The Entrepreneurs for Entrepreneurs association in Belgium is an initiative led by – the name gives it away – entrepreneurs, who wish to stimulate business and sustainable growth in countries with developing economies. African Drive, a charitable enterprise supported by Materialise, had the honor of receiving the Entrepreneurs for Entrepreneurs Trophy last week!
What is African Drive?
African Drive was started three years ago by a group of entrepreneurs led by our CEO, Wilfried Vancraen. It was born out of a desire to provide safe, reliable transport in the country of Benin, as well as stimulating local business by providing mobility to the local population. And the service is clearly proving to be a great hit – African Drive now has a fleet of 22 buses, which will expand to 27 by the end of the year. The transportation network will also be expanding to cover the south of the country, and eventually the whole of Benin.
The company employs 80 Beninese with an average age of 27 – so it’s full of young, motivated people who really want to make a difference for their country. The profit they make is then invested into new social initiatives, so the people of Benin can actually take things into their own hands by creating a cycle of economic growth.
Receiving the trophy
It was with great pride that Chris Van Assche, CEO of African Drive, accepted the Entrepreneurs for Entrepreneurs Trophy 2016 last week at the Château du Lac in Genval. The trophy itself was handed over by Alexander De Croo, Belgian Vice Premier and Minister of Development Cooperation. Upon accepting the trophy, Chris Van Assche told the crowd:
“On behalf of the entire African Drive team, I would like to express what an incredible honor it is to be named this year’s recipient of the Entrepreneurs for Entrepreneurs Trophy. Since our foundation in 2013, we at African Drive have remained committed to the belief that by providing punctual, reliable transportation, we could further stimulate economic growth and entrepreneurship in Benin. With 22 busses currently providing service throughout Benin and an incredible local staff of 80 hard-working individuals at fully owned subsidiary Baobab Express SA, we are proud to see that our safe and reliable bus service has quickly become an important backbone for economic growth and prosperity in general."