While waiting for July 4, the date of the organization by Bpi France of the “Inspire & Connect” Mediterranean event, this Thursday, June 23, a conference was organized in Casablanca. Around Bpi France, there was Africinvest, Attijariwafa Bank via its retail bank-corporate market and Sowit, the start-up specializing in agritech.
The meeting around a table of a public investment bank, a commercial bank, an investment fund and a startup inevitably leads to the enrichment of the ecosystem that they have in common. . Indeed, the objective is to create a dynamic link to be able to support the startup and the SME in the need for financing. “We work a lot in the ecosystem that surrounds us to facilitate business creation,” says Pedro Novo, Executive Director, Export Financing Department at Bpifrance. “Our strategy is pan-African and Mediterranean for our entrepreneurs. And for several reasons. This means that we wanted to organize this moment of meeting where we will bring together entrepreneurs who believe in the future and who want to succeed, to inspire each other in this Mediterranean area and beyond Africa”, adds Pedro New.
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Investors target VSE SMEs with growth potential
Companies from both shores have a lot in common when it comes to carrying out projects. The representative of the Attijariwafa Bank group, Karim Idrissi Kaitouni, agreed. In this regard, he highlighted the strategy of supporting one out of three SMEs in Morocco over the next 3 years. And a million TPEs. The envelope that will be allocated to VSE SMEs throughout the year 2022 is estimated at 30 billion dirhams. The amount in 2021 was 25 billion.
For his part Hamza Rkha Chaham, Founder – chief operating officer of Sowit, an agritech startup, created three years ago, his young shoot is supported by investors such as Tamwilkom, SEAF (Fund based in Washington DC) , Bpifrance…
If Sowit has managed to attract so many investors, it is because it has been able to convince not only that its economic model is relevant but also that it brings something more to the world of agriculture. Particularly in Africa. Such success easily overshadows the difficult relationship between small shoots and large companies in terms of financial support in particular. Indeed, the story of Sowit begins between Addis Ababa, Dakar, Tunis, Casablanca and Abidjan with the ambition to provide the African farmer with real solutions allowing him to increase his yields per hectare. Any company operating in the investment sector, whether it is a bank or a venture capitalist, will necessarily be interested in betting on such a nugget.
Africinvest went through this before becoming one of the major investment funds in Africa today. Created in 1994, Africinvest has implemented a strategy to identify SMEs with significant potential that are well positioned in their local markets with the possibility of extending their activities beyond national borders. Thus, as pointed out by Omar Bekkali, one of its Partners, several SMEs which have experienced strong growth, such as Disway, have been able to count on Africinvest financing.
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