Investisseurs & Partenaires (I&P) is an impact investing group fully dedicated to Sub-Saharan Africa. I&P gathers four impact funds representing €125 million and has supported to date more than 90 small and medium enterprises based in 16 Sub-Saharan African countries.
I&P was created in 2002 by Patrice Hoppenot, former co-founder of BC Partners and expert in private equity issues. In 2011, Jean-Michel Severino, previously CEO of the French Development Agency (2001-2010) and Vice-President of the World Bank for Asia (1996-2000), took over the management of the company. I&P currently employs about 50 people, based in Paris and seven African local offices (Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Madagascar, Niger, Senegal).
I&P’s mission is to contribute to the rise of a sustainable and dynamic private sector in Sub-Saharan Africa. Since the beginning, Investisseurs & Partenaires has aimed to support African entrepreneurs, able to build profitable and sustainable activities with high local added value. For this reason, I&P has developed a specific approach combining financial tools and strategic/operational support.
I&P gathers different impact funds to support the growth of its partner companies, covering financing needs ranging from €30,000 to €3 million. Click here to discover our impact funds →
Patrice Hoppenot, the former co-founder of BC Partners, started a venture capital initiative dedicated to African entrepreneurs. His idea was to use his skills and experience in private equity to support a greater cause: the economic development of Sub-Saharan Africa.
I&P Développement (IPDEV), a fund with €2m of registered capital, was launched thanks to Patrice and its fellows. In the same year, Patrice hired the first investment officer of I&P, Sébastien Boyé.
In 2003, I&P made its first investments in African-based Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs): CAMED, the third pharmaceutic distributor in Mali and the only actor selling generic drugs and LEGENI, the first private laboratory for geothermic and environmental studies in Niger.
A Learning Experience
In 2006 I&P realized its second increase in capital and for the first time opened up its capital to Development Financial Institutions (in other words to Official Development Assistance). This growth of capital was key to ensure the sustainability of the project and to validate its economic model. The European Investment Bank and Proparco (the private branch of the French Development Agency) both invested €3m in IPDEV.
Looking at it now, the emergence of I&P was the symbol of a deeper shift in development aid: the rise of the private sector in the funding and dispatching of Official Development Assistance.
In 2007, five years after its creation, I&P’s portfolio included a dozen of SMEs and Microfinance institutions, in Cameroon, Mali, Niger, and Senegal. There were 3 full-time investment officers: Sébastien Boyé, Jérémy Hajdenberg, and Pierre Carpentier.
Handover and Scaling Up
In 2011, Patrice Hoppenot retires and hands over to Jean-Michel Severino, former Executive Director of the French Development Agency (2001-2010). This transition boosted a strategic consideration in process at I&P: the group had to adapt the models of its impact funds to the size of the investment tickets.
To efficiently reach start-ups and very small enterprises I&P developed IPDEV2, an innovative program consisting in incubating and sponsoring 10 African-based impact funds in 10 countries. These impact funds would be managed by African teams and mostly capitalized by African investors. They aim to locally develop a strong base of entrepreneurs by supporting start-ups and young enterprises showing a substantial growth potential and whose financial needs will lie between €30k and €300k.
In parallel I&P launched a pan-African fund, I&P Afrique Entrepreneurs (IPAE), provided with €54m and targeting higher investment tickers to support SMEs and entrepreneurial projects that would be more mature.
Consolidation and Deployment of Local Teams
With the launch of IPAE, I&P opened its first African-based offices in order to facilitate the business development and the day-to-day collaboration with portfolio companies. I&P inaugurated new local offices in Ghana, Cameroon, Senegal, and Madagascar (2012), in Côte d’Ivoire (2014) and in Burkina (2015).
In October 2015, I&P realized the first closing of IPDEV2. The sponsored local funds started their activity. In addition to Sinergi Niger that was operational since 2006, Sinergi Burkina and Teranga Capital (in Senegal) were inaugurated and could work with small and very small enterprises via an adapted financial support. Sinergi and Teranga made their first investment operations, respectively with Siatol and OuiCarry.
15 years of commitment to support entrepreneurship in Africa
Building on its 15-year experience in financing and supporting African entrepreneurs, Investisseurs & Partenaires (I&P) is developing a consulting activity, I&P Conseil, aiming to improve the business environment and develop the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Africa.
In 2017, I&P hopes to reach a new milestone with the launch of the fund I&P Afrique Entrepreneurs 2 (IPAE 2) and the second closing of IPDEV 2 will help the fund to successfully attain the amount of €20m and to complete the entire investment program: 10 impact funds in 10 different countries during 10 years and eventually supporting 500 SMEs and creating 15,000 jobs over the period.
This way I&P supports its goal to create local financing capacities, to promote entrepreneurship and local talents in Africa, and to actively contribute to the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals across the continent.
I&P works exclusively with start-ups and SMEs based in Sub-Saharan Africa and in the Indian Ocean, with the strong conviction that these enterprises actively contribute to a sustainable and inclusive growth on the continent.
The team of I&P is based in Paris and seven African offices: Abidjan, Accra, Antananarivo, Dakar, Douala, Niamey and Ouagadougou. I&P also sponsors and works with African investment teams, based in Niamey (Sinergi Niger), Ouagadougou (Sinergi Burkina), Dakar (Teranga Capital), Abidjan (Comoé Capital), and Antanarivo (Miarakap).
I&P's investment thesis is driven by the will to answer the financing and support needs of the SMEs of the ''missing middle''.
We observe indeed a significant lack of formal SMEs in Sub-Saharan Africa, which is commonly referred as the "missing middle" phenomenon. These enterprises face three major obstacles impeding their growth: a very limited access to long-term finance, a limited access to skills and low governance and management practices
And yet African SMEs have a key role to play for the development of the continent. It is indeed acknowledged that these enterprises:
► Create sustainable employment, for both qualified and unqualified workers
► Develop market-based solutions and improve access to essential goods and services
► Build and structure local economic fabrics
► Contribute to political stability and social redistribution
A real financial and strategic support is therefore necessary, which can notably be provided by impact investors.
Sub-Saharan Africa: A dynamic region with lingering challenges to address
Vision & Values
We believe that the development of Sub-Saharan Africa entails a strong and responsible private sector carried by entrepreneurs and small enterprises, which are able to provide access to essential goods and services and are concerned by the Environmental, Social and Governance issues at all decision-making levels.
Contribute to sustainable development and social stability on the African continent by financing and advising entrepreneurs, project initiators and African SMEs who are willing to achieve economic, environmental and social performance.
In the ten years to come, our aim is to contribute to create or develop at least 600 projects, create at least 20,000 jobs and make a difference in the lives of at least 200,000 people, as well as to demonstrate the viability of our model and plead the case of Africa in the world.
Commitment to development
I&P pays particular attention to the promoters and their vision of society, convinced that African entrepreneurs actively contribute to a more responsible and evenly distributed growth in Africa.
This value is essential for implementing trustful relationships with the investors, entrepreneurs and all of the communities. The integrity of I&P’s teams is one of its key action principles in the field.
This value is essential for our investors as it is a guarantee for the quality of the management and economic efficiency of our investments. It is a key success factor for our projects.
I&P's Carbon Footprinting Strategy
Francis joined the team in 2018 as an Investment Officer in the Accra office, and is focused on the IPAE 1 and IPAE 2 activities in Ghana and Nigeria....
Herinantenaina Rabemanantsoa est chargée d’investissement chez Miarakap, fonds d’impact sponsorisé par I&P dédié aux PME et aux start-up malgaches....
Jean-Michel Severino is the CEO of I&P since 2011. He is a former Vice-President for Asia at the World Bank and a former Chief Executive Officer of the French Development Agency (AFD)....
Sebastien joined I&P in 2002 and is in charge of the SMEs and MFIs portfolio in Niger, Burkina Faso, Ghana, and Ivory Coast.
Bruno started working for I&P in 2007. Since then, he has carried out numerous missions with investment managers, visiting companies before and after the I&P investment....