads Brewing Co is looking to profit from the insatiable appetite for craft beer across the world. With a market cap of just over $26 million it certainly would be a high-risk investment. But with Woolworths Limited (ASX: WOW) as one of its major customers and its largest shareholder with a 24% stake, I feel it is in a great position to grow over the next few years.

Melbourne IT Limited (ASX: MLB)

Melbourne IT provides internet related services such as critical web hosting, online brand protection and enterprise services for a wide range of customers. It is a competitive industry, but I believe its affiliation with TPG Telecom Ltd (ASX: TPM) and its collection of brands should prove very beneficial for growth in the future. According to CommSec, analysts expect earnings to grow by over 69% per annum through to FY 2018.

Sealink Travel Group Ltd (ASX: SLK)

SeaLink has ferry services across Australia in key tourist hotspots such as Sydney Harbour. As tourism ramps up thanks to a weaker Australian dollar and growing Chinese tourism, I expect SeaLink to prosper. Analysts estimate that its earnings will grow by 41% per annum for the next couple of years. If this proves to be the case then I believe the share price could climb much higher during this time. For this reason I think SeaLink, much like this incredibly exciting share, is well worth adding to your watch list today.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.