Africa Business Day: HEC Paris Sees Entrepreneurship as Lever for Development in Africa

4 February 2021
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Europe's number one business school, HEC Paris, recently held the third edition of Africa Business Day, this time focused on entrepreneurship. The event aims to connect students and companies, while holding debates on forward-looking issues related to Africa's development.

Entrepreneurship plays a key role in African economies, providing a sustainable tool for job creation. In 2018, 467 million euros were invested in around 100 African start-ups, an increase of 53% compared to 2016. The upheavals caused by the crisis related to Covid-19, and in particular the accelerated digitalization of many sectors, have only reinforced this dynamic.

Moreover, Africa is a continent where about 420 million young people aged 15 to 35 live today. This figure is expected to rise to nearly 830 million by 2050. According to analysts at the African Development Bank (AfDB), 11 million young Africans enter the labor market each year. Only 3 million jobs are estimated to be available in the global supply of companies, resulting in a gap of about 8 million jobs to be created each year. For this reason, the emergence of new companies and the encouragement of entrepreneurship can be considered a necessity, without which the continent will not be able to achieve its growth objectives.

There is a room for hope: for some years now, Africa - the "continent on the move", which for some people is the bearer of the future of the planet - arouses the interest of many. As early as 2016, we noticed that an increasing number of HEC Paris students were choosing to do their internships in Africa. Today, Africa Business Day shows that these very same students are at present looking for employment on the continent".

The theme being on top of the agenda, the organizers of Africa Business Day, the HEC MBA Africa Club, baptized the 2020 edition "How Entrepreneurship can help to shape the African Economy". Mr. Charles KIE, co-founder and CEO of New African Capital Patners was the guest of honor. In all, a total of 140 students from several business schools (MIT, Wharton, LBS, Insead, INP-HB, UM6P and of course HEC Paris) attended the keynote speech and two discussion panels. The first brought together "CEO & Founders" like Fares Belghith from Kamioun and Olugbenga Agboola from Flutterwave. The second panel discussion focused on "Strategy & Investment" and included Mohamed Ali Malouche, Public Sector Lead Partner for Deloitte and Shon Morris, VP Global People Operations for MyAgro and many others.

Temitope Ahmed (HEC MBA Candidate 2022 and President of HEC Paris' Africa MBA Club), said: "We are very proud to organize this event: a growing number of entrepreneurs are making their fortune in Africa, by investing capital that they manage to grow like nowhere else (...). This is partly due to the increasing maturity of African political and economic systems. All these instances show that entrepreneurship is the future of African economies, and we are here to prove and encourage it."

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