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ImpactAssets 50: A Global Landscape of Impact Investment Fund Managers
The ImpactAssets 50 (IA 50) is the first open-source, publicly published database of experienced private debt and equity impact investment fund managers.

ImpactAssets 50

An Annual Showcase of Impact Investment Fund Managers

IA 50 2020 PROFILE

Investisseurs & Partenaires

Total Assets Under Management: $100 – 499M
Asset Class: Private Debt - Absolute Return / Notes, Private Equity
Primary UN Sustainable Development Goal: 8 – Decent Work & Economic Growth
Small/Medium Business Development
Microfinance, low-income financial services & micro-insurance

Firm Overview

Category: Private Equity - Early Stage (Emerging)

Investisseurs & Partenaires (I&P) is an impact investment group created in 2002 with a well-established track-record of investing into small and medium-sized enterprises (“SMEs”) in Sub-Saharan Africa and in the Indian Ocean. I&P believes that these enterprises actively contribute to a sustainable and inclusive growth on the continent, both directly through the products and services they provide to the local market, and indirectly through the inclusion of social and environmental considerations in the daily management of their businesses.

As of today, I&P has invested in more than 100 SMEs located in 16 countries, mostly in fragile states in Francophone Africa. These enterprises create local added value and long-term employment, and generate important social, environmental and governance impacts.

The team comprises about seventy staff working in Paris and in seven African offices in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Madagascar, Niger and Senegal.

Firm Headquarters: Western Europe
Years of Operation: 10 years or more
Total Assets Under Management:
$100 – 499M
Total Number of Investors: More than 25
% of Capital from Top 3 Investors: Less than 25%
Investment Thesis:

I&P aims to promote a new generation of African entrepreneurs and contributes to build local ownership of the African growth. I&P provides financial and managerial support to African SMEs belonging to “the missing middle”, which, despite their tremendous impact on local economies, often lack access to skills and long-term finance.

Investment Overview:

I&P’s characteristic is to target the “missing middle” of the African economic fabric: SMEs with financing needs below € 5m and with a focus on francophone Sub-Saharan Africa where long-term funding solutions for SMEs are almost nonexistent. 

I&P targets African small and medium businesses managed by local teams and entrepreneurs. Most of them suffer from a very limited access to the formal financial sector (too big for Microfinance Institutions and considered as too risky by banks and other traditional investors) and look for strategic guidance and technical assistance to grow and scale up.

I&P has developed an innovative investment approach adapted to these targets. I&P invests minority equity and quasi-equity stakes in start-ups and growing SMEs with financing needs ranging from €30,000 to €3 million. The team develops long-term partnerships with the entrepreneurs, sharing management expertise, networks and knowledge that is useful for improving business strategy, formalization, and performance.

Company Differentiator:

Standing as one of the pioneers in impact investing in Africa, I&P operates where few investors are willing and equipped to go, supporting small businesses of the missing middle in fragile African countries. While most private equity transactions occur in South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria, I&P mainly operates in Francophone West and Central Africa and in the Indian Ocean. 

I&P also differentiates itself by its active advocacy policy, designed to promote African entrepreneurship and the emergence of innovative financing solutions. I&P contributes to several key impact networks and is B Corp™ certified. The team published regularly reports and studies relying on specific research and its own long-standing experience. 

Investment Example

I&P invested in Enko Education in 2016. Founded by Cyrille Nkontchou and Eric Pignot, Enko Education aims to build one of the largest African networks of private schools in Sub-Saharan Africa. Enko provides access to renowned and high quality training to facilitate access to international universities. It is partnering with existing high schools to develop a 3-year program to obtain an "International Baccalaureate" (IB) accreditation, widely recognized by international universities. 

I&P decided to support Enko Education to increase access of African students to international universities, where they are still under-represented. This partnership aims to develop a network of 30 schools and directly impact the lives of 10,000 students over 5 years. 

Leadership and Team

Cumulative Leadership Experience in Investing:
30 years or more
Cumulative Impact Experience of Top Three Firm Leaders:
30 years or more
Jean-Michel Severino – CEO More Info

Jean-Michel has been the Managing Director of I&P since 2011. He previously held the position of Vice-President for East Asia at the World Bank (1996-2000) and Chief Executive Officer of the French Development Agency (AFD) from 2001 to 2010. In 2014, he was a member of the UN General Secretary’s eminent persons’ panel on the new Sustainable Development Goals. He co-authored “Africa’s moment” (2012, with O. Ray) and “Entreprenante Afrique”( 2016, with J. Hajdenberg).

Sébastien Boyé – CIO More Info

Sebastien joined I&P in 2002. He has been involved in I&P’s development since its inception. Sébastien oversees I&P activities with the support of local teams in Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, and the Sahel region (Burkina Faso, Niger Mali). He lived in Ghana for 3 years to launch I&P activities in the country and set up the new local office. Prior to joining I&P, Sébastien’s experience was mostly in the banking sector. He was a Corporate Credit Analyst at BNP Paribas in Paris and Los Angeles. He is a co-author of “The guide of Microfinance”, first published in 2009. LinkedIn:é-8824198/ JÉRÉMY HAJDENBERG Jeremy joined I&P in 2004. He is responsible of I&P portfolio in Senegal, Benin, Mauritania and East Africa. He has managed I&P operations’ development in Eastern Africa since 2012. He previously worked as the managing director of a microfinance program in Manila, Philippines (2001-2003). He co-authored the book ‘’Entreprenante Afrique’’ with Jean-Michel Severino, published in 2016.

Percentage of Investment Professionals who identify as women:
Percentage of Investment Professionals who identify as a person of color:*
Percentage of Senior Management Team who identify as women:
Percentage of Senior Management Team who identify as a person of color:*
*People of color include: Black, Latinx, Asian, Native American/Alaskan Native, Pacific Islander, Middle Easterm and multi-racial Americans

Financial Performance

Target Financial Returns Relative to Benchmark:
Near-market Rates
Actual Performance Relative to Target Financial Returns in the Past Three Years:
In line with initial target returns
Financial Reporting Frequency to Investors or Donors

Impact Performance

Percentage of Total Assets Under
Management that are Impact Investments:
Primary Impact Outcomes:
Alleviating poverty
Creating jobs
Increasing access to education and improving educational outcomes
Increasing access to financial services
Secondary Impact Outcomes:
Addressing climate change and environmental issues
Increasing access to water and sanitation
Promoting arts and media
Value-added Services Offered:
Other: Technical assistance (capacity building, skills transfer and training)

Investments systematically target companies where social and/or environmental impact is integral to the product/service being created:

I&P supports initiatives with a strong social impact on the real economy, mainly in poor and fragile countries on the African continent, and partners with responsible companies that promote inclusive growth and have a strong potential for impact on their local stakeholders: employees, customers, suppliers and distributors, governments, etc. Our impact strategy is based on four key pillars: employment, local communities (meeting demand for essential goods and services), climate and gender equality. 

Before any investment, I&P assesses the potential impacts of the company. The team uses an impact screening scorecard to check that the investment project is in line with the fund’s core impact objectives and to identify ways to improve the project’s overall impact with an action plan.

Investments systematically include social and environmental sustainability practices in the due diligence process:

I&P’s investment approach is based on a rigorous methodology, which takes into account ESG (Environment, Social, and Governance) risks and opportunities throughout the investment cycle. The team conducts an in-depth analysis of ESG-related matters, evaluating the social, environmental and governance performance of the project. The aim is not to penalize SMEs’ practices but rather to work with the entrepreneurs to identify areas for improvement. We establish priority action points for the main challenges and everything is formalized in an ESG action plan.

Impact Tracking and Monitoring

Impact is Tracked:
Social and/or Environmental Impact is Reported to Investors and Donors:
Yes – to the public
Third Party Validations:
Participant on steering committees or leadership roles within impact industry associations
Publisher or contributor to industry white paper or other research in impact investing

Learn More

Key Contact Name: Clémence Bourrin
Phone: +33 1 58 57 11
Mailing Address:

9, rue Notre Dame des Victoires 75002 Paris

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