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European Business Schools are Looking South to Africa

The continent is teeming with entrepreneurial talent, with a youthful population, rapidly urbanising economies and abundant natural resources. But many African entrepreneurs face obstacles that can hold them back, such as limited access to education, financing and mentorship. Schools based in Europe are stepping up to help bridge this gap, offering tailor-made entrepreneurship programmes and expanding their presence deeper into Africa. In October, for instance, HEC Paris established a Master in Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Yamoussoukro, the administrative capital of west Africa’s Ivory Coast, partnering with a local institution, the Institut National Polytechnique Félix Houphouët-Boigny (INP-HB). The 18-month programme aims to cultivate a new generation of African entrepreneurs, through HEC’s “learning-by-doing” methodology, emphasising practical experiences. One of the first students, Amon Hugues-Michel Amon, is determined to address the energy transition challenge in west Africa: the process of shifting away from fossil fuels to more sustainable alternatives.