The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) recognize the key role that private companies can play. The SDGs call on all companies to use their creativity to meet the challenges of development. The SDGs have been accepted by all governments, yet their success depends essentially on the action and collaboration of all actors in society, including business and civil society.
For several years, FERDI's work, as part of its partnership with Investors & Partners (I&P), has been advocating the development of private companies by highlighting the multiple impacts of SMEs on Sub-Saharian countries.
FERDI's work on the subject provides a comprehensive view of the impacts generated by SMEs, placing them in a broader macroeconomic context.
FERDI provides a better understanding of the development challenges faced by SMEs in Sub-Saharan Africa. It provides an exhaustive view of the impacts generated by Sub-Saharan African SMEs by placing them in a broader macroeconomic context. For example, FERDI played an essential role in the feasibility study for an impact investment fund focused on education and training by highlighting the challenges, opportunities, and obstacles associated with the creation of such a fund.
FERDI has also contributed to basing research within businesses and making it more relevant by financing two CIFRE PhD students in partnership with I&P (CIFRE is a French government program to encourage joint university/private company PhD research projects. This type of funding, which is not widely available in economics, is nevertheless an excellent example of how research can be integrated into an operational framework.
In 2016, I&P and FERDI published a study: Investing in Development in Africa: How Impact Investment can contribute to meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Africa. This study has been widely disseminated in different investor networks (GIIN, EVPA, etc.) and represents an important advocacy tool about the role of impact investors in achieving the SDGs. A meeting was organized on 18 October 2016 to present this study, with the participation of Jean-Michel Severino, Patrick Guillaumont, Lionel Zinsou (Former Prime Minister of Benin, Co-President of AfricaFrance) and Mamadou Lamine Loum (Former Prime Minister of Senegal).