Through a visual and analytical investigation, Small is Powerful
provides an unusual vision of the African continent by exploring it
through its Small and Medium Enterprises (SME).The project focuses
on the entrepreneurs and various aspects of office life, but also goes
beyond by assessing the impact that these companies have on their
environment and stakeholders (employees, clients, local population,
By producing five reportages on SMEs operating in different coun-
tries and sectors, the project aims to show how African SMEs are
a catalyst for growth on the continent.
The project intends to
1 / Fight against stereotypes on how African economy and society
are currently perceived ;
2 / Support and promote the reality of African entrepreneurship
which is rich and dynamic, carrying prospects for the future ;
3 / Produce visual and analytical content allowing an efficient case
to be made for these entrepreneurs committed to this dynamic, and
who are vital contributors supporting African growth.
Unlike the image that is conveyed far too often, Sub-Saharan Africa
is not an entrepreneurial desert, only stirred by international help
and micro-business : many companies spring up, innovate and
grow on the continent. They are often small in size, but constitute
a powerful tool for growth !
Small is Powerful aims to show a new facet of the African continent.
It combines on-site reportages and impact assessments to illustrate
the key role played by African SMEs in favoring growth.
The project obviously focuses on the entrepreneurs, office life, but
goes beyond this by questioning their stakeholders and assessing the
impact that these companies have on the lives of these people (job
creation, infrastructure, improvement of living conditions etc.)
Five SMEs from throughout the African continent and working in very
different sectors (access to water and energy, poultry farming, in-
dustrial aquaculture, Health, Recycling) have worked with us and are
the subject of a study. Each SME has been founded and managed
by an African man or woman. Before each reportage, there is exten-
sive preparatory work with the SMEs, filling in an impact assessment
matrix specifically drawn up by the project teams and based on EU
recommendations in the domain.
The contents of the matrix constitute a check-list which then guides
the visual production (photo and video) during a 10-day reportage
The analysis and production phase of these reportages was carried
out in 2014. It enabled us to produce, for each SME, a photographic
series, a 10-minute film, an impact assessment and graphics to re-
present the principal impacts.
The contents will then be distributed in a multimodal way to reach the
greatest number of people: a web documentary offering an interac-
tive narration within African entrepreneurship, a dedicated website, a
large-format travelling exhibition, an editorial object, a series of lec-
ture events in 6 French universities, multimedia content adapted to
Small is Powerful is designed to be a tool to raise public awareness,
but also among decision-makers (political, media, economic), inves-
tors, entrepreneurs, a diaspora on the importance of companies as a
vector and enhancer of growth on the continent.
In order to achieve this, the project, (also available in a French version,
Les Grands Moyens) will benefit from a multinational distribution in
the media (LeMonde.fr & RFI in France ; Internazionale & Marie Claire
in Italy ; El Pais in Spain ; Stern in Germany etc.) and will, we hope,
also extend widely over the African continent.
CDS / Energy & Water / Mauritania
CDS proposes access to water and electricity services for rural
populations in Mauritania, and particularly to the poorest and
most isolated in the country. The company is a national leader in
Agrisatch / Agribusiness / Benin
Agrisatch in a Beninese SME which locally produces quality eggs in
large quantities, lowering prices and helping give poorer populations
access to protein. The company has gradually become the largest
poultry producer in the country.
QUALITY OF LIFE social INFRASTRUCTURE ENVIRONMENTECONOMY
OF SMEs are
IOT / Aquaculture / Madagascar
IOT is an SME specialised in the industrial aquaculture of sea cucu-
mbers. It works with isolated fishing villages allowing them to earn
extra income and avoid overfishing. It helps fight the extinction of
Nest / Health / Senegal
NEST is a Senegalese SME which offers complete medical cover for
women and young children. NEST’s long-term strategy is to set up a
national network of health structures, and currently offers an interim
solution for the Middle Classes, midway between costly clinics, and
under-staffed public structures.
Wecyclers / Environment / Nigeria
Wecyclers is a Nigerian SME that combines high tech with low-cost
means of transport to offer an innovating recycling service adapted
to the needs of inhabitants in informal settlements. It contributes in
this way to a better management of urban waste and teaches local
populations recycling techniques.
1 / MAURITANIA / CDS / A water tower in the desert of
Mauritania. 50% of the population of the country has no access to
2 / BENIN / AGRISATCH / There are about 25,000 hens per
henhouse and 4 hens per cage.The eggs are laid on a treadmill and
then collected manually by 6 employees over 5 hours every morning.
Each hen is carefully vaccinated.
3 / MADAGASCAR / IOT / Sea farmers gather around a table
where cucumbers are weighted. Only animals above 400 grams are
kept the other ones are thrown back to the sea. The watchtower
was set up to avoid theft : each cucumber are worth about $3, the
equivalent of the income generated by one day of traditional fishing.
4 / SÉNÉGAL / NEST / A young woman is having an ultrasound
and for the first time hears her baby’s heartbeat. NEST is a Sene-
galese company offering high-quality services for woman and child-
ren at a reasonable price, making it accessible to middle-classes.
5 / NIGÉRIA / WECYCLERS / A Wecycler sorter in one of
the company’s hub in Lagos where it gathers, sorts and recycles
over 525 tons of wastes in poor neighborhoods since its creation
two years ago.
6 / LES GRANDS MOYENS / The project exists also in french
language (films, photo essays, exhibit, web-documentary etc) under
the tittle Les Grands Moyens.
The project’s Initiators & Partners
Joan Bardeletti is a photographer/video maker who has produced
commissioned reportages for the media, as well as long-term projects.
They usually combine a visual approach with analytical work, and
are produced in partnership with both public and private institutions.
He has particularly worked on modern, urban Africa for the past
10 years : the Middle Classes, diet, SMEs, immigration etc. He won
a World Press Photo award in 2010, a Getty Grant in 2011 and the
Nikon Bourse du Talent in 2012.
Investisseurs & Partenaires
Investisseurs & Partenaires (I&P) is an impact investment group
created in 2002. Its goal is to promote growth in small and medium
African companies by bringing financial, technical and strategic
support. Investisseurs & Partenaires has gained extensive expe-
rience of African entrepreneurship by accompanying close to 60
companies since 2002.
With the support of
PROPARCO : is a subsidiary of AFD whose aim is to foster the emer-
gence of a strong, dynamic and innovating private sector in favour
of sustainable development in developing countries.
L’Agence Française de Développement : The French Development Agency
(AFD) fights again poverty and fosters growth in developing countries
and the French Overseas Provinces.Through grants, loans, guarantee
funds and debt reduction-development contracts, it helps its Southern
partners in capacity-building.
CFAO : CFAO is a front-ranking specialized distributor and preferred
partner of major international brands, serving the high-potential
equipment and services, healthcare and consumer goods markets
in Africa and the French overseas territories. The Group is active in
39 countries, including 34 African countries.
Monacan cooperation : Monaco government has made the fight
against poverty a priority for intervention and supports over a hun-
dred projects each year in 12 countries, mainly among the Least
European Union : Within 2015, EuropeanYear for Development, the UE
support the Small is Powerful project.
CONTACT / Joan Bardeletti
cel : +33 6 82 25 28 99 (France) | email : firstname.lastname@example.org
www.lesgrandsmoyens.fr | web-docu : www.lesgrandsmoyens.org