Ed Partners

Sector of activity: Education & Training
Status: Investissement en capital
Associed fund: I&P Expansion, IPAE 2
Entrepreneur: Amos Mwangi (CEO), Lydia Koros (Founder), David FitzHerbert (Founder), Andrew West (Founder)
Country: Kenya
A propos:


Ed Partners Africa is a non-banking financial institution that aims to provide adapted financial solutions to the education sector and especially to affordable schools in East Africa.



In Kenya, the rapid urbanization combined with the rising income levels have increased the demand for private schools as the quality of public schools is wanting. In 2018, there were 52,000 registered and unregistered private schools in the country that focused on primary and secondary enrolments. Ed Partners currently lends to both affordable and middle-income schools, affordable schools being those with annual school fees below USD 300. By mid-2021, the company had disbursed a total of USD 1.5 mililon to over 140 schools.

The government has until now turned a blind eye to the existence of these schools, but has recently mandated that all schools with non-compliant infrastructure will be shut down. This is therefore incentivizing already registered schools to upgrade their infrastructure and for unregistered schools to start the registration process and to begin investing in compliant infrastructures. Therefore, most schools will require additional investment in equipment and basic infrastructure.


In this context, Ed Partners aims to fill the gap in the current market by providing customized products, understanding schools’ special needs and proposing tailored complimentary services to affordable schools in Kenya and in the long term in the region.

The model was conceived by replicating the proven business model of Varthana, a school financing company in India, with 7 years of experience and a current portfolio size of USD 157 million provided to over 3,500 schools.


The entrepreneurs

Ed Partners was founded by a team of 4 microfinance experts with on average 15+ years of experience in impact investing and in microfinance in East Africa and in India. Together, these founding members bring their expertise and network to support the roll-out of the project in the region.

Ed Partners is currently managed by Amos Mwangi who is the CEO. Amos has 17 years of experience in business development, sales, credit management and leadership. He previously worked 6 years as a Business Development Manager at Faulu Microfinance Bank in Kenya where he oversaw 44 branches in 38 locations. Before Faulu Microfinance, he worked at Equity Bank and Family Bank in various roles at both branch and head office level. Amos holds a Masters in Banking and Finance from Moi University and achieved complementary business and finance studies at Kenyatta University.


Partnership with I&P

The partnership between Ed Partners and I&P (through its fund I&P Afrique Entrepreneurs 2) aims to:

Ensuring a wider geographical coverage with the opening of 6 additional hubs in 6 counties in Kenya

Funding EdPartners’ loan book. The company anticipates a rapid growth of the loan book to reach 6,000 loans disbursed to about 3,000 schools in the next 5 years

Supporting further expansion into the rest of East Africa within the next few years, where there is significant demand for the products offered by Ed Partners


Expected Impacts

Ed Partners has the potential to have an important impact on the education sector in Kenya and in the long term in East Africa.

The company enables improvement in the quality of education offered by middle-income and affordable schools by providing access to adapted financial solutions and coaching.


In portfolio since: 2021

Pigier Cameroun

Sector of activity: Education & Training
Status: Investissement en capital
Associed fund: IPAE 2
Entrepreneur: Dr Henri TAFOU
Country: Cameroon
A propos:


Pigier Cameroun is a private business school for higher education, launched in 2011 by the Cameroonian Dr Henri Tafou. With the mission to “Train for employment”, Pigier Cameroun stand out as a leading player in vocational training in Cameroon. The school provides pragmatic solutions to match the needs of companies in terms of competent human resources.

Pigier Cameroun offers trainings of international quality in Human Sciences and Management, at Bachelor and Master levels. The training programs include: Banking and Corporate Finance, Finance, Audit and Management Control, Communication, Marketing & Digital, Transport, Logistics and Customs, Business Management, Taxation and Business Law, Human Resources Management.



In sub-Saharan Africa, the unemployment rate is around 7.3%, and mainly affects young people. This is largely due to the existing gap between training courses and the real needs of companies on the ground. More specifically, businesses complain about the lack of professionalization provided by existing institutions.


The entrepreneur

Pigier Cameroun was created in 2011 by Dr Henri TAFOU, an education entrepreneur, who has held several positions as Regional Sales Director, Marketing Director, Commercial Advisor and General Manager in several companies in Cameroon.

For more than 25 years, he has gained expertise in the education sector, with multinational experiences: He worked within the Pigier Group in Côte d'Ivoire as Sales Director in charge of continuing education. After that, he joined the head office of the PIGIER brand in France as Director of Franchise Development; and went back to Africa by becoming the first African to benefit from a PIGIER franchise in Africa, through the takeover of the Cotonou franchise in Benin. During his management in Benin, he succeeded in having the franchise certified to the ISO 9001 standard, making Pigier Bénin the very first business school in Sub-Saharan Africa to obtain this certification.

In 2011, he sold the Benin franchise and returned to Cameroon to launch Pigier Cameroon, the very first PIGIER franchise in Central Africa.


Partnership with I&P

I&P partners with Pigier Cameroun through its fund I&P Afrique Entrepreneurs 2 (IPAE 2). I&P provides patient financing, technical assistance, and strategic/operational support to strengthen the structuring of the company.


The partnership notably addresses the following issues:

— Consolidating the company’s achievements and ensuring the continuous improvement of its academic training programs

— Strengthening its positioning in the market in order to serve a greater number of learners and business professionals

— Strengthening the company’s governance, as well as its operational performance


Expected Impacts

Social impacts:

• Increasing the number of learners and graduates trained by Pigier Cameroon

• Improving the employability rate of graduates of Pigier Cameroon,

• Improving the capacities and skills of business professionals

• Creating jobs and securing created and/or existing jobs

—Governance impacts:

• Strengthening the company’s governance

• Improving the company's strategy


In portfolio since: 2021

New Crystal attains new ISO certifications


New Crystal Health Services, Ghana’s leading private health care group dedicated to the urban poor, has recently attained ISO certifications in the following: ISO 9001:2015, ISO/IEC 27001:2013 and ISO 45001:2018.

This is an important step for New Crystal, financed by our fund I&P Afrique Entrepreneurs 2 since January 2020.


I&P invests in Ghanaian company XpressGas


The fund I&P Afrique Entrepreneurs 2 welcomes in its portfolio the Ghanaian company XpressGas, a pioneering distributor of Liquefied Petroleum Gas. Also known as LPG, this fuel offers an efficient and environmentally friendly alternative, particularly for peri-urban and rural areas.

XpressGas is the tenth company funded by the IPAE 2 fund, which maintains an active pace of investment despite the Covid-19 context.





Sector of activity: Energy
Status: Investissement en capital
Associed fund: I&P Expansion, IPAE 2
Entrepreneur: Kofi Nketsia-Tabiri
Country: Ghana
A propos:


XpressGas Limited is the fastest-growing and one of the largest LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas) companies in Ghana.

The company was incorporated in 2009 and was granted a license by the National Petroleum Authority in 2010 to operate as an LPG Marketing Company. XpressGas currently owns 3 LPG refill stations, 23 LPG Bulk Road Vehicles (BRV-Trucks), and serves a network of 53 third-party owned stations across all the regions of Ghana.

The main focus of the business is on the peri-urban and rural areas of the country, and this is in line with the Government of Ghana’s stated objective to increase access to LPG by 50% in 2030.

Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) is increasingly becoming the preferred choice of fuel in the world and Ghana is moving in the same direction. The increase in patronage could be attributed to its affordability, efficiency and environmental friendliness. The impact potential of switching consumers from harmful traditional fuels such as firewood to LPG is significant.


The entrepreneur

The company is managed by a strong promoter who has built a well-structured business that has advanced up the ranks of the top LPG companies in Ghana within the span of just 8 years.

Mr. Kofi Nketsia-Tabiri brings over 18 years of investing, business development and entrepreneurship experience to the management of XpressGas. Prior to starting XpressGas, Mr Nketsia-Tabiri founded Patient Capital Partners, an energy project development and investment advisory firm that has undertaken several modern energy related projects for international organizations such as the World Bank, Triodos, African Development Bank, United Nations Environmental Programme, etc.

Kofi was the inaugural head of the business innovations unit in Africa at E+Co, the pioneering organization that funded over 250 clean energy investments in emerging markets before its restructuring in 2012. In 2017, Kofi was recruited as an Investment Consultant for the Africa Renewable Energy Scale Up Facility (ARESUF), under the auspices of Micro-Energy International and PROPARCO.


Partnership with IPAE 2

With support from I&P, XpressGas aims to:

•— Consolidate and cement its position in the B2B market

•— Accelerate the launch of the B2C cylinder recirculation model (CRM)

•— Improve health and safety standards


Expected Impacts

⇒— A company at the forefront in increasing LPG availability and access to consumers especially those in the rural areas who continue to suffer from Household Air Pollution (HAP)

Context: It is estimated that about 18% of households in Ghana use LPG as their primary source of cooking. The remaining 72% of households mostly depend on firewood and charcoal for cooking. Exposure to household air pollution is responsible for 16,600 deaths and the loss of 502,000 disability adjusted life-years annually.

⇒— LPG emits lower greenhouse gas emissions than alternatives, CO2 emissions are relatively low. Greenhouse gases are reduced by 5-16 times per prepared meal compared to coal.

⇒— Creation of over 300 direct and indirect jobs over the investment period with specialized training provided to staff

⇒— Contribution towards the development and structuring of the cylinder recirculation model in Ghana to create a safer environment for LPG distribution


In portfolio since: 2021

AMI’s publishes the report 'Business Development Support in a Time of Crisis'


The African Management Institute (AMI) is a pan-African company that enables ambitious entrepreneurs and managers across Africa to thrive through practical tools and training.

In light of the Covid-19 crisis and its consequences for African SMEs, AMI has published a new report, titled 'Business Development Support in a Time of Crisis'.


StarNews Mobile raises first funds with Investisseurs & Partenaires


The African startup StarNews Mobile, specialized in the field of mobile video, achieves a first fundraising with Investisseurs & Partenaires, through its fund I&P Afrique Entrepreneurs 2. IPAE 2 continues to invest actively in Sub-Saharan Africa, particularly in Madagascar, West Africa and East Africa



Sector of activity: Culture
Status: Investissement en capital
Associed fund: I&P Expansion, IPAE 2
Entrepreneur: Guy Kamgaing
Employees: 30
Country: Pan-African
A propos:


Launched in 2017, StarNews is a network of mobile video channels that gives access to quality content thanks to strong distribution and marketing partnerships with pan-African mobile operators such as MTN, Orange and Moov.

StarNews is positioning itself in a unique market, specifically adapted to the African context to unlock the potential of the creation of mobile video content on the continent.

StarNews was designed as a digital platform for creating, producing and distributing video content to mobile subscribers on various themes (celebrities, culture, cuisine, sport, humor, religion, beauty, events, etc.). The company started out collaborating with local and international African celebrities such as Fally Ipupa, Serge Beynaud, Lady Ponce or Davido and has been focusing since 2019 on the development of new themes.

StarNews has established partnerships with large pan-African mobile operators such as MTN and Orange in order to distribute exclusive and quality video content directly to users who can subscribe through their mobile to the various channels offered.

The company now operates in Ivory Coast, Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and South Africa




Guy Kamgaing, founder and director of the company, has over 20 years of experience in the mobile phone industry.

This Cameroonian entrepreneur began his career some 20 years ago by supplying network equipment to cell phone operators. He then entered the service sector and was a pioneer of mobile navigation by SMS ( jokes, quizzes, horoscopes, etc...) in Africa, before the widespread use of smartphones and mobile internet. He observed then that value-added service offers are usually not Africanized and even when they are, the content comes only from international players.

He therefore decided in 2015 to work on the creation of a platform to deliver African content at an affordable price to consumers. He launched StarNews in 2017, and after only 9 months of pilot deployment in Côte d'Ivoire in partnership with the operators MTN and Moov, StarNews Mobile reached over one million subscribers.




StarNews carries out a first fundraising campaign with Investisseurs & Partenaires through its I&P Afrique Entrepreneurs 2 fund.

The partnership between StarNews and I&P aims to:

• Building the skills of local teams (Abidjan, Douala, Johannesburg, Lagos)

• Developing value-added content for users


"We are proud to support a talented and experienced African entrepreneur who demonstrates a real commitment to deploy a pan-African and innovative solution. We share StarNews’ ambition to showcase African artists and to produce a greater diversity of quality local content with high added value for end users"

Nouss Bih, Investment Manager at I&P, based in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.




• Generating new sources of income for African artists and various creators of content

• Supporting the development of an information platform with increasingly impactful content (health, employment, etc.).




In portfolio since: 2020