Could you remind us of the principle and objectives of this Africa-France Entrepreneurship Initiative?
The aim of the Afrique France entrepreneurs’ community is to promote peer-to-peer partnerships between businesses on the African continent and those based in France. It was launched at the New Africa-France Summit in Montpellier and is coordinated on the African continent by the French embassies with AFD, Business France, Bpifrance, Digital Africa, Expertise France and Proparco. Entrepreneurs have access to a national contact point for each country. These are there to answer their questions, help them join the community and facilitate networking. It's important to remember that the alignment of these institutional players and the scale of the project are truly historic. We have created an umbrella effect that fosters interactions and synergies with other projects and communities, including the Embassy Sector Club, French Tech, Accelerators in Africa, Meet Africa and many others. This collaboration strengthens our ability to support different types of networks and create opportunities for entrepreneurs through a wider network of partners.
What is the role of French institutions, including Digital Africa, in supporting entrepreneurs on both sides of the Atlantic?
French institutions bring a variety of expertise and offers that can benefit the members of the Africa France Entrepreneurs community. Firstly, on the investment side, we have partners such as Bpi, Proparco and Digital Africa who can provide financial support to entrepreneurs at all stages of the project lifecycle. On the support side, Expertise France and Business France can help you navigate the business landscape, establish strategic contacts and benefit from their extensive networks.
To make it easier for you to understand what Africa France has to offer entrepreneurs, we offer a wide range of events, including discovery webinars to better understand the opportunities for collaboration, sector-specific events to deepen your knowledge and exchange sessions between startups. This offer is the result of consultations with our African partners, who expressed a need for clearer information about what French institutions have to offer.
Franco-African co-construction involving local partners is extremely important as it encourages a collaborative and inclusive approach. It allows us to draw on local expertise and create strong synergies. This approach responds to the need to develop solutions that are adapted to local realities by integrating the in-depth knowledge of local partners. It avoids a one-size-fits-all approach that does not take into account regional specificities. Involving local partners offers an undeniable advantage in terms of legitimacy and trust. Local actors know the needs, challenges and opportunities of their communities, which increases the relevance of our actions.
A concrete example of this fruitful co-construction can be seen in the major corporate co-construction projects we support, such as Choose Africa, sector-focused missions, and so on. These initiatives demonstrate our desire to work hand in hand with local partners to stimulate entrepreneurial development on the African continent and on both sides of the Atlantic.
What is the digital dimension of this initiative?
We have created a digital platform dedicated to the Afrique France Entrepreneurs initiative. To become a member of the community, all you have to do is sign up on the EuroQuity platform and take part in the various events on offer. Don't hesitate to contact your National Contact Point for further information and support. It's important to highlight the many benefits and opportunities that membership of Afrique France Entrepreneurs can offer businesses and support structures, particularly in terms of networking, partnerships and access to valuable resources and expertise.