The development of the African continent is increasingly at the core of debates and operations at the international level, more so today in the light of the pressing migration issues.
But how can such a development be achieved? There are two factors which remain essential: financial and human capitals. Even if there is no doubt that access to credit and interest rates, often very high, represent a problem, nevertheless the Continent increasingly attracts growing direct foreign investments and remarkable capitals in search for profits.
It is human capital which remains inadequate: meaning skilled technicians, professionals and entrepreneurs.
For this reason, back in 2010, ALTIS Università Cattolica decided to invest on human capital by launching the E4Impact project, which aimed to address the challenge of creating an entrepreneurial class mindful and concerned about the social and environmental impact of its business, and able to generate jobs both from direct and from satellite activities.
The very first thoughts behind the project go back to 2005 when the then Rector of the Università Cattolica, Professor Lorenzo Ornaghi, upon a request by the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, appointed ALTIS to develop a master programme, held in Rome, dedicated to development and addressed to a selected group of young African managers.
The positive impact generated by the Master was self-evident, but due to the financial crisis it became difficult to offer the necessary scholarships for the residential Master programme to be held in Italy.
It was then established to organize the Master programme in Africa, a decision that opened up to a wider, but yet selected, audience, facilitated the use of methods and contents more customized to the local context, and contributed to the development of local universities.
Since then, the MBA in Impact Entrepreneurship has been offered in collaboration with local universities and is a unique executive program that guides active and aspiring entrepreneurs to start or scale their businesses, providing them simultaneously with an academic and business acceleration experience.
In 2015, with the support of a group of important Italian entrepreneurs and key economic actors: Securfin, Mapei, Salini-Impregilo, Bracco and ENI - E4Impact became a Foundation
With the scientific and academic support of ALTIS, the E4Impact Foundation currently organizes 7 Executive MBAs in Kenya, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Uganda, Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal and Ethiopia and aims to reach the number of 15 entrepreneurship programs in Africa by 2020.
The work of the Foundation contributes to the accomplishment of many of the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Goals, including access to quality education, decent work, economic growth and poverty and hunger reduction.
The Foundation also supports the expansion of African and International SMEs in the Sub-Saharan area. By matching them with reliable local entrepreneurs, E4Impact offers small businesses a low cost, low risk opportunity to enter the African countries where the MBA is offered.