It might come as a surprise, but around eight years ago telecommunications giant TPG Telecom Ltd (ASX: TPM) was classed as a small cap share with a market capitalisation of just $137 million.

At that point in time savvy investors could pick up TPG Telecom shares for just 10 cents per share. With the share price currently $11.89, this means anyone investing at that price has seen a staggering average annual share price return of around 82%.

Let’s put this into perspective. A $10,000 investment in TPG Telecom eight years ago at 10 cents per share would have grown in value to be worth approximately $1.2 million today.

Whilst this may be a once in a blue moon eventuality, I do believe it demonstrates how profitable it can be if you invest in small cap shares with strong growth potential. Not all small cap shares are destined for even a small fraction of the success of TPG Telecom, but I feel there are a few shares on the ASX that have strong enough prospects in the years ahead to propel their share prices higher. I’ve picked out four, which are as follows:

Afterpay Holdings Ltd (ASX: AFY)

This exciting fintech company allows consumers to buy items from a growing number of retailers’ online stores such as Optus, Tony Bianco, General Pants Co, and CUE, but pay later without interest or fees. The company earns a small percentage of the sale in return for bearing its default risk. The service appears to have been well received by both consumers and retailers, and I believe there could be a lot of growth ahead of it.

Dicker Data Ltd (ASX: DDR)

The founder-led wholesale distributor of computer hardware, software, and related products has been having a great year so far. In its first quarter the company delivered year-on-year revenue growth of 11% to $268 million. Much of this success has been put down to the company being able to realise full value from new vendors introduced last year. When you take into account that the first quarter is regarded as its slowest quarter, I believe Dicker Data could be on its way to a strong full year result.

MNF Group Ltd (ASX: MNF)

The company behind the My Net Fone brand has been providing its shareholders with solid returns for years now thanks to the growing demand for voice-based internet communications (VoIP). As the copper wire network makes way for the National Broadband Network, I expect VoIP demand will continue to remain strong for many years. One other bonus with MNF Group is that its growth is not restricted solely to the Australian market. Currently around 29% of sales derive from the growing international VoIP market.

Nearmap Ltd (ASX: NEA)

This growing photo mapping software-as-a-service company is one I believe could have a very bright future ahead of it. The company recently announced the successful implementation of its HyperCamera2 initiative. The new aerial mapping technology is expected to vastly increase the capability of its product offering and reduce the costs of capturing data. The growth of its operations in the United States will be key in the future, and so far I have been very pleased with the progress it has made since it implemented a paywall on its US services late last year.

Finally, before you make an investment in any of these shares I would highly recommend taking a few minutes out of your day to read about how this man turned a $10k investment into $8 million. It's a great read if you get chance.

How 1 Man Turned $10K Into Over $8 Million

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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.