Supporting Africa's economic growth by investing in social entrepreneurs
At Salini Impregilo, we believe that human capital is central to unlocking economic potential, particularly in developing countries
In 2015, we contributed to founding the E4Impact Foundation to promote social entrepreneurship in Africa, where we have been present for 60 years.
“We strongly believe in the value offered by young people, and most of all in the importance of creating future leaders, capable of contributing to long-term structural growth. That is why we have such great enthusiasm for this initiative,” commented Group CEO, Pietro Salini.
“By helping to empower local entrepreneurs, we will we also be able to count on high quality local suppliers for future projects. This will create employment while allowing us to source high quality materials and services locally.”
We founded E4Impact Foundation together with Italian companies Securfin and Mapei, the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore of Milan (Europe’s largest private university), and the Always Africa association. Our collective effort builds on a previous programme launched in 2010 by the ALTIS Graduate School Business and Society at the Università Cattolica. The Foundation’s flagship initiative is the Global MBA in Impact Entrepreneurship, offered in partnership with the Università Cattolica and local African Universities.
E4Impact has an ambitious vision: offering social entrepreneurship programs in at least 15 African countries by 2020, training over 3,000 social entrepreneurs, creating 500 new enterprises and thousands of new jobs in the formal economy.
To address this challenge, the Foundation will pursue four key goals:
- To develop a new generation of social entrepreneurs capable of combining economic success with positive social impact
- To foster the replication of successful Italian and European social enterprises in the African countries where the MBA is offered
- To strengthen the capacity of African universities to offer effective and action-oriented entrepreneurship education programmes
- To build a community of universities, incubators, investors and corporations dedicated to social entrepreneurship
The Executive MBA
The Executive MBA provides potential, early stage and high growth entrepreneurs with results-oriented education, coaching and interaction with the local business community and potential investors. Participants acquire knowledge and skills that could help them start or scale a business, while contributing to the sustainable development of their countries.
In particular, the E4impact MBA supports participants in transforming a business idea into a business plan, improving existing businesses, creating partnerships with investors, suppliers and customers.
The Foundation is currently offering the E4impact MBA to over 200 people in Kenya, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Uganda and Ivory Coast, helping to create an inspiring environment for entrepreneurs. Some 180 MBA Alumni were involved in the pilot phase (2011-2014), with 60% of participants starting a new business and 37% advancing their careers.
The Foundation also launched another programme, called First-Step Africa, aimed at supporting the expansion of foreign small-to-medium sized businesses (SMEs) in Sub-Saharan Africa through the E4Impact MBA. Through the MBA programme, an SME can engage African professionals to study the feasibility of its business in a particular African country. The local professionals attend the MBA and develop a business plan for helping the SME to establish itself in the local market, building a network with local suppliers, customers and institutions to support the start-up of the project.