Africa-France Entrepreneurs, the new EuroQuity community to promote co-entrepreneurship and co-innovation
After the Africa-France Summit in 2021, Bpifrance along with several other partners created the Africa-France Entrepreneurs community. Developed on the EuroQuity digital platform, it promotes and facilitates partnerships between African and French companies in a peer-to-peer logic. Today the community gathers about 200 members, and it continues to grow.
During the New Africa-France Summit held in the city of Montpellier in the south of France in 2021, 450 African entrepreneurs were selected to participate in the reflection of how “Africa-France » business partnerships could be promoted and eased for the entrepreneurs. A diplomatic note was then sent to the Embassies in order to define geographically and by sector, the different areas of action and solutions foreseen on the matter then, thanks to the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs, the French Development Agency Group (AFD, Proparco, Expertise France, Digital Africa), Bpifrance’s initiative, the Africa-France Entrepreneurs community was created.
How did the Africa-France Entrepreneurs community take shape?
The idea to create this community was actually led by entrepreneurs themselves when asked how they could be supported in their business projects and in their will to collaborate. According to Mustapha Ibrahim Maloum, Proparco’s Regional Director of West Africa, the 450 entrepreneurs questioned at the Summit highlighted the importance and their need to be seen, to gain visibility not only in the eye of potential financers but also in those of their peers’. During his intervention at the annual Bpifrance Inno Generation (BIG) event, he also stated that the overall ambition was to create a space for them to speak about their businesses or entrepreneurial projects and to have an easy access to the right advisors “We want to simplify professional networking by connecting the right people at the earliest stages of entrepreneurship.”
A digital platform and face-to-face events
How can we keep companies interacting with one another? This is the main question that the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs, the French Development Agency Group (AFD, Proparco, Expertise France, Digital Africa) answered by creating the Africa France Entrepreneurs community. The next challenge was to figure out how this well-spread community could thrive and function efficiently. Creating a digital space seemed to be the better choice for such a project hence the decision to go with EuroQuity, a platform created by Bpifrance. This space is dedicated to business interactions and allows companies to present themselves, express their needs, connect, and access exclusive services. But, Mathieu Bécue, Cooperation Attaché for Innovation and Digital Economy at the French embassy in Senegal, also amplifies the importance to meet physically, to go and to have an accurate on-field knowledge that no digital platform can replace. In that sense, Institutions, and the community organize and host a lot of local and face-to-face networking events.