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Eryomi Aholoukpe : from trading to entrepreneurship, bridging Europe and Africa

After 13 years of assisting large European companies in the financial markets of Paris and London, Eryomi Aholoukpe decides to leverage her skills for the development of Africa. By founding Demleen, she aims to facilitate access to financing for impact-driven West African SMEs, marking a pivotal moment in her career and in the African financial ecosystem.

Eryomi has traversed her path from computer science to finance, through major European banking institutions. Graduating in computer science from Paris V and Dauphine, she initially joins Natixis (formerly Natexis Banques Populaires), where she gains solid experience on the trading floor for five years. Here, she lays the foundations in the world of financial markets and discovers the importance of innovation in financial products.

Anticipating the 2008 financial crisis, she decides to enhance her skills by obtaining a specialized master’s degree in International Strategy and Management, focusing on Finance and Entrepreneurship at ESSEC. During this time, she participates in an exchange program at the Thunderbird Business School in the United States, acquainting herself with regional business in Africa.

A witness to the rise of impact investment

Returning to Europe in 2011, she joins Lloyds Bank in London, then in Paris, expanding her expertise in capital markets and client portfolio management. Her immersion in the financial world allows her to witness the rise of impact investment, sparking a new perspective on the role of finance in economic development.

Convinced that the growth of local businesses is essential for job creation in Africa, Eryomi decides to focus on the challenges of accessing financing for SMEs in West Africa. Thus, Demleen is born, an innovative digital platform facilitating the connection of SMEs seeking funding with impact investors.

Demleen: A new path to financing for African entrepreneurs

Recently launched successfully in a pilot phase, Demleen showcases African businesses from Senegal, Benin, and Côte d’Ivoire, providing a new path to financing for African entrepreneurs. Concurrently, Eryomi endeavors to change the perception of « African risk » through her podcast, Africa’s Investor Call, offering an informed perspective on the African financial sector.

Through her journey and commitment, Eryomi embodies the dynamism and potential of African entrepreneurship, offering a new impetus to the continent’s economy while strengthening ties between Europe and Africa in the financial domain.

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