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The “Impact 2024-athletes entrepreneurs” incubator launched by Paris 2024 and the AFD

The AFD and Paris 2024 are supporting athletes to drive change in France and Africa through the “Impact 2024 – athlete entrepreneurs” incubator launched during Global Sports Week in February 2021. The programme aims to help athletes move onto their next challenge, build a solid foundation for their future career path and put their skills, values and commitment to good use by developing long-term projects with a high social and/or environmental impact as part of the legacy of the Paris 2024 Games.

An initial group of 26 athlete entrepreneurs from France and Africa received training and support over a period of eight months. Ten athletes were developing projects in France, while the other 16 focused on work in Africa in a variety of areas including integration, environmental protection, gender equality, health and education. Among them were 12 Olympians and two Paralympians, some of whom still compete, some of whom have retired. They received tailored support on both an individual and group basis, including bootcamps, group ideation workshops, mentoring sessions and meetings with inspirational figures. Throughout their time within the programme, they were able to define a methodology and find the tools they needed to develop their project from A to Z. The 26 athletes will continue to develop their projects by raising funds or joining other support programmes.

Facts and figures about the 2021 intake

  • 12 countries, including France, benefit from their efforts.
  • 81% of projects harness sport – basketball and athletics in particular – as a way to make an impact (88% of which focus on social impact, while 12% seek to make a positive impact on the environment).
  • 12 jobs were created in Africa thanks to Yunus Sports Hub.
  • 50% of projects in France are getting off the ground and 30% are thriving (compared with 0% at the beginning of the programme).

Examples of projects in 2021

The project developed by Aby Gaye, a basketball player from Senegal: organise basketball camps for women to boost their self-confidence to combat the growing problem of skin bleaching among teenage girls in Senegal.

The project developed by Roger Amegbeto, a Togolese swimmer: build Togo’s first public swimming pool to raise awareness about the health benefits of participating in sport.

The project developed by Sarah Ourahmoune, a boxer from France: open a school in Aulnay-sous-Bois, a north-eastern Paris suburb, where boxing is used as a tool to help children aged 7 to 17 succeed in school, sport and work.

The 2022 intake

In March 2022, a new group of athlete entrepreneurs joined the programme with 26 new projects – 15 of which are led by women and two by athletes with disabilities. Mentored by Sarah Hanffou and Bastien Auziel, they will receive support over a period of eight months.

Examples of projects in 2022

The project developed by Arnaud Assoumani, a French Paralympian: create fun educational resources to help teenagers and young adults explore and challenge the stereotypes associated with gender, disability, etc.

The project developed by Manon Houette, a French handball player: teach girls and boys about the menstrual cycle and the products available by installing free menstrual product dispensers in sports hall toilets in an effort to combat period poverty and teaming up with an organic brand to educate them about the toxic materials found in some products.

The project developed by Fatou N’Diaye, a basketball player from Senegal: set up a sports structure called “Pulse Africa Sport for Education” to support a generation of young sports players through a sports and educational project and help them get back into education and/or find employment.

The project developed by Stéphane Bonay Agounke, a Togolese rower: set up rowing and kayaking centres in Togo to make it easier for people to take part in these two sports.

The project developed by Marine Fatoumata Camara, a boxer from Mali: create a sports and social development programme featuring boxing, delivering sports workshops and awareness sessions on health, well-being and gender equality.