Investisseurs & Partenaires (I&P) is a pioneering impact investment group entirely dedicated to financing and supporting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and start-ups in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Who are we?
Since its creation in 2002, Investisseurs & Partenaires (I&P) is dedicated to promoting sustainable and profitable small and medium sized African companies with high local added value. I&P has developed different approaches combining financing and support to serve this mission and meet the needs of African SMEs, according to their maturity, size and financing requirements.
I&P was launched by Patrice Hoppenot, co-founder of BC Partners and a Private Equity expert. In 2011, Patrice Hoppenot hands over the reins of the business to Jean-Michel Severino, previously Managing Director of Agence Française de Développement (2001-2010) and World Bank Vice President for Asia (1996-2000).
The team currently comprises around 80 people, based in Paris, Washington D.C. and in seven African offices (Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Madagascar, Niger and Senegal).
100% of our profits go back into the personal and professional development of the staff, who are all trained in house, and into the recruitment and training of additional staff as the business grows in order to fulfill our mission.
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.
New Leadership and Scaling Up
In 2011, Patrice Hoppenot retires and hands over the reins of the business to Jean-Michel Severino, former Executive Director of the French Development Agency (2001-2010). This transition boosted a strategic shift already underway 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 Faso (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.
Vision & Values
We believe that Africa’s economic development will be achieved through the construction of an efficient and responsible private sector made up of business creators, entrepreneurs and SMEs rooted in Africa who can offer access to essential local goods and services to all, and show concern for environmental, social and governance issues at all levels of decision-making.
Contribute to sustainable development and social stability on the African continent by financing and advising entrepreneurs, project initiators, and African SMEs to help them thrive and achieve economic, social and environmental success.
Over the next ten years, we aim to help develop at least 600 projects and create at least 20,000 direct jobs, as well as demonstrate the viability and replicability of our model and champion the cause of African entrepreneurs around the world.
COMMITMENT TO DEVELOPMENT
I&P devotes particular attention to project leaders and their societal vision
An indispensable value in building trust with investors, as well as with entrepreneurs and communities.
COMMITMENT TO EXCELLENCE
This value is a factor of the success of our projects and is reflected in the rigorous management and economic efficiency of our investments.
I&P's Carbon Footprinting Strategy
Our certifications & commitments
In 2017 I&P joined the community of certified B Corp™ companies, an independent label gathering mission-driven businesses globally. Certified B Corps meet the highest standards of social and environmental performance, transparency and accountability.
I&P has been selected to the Impact Assets 50, alongside some of the most innovative impact investors in the world. The IA 50 is the first publicly available database that provides a gateway into the world of impact investing.
I&P is signatory to the six Principles for Responsible Investment, a voluntary and aspirational set of investment principles that offer a menu of possible actions for incorporating ESG issues into investment practice.
I&P is signatory to the Montréal Carbon pledge, launched in 2014. I&P commits to measure and publicly disclose the carbon footprint of their investment portfolios on an annual basis.
I&P is a member of:
The Malagsy Association of Private Equity Investors (AMIC) aims to federate and represent all private equity operators in Madagascar.
The Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) is a global network of organizations that propel entrepreneurship in emerging markets.
EVPA is a membership association made up of organisations interested in or practicing venture philanthropy and social investment across Europe.
France Invest brings together all the private equity structures in France. I&P takes part to the impact investing committee of France Invest.
Hugues joined I&P in 2011. He holds the position of Investment Director for the IPDEV2 program and I&P seed funding activities.
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)....
Maharazou joined the SINERGI NIGER team in 2020 as seed manager for the I&P Acceleration in the Sahel program in Niger....
Sophie joined I&P in 2014 and is now head of I&P Entrepreneurs et Développement, the association that carries I&P's acceleration projects.
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....