I&P has developed an innovative strategy to best meet the financing and support needs of small and medium-sized African companies, based on three complementary business models.

Our approach

Investisseurs & Partenaires is an investor exclusively dedicated to African SMEs. Our mission is to contribute to the growth and sustainable development of the African continent by financing and advising entrepreneurs, project leaders, and SMEs seeking economic, social and environmental growth and success.

In Africa, these SMEs are the real missing middle of African economies. These enterprises face two key obstacles: lack of access to long-term financing and to skills and human resources.

Investisseurs & Partenaires brings its finance and management skills to its active partnership with the entrepreneur. I&P puts the entrepreneur at the heart of its approach and strives to build a long-term relationship of trust with him/her.

Our investment continuum

I&P manages and advises several funds and programs entirely dedicated to small and medium-sized African companies (SMEs), which are distinguished in particular by the size of the targeted companies. I&P has gradually extended its scope of intervention and now offers a continuum of investment ranging from several thousand euros to 3 million euros.

Scaling-up project leaders and young businesses through seed-funding and/or training programs.

Financing small businesses through a network of partner funds in 10 Sub-Saharan African countries.

Directly supporting and financing the development of SMEs and start-ups and strengthening their impact.

Africa's entrepreneurial landscape is still growing and developing.

Many ideas are emerging, driven by men and women who want to contribute to meeting basic needs and creating local added value. But these projects are often informal, poorly structured and insufficiently mature to access conventional financing.

I&P brings its perspective as an investor and develops acceleration programs, with the support of major donors, so that these projects can find the sources of financing necessary for their development and changing of scale.

These programs are most often thematic (technology, the Sahel) and are based on a proven methodology, using seed funding, strategic support provided by an investor and technical assistance missions implemented by external consultants.

These programs are coordinated by I&P Entrepreneurs et Développement, an association of the Investisseurs Partenaires group which aims to encourage and support entrepreneurship in Africa and which is aimed at entrepreneurs at the earliest stages of their entrepreneurial project as well as entrepreneurs still in the acceleration or incubation phase.


Our acceleration programs

I&P Education to Employment (IP2E)

Investisseurs & Partenaires (I&P) has launched, with the support of the Government of Monaco’s International Cooperation for Development, the first impact fund dedicated to education in Africa, I&P Education and Employment.

This blended finance program is designed to promote the employability of African youth by improving access to education, ensuring its quality and relevance, and aligning more closely the training provided with the needs of employers.

The program, which benefits from I&P’s 17 years of experience and about fifteen investments made in the sector of education and training, will finance and support private educational institutions or businesses in the educational ecosystem producing goods, services and technologies in the education sector.

The initial partnership for the design and conception of the fund consists of the Government of Monaco as sponsor and funder, Investisseurs & Partenaires (I&P) as operator, and FERDI (Foundation for Research on International Development) as academic partner.

The Government of the Principality’s international development policy, which prioritises combatting poverty, supports more than 130 projects every year in 11 partner countries, primarily least developed countries. The aid focuses on four key areas of intervention to develop human capital - health, education, socio-economic integration and since 2018 food security - and prioritizes the most vulnerable populations (women, children, refugees, people with disabilities).

The Foundation for Studies and Research on International Development (FERDI), was created in 2003 on the initiative of CERDI (University of Auvergne and CNRS). Its purpose is to promote a fuller understanding of international economic development and the factors that influence it. It supports research activities that make use of the most modern and most directly relevant instruments of economics to study development, and seeks to strengthen the potential of the French-speaking world in this area.



Between September 2018 and May 2019, FERDI has conducted a feasibility study in order to guide on the strategy of conception of the impact fund. The study focused specifically on:

Gaining a better understanding of the African challenges in the sector of education

Identifying good educational practices that can be developed and spread more widely by the private sector

Analyzing the economic models of private operators in education

Reflecting on the role and potential contributions of impact investors in the sector


Download the Feasibility Study

Download the Executive Summary: In English | In French


I&P Afrique Entrepreneurs 1 (IPAE 1)

Fund Size: €54 million
Launch date: 2012
Status: fully invested
Portfolio: 29 investees
Exits: 2 full exits + 7 partial or on-process exits
Investment range: between €300,000 and €1,5million


10 years after IPDEV 1, I&P launched the fund I&P Afrique Entrepreneurs 1 to address the financing needs of slightly larger SMEs, comprised between €300,000 and €1,5 million.

IPAE 1 counts 29 companies in its portfolio, as a minority stakeholder.

The fund is characterized by a significant diversity in terms of geographical location and sector. Companies of the portfolio are located in 11 countries of Sub-Saharan Africa and the Indian Ocean and operate in various sectors (microfinance, construction, transport, health…)


IPAE is governed by 3 bodies

1. The board of directors: Chaired by Jean-Michel Severino, the board is composed of Ms Annie Ferton, M. Mamadou Lamine Loum, M. Abdoulaye Bio Tchané, M. Olivier Lafourcade, M. Roshan Nathoo and M. Philippe Ledesma.  

2. The investment committee of the management company, I&P Gestion. Every month the following professionals from the private equity and the development sectors meet to discuss on ongoing projects and investment decisions.

  • Olivier Lafourcade, Consultant, former director at the World Bank
  • Luc Rigouzzo, CEO of Améthis Finance, former CEO of Proparco
  • Jean-Michel Severino, CEO of I&P and former CEO of AFD (2001-2010)
  • François Wohrer, CEO of Compagnie Financière Degroof and former Senior Investment Officer at IFC 
  • Hervé Schricke, President "Club Afrique", AFIC
  • Ann Katrin Dolium, Expert on ESG and CSR issues
  • A member of the I&P team

3. The advisory board Composed of representative of key investors of the fund, it meets at least twice a year to give another perspective on potential conflicts of interest and on the funds activities.

Pêcheries du Sud


Société Malienne de Blanchisserie


Carrières et Chaux du Mali





I&P Afrique Entrepreneurs 2 (IPAE 2)

Launch date: 2017
Status: Investment phase
Portfolio: 4 investees
Investment range: between €300,000 and €3million

As the successor fund of I&P Afrique Entrepreneurs, IPAE 2 will continue and deepen the impact mission of Investisseurs & Partenaires and promote the emergence of a new generation of responsible African entrepreneurs.

With a target size of €80 million, IPAE 2 will invest in equity and quasi-equity as a minority shareholder in 30 to 40 startups and businesses located in Sub-Saharan Africa and the Indian Ocean, and thus contribute to building a sustainable and productive private sector. IPAE 2 also aims to create an investment hub in East Africa, by opening a new office in Nairobi.

IPAE 2 will be a generalist fund that targets a large range of sectors that significantly contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): agri-business, health, construction industry, renewable energy, microfinance, industry, B2B products and services, etc.


Investment committee
The Investment Committe will be regularly consulted for its opinion on every investment or divestment proposal related to I&P Afrique Entrepreneurs II.
It is composed of:

  • Olivier LAFOURCADE, Chairman of IPDEV Board
  • Luc RIGOUZZO, Executive President of Amethys Finance
  • Hervé SCHRICKE, President Club Afrique, AFIC
  • François WOHRER, CEO of Degroof Petercam France
  • Carole RAMELLA, Managing Director of GFA Consulting LTD
  • Cheick SANANKOUA, Managing Director of HC Capital Properties

Extra-Financial Committee
An extra-financial committe is composed of independent members and is regularly consulted. Its role includes the review of the extra-financial policy and its specifi goals, and of the annual ESG and impact assessment.
It is composed of:

  • Swaady MARTIN, Founder and Chairman of Ysawara
  • Michel JACQUIER
  • Mariam DJIBO, Principal of Adenia
  • Pascale DATTIN, ESG Consultant
  • Farid BADDACH, Executive Director of BSR

Senior Advisors
I&P team can count on the support of high-level advisors with extensive experience in: macroeconomic issues, geopolitics and African politicas, financial and legal structuring, information systems, project management, branding, microfinance, bank relations...

New Crystal







Côte d'Ivoire


I&P Développement 2 (IPDEV2), sponsor of African impact funds

Drawing lessons of its experience since its creation in 2002, I&P conceived IPDEV 2 as an incubator and sponsor of African impact funds. These funds will be able to efficiently and sustainably support start-ups and very small enterprises.

IPDEV 2 aims to incubate 10 impact funds in 10 African countries in 10 years, in order to support 550 early-stage entrepreneurs and contribute to create 15 000 jobs.


As of today 5 funds are already operational:



Burkina Faso



Côte d'Ivoire

HaiRun Technology




Rama Cereal

Côte d'Ivoire

Golden Nuts and Grain (GNG)



I&P Developpement 1 (IPDEV1)

Fund Size: €11 million
Starting date: 2002
Stage: fully invested
Investments: 33 (including 25 exits)
Investment range: between €50,000 and €650,000 in equity or quasi-equity

I&P Développement 1 targets small and fast growing African enterprises (including start-ups), with high social and/or environmental impact. Launched in 2002 by Patrice Hoppenot, IPDEV 1 is an impact first fund with a unique track record on exits in the African SME industry, and strong socio-economic impact.

IPDEV 1 was a pilot phase, critical to establish Investisseurs & Partenaires’ model and demonstrate its investment thesis, based on the existence of talented entrepreneurs looking for financial and strategic support to launch and scale up their businesses in Africa.

IPDEV1 is now in the process of divesting its portfolio and has achieved 25 exits since 2012.


15 years after its creation, Investisseurs & Partenaires publishes a short document reflecting on the successes, drawbacks and key lessons learned from its first impact fund: Investisseur & Partenaire pour le Développement (IPDEV).

In the first part, we present the history of IPDEV, from its pioneering debut to the diversification of the investment vehicles required to encompass the growing range of its operations.

In the second part, we draw 15 key lessons from of our 15 years of investment experience following 3 aspects: the enterprise and its management, the investor strategy and the investor’s operations.

Read more →

► The board is chaired by Olivier Lafourcade since June 2012.  

Olivier Lafourcade is a member of the board of directors and investment committee of IPDEV since 2004.  In June 2012 he becomes chairman of this board. Olivier Lafourcarde spent most of his career at the World Bank, which he joined in 1973, accumulating considerable operational experience in many countries, in particular in Africa, Asia and Latin America. His latest position at the World Bank was as Director for Mexico, Colombia and Venezuela, with residence in Mexico City from 1996 to 2002. Previously, he was appointed Director in several countries in West and Central Africa. For the last 10 years, Olivier Lafourcade has been an international consultant in the field of economic development collaborating with many public and private institutions, NGO’s and universities interested in international development. Olivier Lafourcade, is a graduate of the Ecole Nationale Supérieure Agronomique of Rennes (France), and he holds an MSc and a PhD degree in Agricultural Economics from the University of Maryland (USA). In addition he is a graduate of the Stanford Executive Program (1997).

► The advisory board meets twice a year to discuss the companies exiting the portfolio. It is composed of several investors.

► Risk and governance committee

Olivier de Guerre, CEO of Phitrust

Amadou Raimi, former Global Vice-President of Deloitte

Olivier Lafourcade


ACEP Niger


Sinergi Niger


La Laiterie du Berger


ACEP Cameroun