Date: 06/12/2017


The annual African summit gathering the African Club of Entrepreneurs’ members took place from December 4 to 6. This 6th edition was organized in partnership with Investisseurs & Partenaires, and gathered more than fifty African entrepreneurs on the campus of HEC Paris. This seminar, supported by FISEA, Proparco and the European Investment Bank that are all key partners of I&P and the Club, dealt with critical challenges related to the promotion of a performing and accountable middle management supporting the African entrepreneurs. This two-day intensive training session has given space for many interactions and experience sharing between enrolled participants and the consultants.




In a context where the entrepreneurs play a fundamental role of orchestra conductors for their own SMEs, this seminar has indeed focused on a key challenge, that is promoting their capacity to inspire, train and make accountable their middle management – being the executive team in direct contact with the CEO. This 2017 edition of the top management training session gathered more than fifty entrepreneurs that I&P supports (or has supported) and coming from thirteen African countries. The case was made to re-explore the fundamental principles of leadership and the promotion of the middle management, as well as the key challenges linked to its development. During those two days, the SMEs’ leaders had to question their own management style, understand and assess their impact on their collaborators and promote an adaptable approach that would depend on their various internal configurations.

The French Business School HEC Paris, through its executive education program, has been involved for the third time as a key organizer of the logistics and the pedagogical content of the seminar.


Discover the pictures of the seminar

Séminaire Entrepreneurs 2017



Along with this training session, the participants have also been exposed to various activities, among which the General Assembly of the Club that has seen the renewing of the Executive Board. The incumbent President Dr. Elisabeth KACOU, Chair of the Boards of Directors of Pharmivoire Nouvelle, handed over to Sidi KHALIFOU, Executive Director at CDS Energies and formerly the Secretary General of the Club, and who is now leading the African Club of entrepreneurs’ trajectory for the next two years, surrounded by a six-member Board. “The Club has a bright future coming forward”  has declared Gabriel FOPA, the Executive Director at ITG-Store, a computing firm based in Cameroon, Congo and Guinea; and who was renewed as the Vice-President of the Club. According to Abdoulaye MBAYE, Executive Director at Neurotech, based in Dakar, “the Club has beautifully initiated its activities and could do even better in the coming years thanks to the active contribution of all members”.

Two years after it was initiated, the Club’s activities are steadily expanding. The Club has supported 5 members to obtain scholarships for the Lead Campus programme (covering up to 80% of participation fees). The members also engage in advocacy activities to support the African entrepreneurial dynamics. A delegation led by Sidi KHALIFOU also took part in the MEDays Forum organized in Tanger, Morroco. The fellow members have at this occasion discussed various geopolitical factors as key determinants of the growth of the African economies. Last September, Peter AOUELE, Executive Director at Pharmivoire Nouvelle, a fellow company, has led a webinar course on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) for SMEs, sharing his own experience of CSR policies’ implementation.

Among the many other activities of these three days, the cultural and networking night event, organized by HEC Paris, and dedicated to the entrepreneurs, has given some space and opportunities for a strongly-committed community to explore various challenges of the African continent’s development. Etienne KRIGER, associate professor at HEC Paris, and Adama Touré, CEO at TripAfrique, gave an enlightening conference that led to many experience sharing and testimonies, and Jean-Luc RICCI, Director of Strategy and Development for HEC Afrique, introduced the book “Nouveau pacte africain, défis du dialogue public/privé”, that he co-authored.





Le Club Africain des Entrepreneurs est une organisation panafricaine de droit ivoirien visant à promouvoir l’entrepreneuriat en Afrique, à développer les opportunités économiques des membres, à renforcer les ressources humaines, à permettre des synergies et à contribuer à l’émergence d’une classe entrepreneuriale de qualité et. Le Club propose aux entreprises membres des services à forte valeur ajoutée, regroupés autour de quatre piliers fondamentaux : business développement, formation, plaidoyer et vie de réseau.


Investisseurs & Partenaires (I&P) is a family of impact funds fully-dedicated to the African continent. Created in 2002 by Patrice Hoppenot and directed by Jean-Michel Severino since 2011, I&P is a pioneer in the impact investing sector in Africa. As an impact investor, I&P strives to maximize the economic, social and environmental impacts of its partners and aims to actively contribute to the African development. I&P’s team consists of 30 people based in Paris and in 7 African offices (Senegal, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Cameroon, Morocco and Madagascar), and in 3 African investment funds (Sinergi Niger, Sinergi Burkina and Teranga Capital).


As the Bank of the European Union, the European Investment Bank (EIB) has brought financial and technical support to solid and sustainable investment projects within and outside Europe, for more than 50 years. In the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific regions, EIB has invested more than 18 billion euros in 1,300 projects in 92 countries and regional clusters. EIB Group gives technical assistance to improve their projects’ contribution to the the local economic development and to reinforce the capacities of their financial partners and final beneficiaries.


FISEA, the Investment and Support Fund for Businesses in Africa, makes equity investments in businesses, banks, microfinance institutions and investment funds operating in Sub-Saharan Africa. With an investment target of €250m, FISEA is one of the key components of France’s initiative to promote growth and jobs in Africa. Owned by the AFD (Agence Française de Développement) and advised by PROPARCO, FISEA targets vulnerable population groups and regions that are more unstable or emerging from crisis situations, as well as sectors traditionally bypassed by investors. Special attention is paid to the growth of small and medium-sized businesses.


HEC Paris’ mission is twofold: training the global leaders of tomorrow, and taking an active part in the production of knowledge on management.  This mission is based on two pillars: a rigorous research environment and close connections to the corporate world. The combination of high-quality research, underlying the pedagogical innovation at HEC Paris, and close corporate connections, gives the HEC community the necessary tools and background to challenge established rules and to invent the new social and economic paradigms of tomorrow’s world, rather than simply reproduce them.