Small is Powerful

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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. .By producing five reportages on SMEs operating in different countries and sectors, the project aims to show how African SMEs are a catalyst for growth on the continent.

The project intends to

  • Fight against stereotypes on how African economy and society are currently perceived
  • Support and promote the reality of African entrepreneurship which is rich and dynamic, carrying prospects for the future
  • 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. Oftensmall in size, they constitute a powerful tool for growth! Small is powerful is designed as a tool to raise public awareness, but also among decision-makers, investors, entrepreneurs and the diaspora on the importance of small and medium size companies (SME) as a vector and enhancer of growth on the continent.

The project was selected by the EU for ‘2015, European Year for Development”. It also received an Innovation in Reporting Grant by the European Journalism Center.

The project exist also fully in French under the tittle Les Grands Moyens. Follow it on our pages Facebook, Twitter #LesGrandsMoyens et #SmallisPowerful


AGRISTACHCDS_02Portrait de 2 scientifiques du Groupe Air Liquide - Rapport Annuel 2015    IOT_01


a multimedia project

The five SMEs selected for the project operate throughout the African continent and work in very different sectors:

  • CDS, Mauritania: proposes access to water and electricity services for rural populations using renewable energies
  • AGRISATCH, Benin: locally produces quality eggs in large quantities, easing access to proteins for the poorest, and structuring a poultry producers association.
  • IOT, Madagascar: is specialized in the industrial aquaculture of sea cucumbers, working with isolated fishing villages to generate for them additional income
  • NEST, Senegal: offers complete medical cover for women and young children, especially dedicated to middle classes
  • WECYCLERS, Nigeria : offers innovating recycling services adapted to the needs of inhabitants in informal settlements

For each SME we produce a photographic series, two films, several interviews and an impact assessment represented through graphic design

Here is an example of the visual contents produced for the SME IOT :

A film (10 minutes) / exist also within a shorter version (3 minuts) :

A photo essay :





SIP trailer

Impact analysis

Before each reportage, we analyze the impact of the SME using an assessment matrix specifically designed by the project team.

The study is carried out in close collaboration with the enterprises and investigates the nature of the SME’s impacts (economics, environmental etc.) as well as the various stakeholders (clients, employees, suppliers etc.)

The content of the matrix constitutes a check-list guiding the visual production (interviews, photo and video shooting).

Here are the impacts identified for IOT:

Impact #1 / Preserve the environment : Sea cucumbers have no adverse impact on their environment as they feed filtering the water and do not need any antibiotic. They are in fact very useful for renewing the oxygen levels of the ocean.  Besides, this activity a replacement income for local fishermen and therefore tends to limit the risk of overfishing.

Impact #2 / Generate additional income : The partnership that IOT has established with rural villages currently benefits  30 families and should soon reach 150 families. Each of these families can generate an extra 40€ per month through this activity, which represents the average income in Madasgacar. A farmer was for example able to buy 6 chairs, 3 goats and pay for the schooling of her daughter, a year after starting working for IOT.

Impact #3 / Job creation : IOT hired 51 people under unlimited-term contracts and employs about 135 seasonal workers. These people live in rural areas, where jobs opportunities and formal jobs are few. This activity allows them to stabilize their income and therefore start to invest or save some money

Impact #4 / Improve quality of life : IOT offers training to fishermen to help them manage the additional income. The company finances as well the presence of a military man to secure the villages, mobile phones for the mayors and four drinking  water wells

Impact #5 / Ensure better working conditions : Employees are provided with free transportation and a canteen. They benefit from health care services for them and their families. 24 of them have completed training in aquaculture

and their representation though graphic design :

LGM-Madagascar-Impact-4-EN-BLANC LGM-Madagascar-Impact-3-EN-BLANC LGM-Madagascar-Impact-EN-BLANC LGM-Madagascar-Impact-2-EN-BLANC LGM-Madagascar-Impact-5-EN-BLANC LGM-Madagascar-Impact-6-EN-BLANC

Media / Events

Small is Powerful project will be broadcasted through a dedictaed website :,

A web-documentary propose a multimedia narrative among the ecosystem of the african SMEs:

A touring exhibition will travel across France. 6 “Small is Powerful” events will take place between Sept 2015 and March 2016 in 6 universities (Paris, Bordeaux, Nantes, Menton, Reims, Lyon)

An editorial content will present the photo essays and the graphic design and will be edited in 1000 copies only.

Our Media partners  –, RFI, Socialter, l’Obs (France),  Internazionale (Italy), European Journalism Center (UE), El Pais (Spain) …- will help us to reach a large audience

See the project Agenda here

Here is an extract of the first publications :

Forbes Afrique Mars 2015 (8 pages)

Forbes Afrique Avril 2015 (8 pages)

Marie Claire Italie (Ouverture / Avril 2015)