Luca Peyrano

Luca Peyrano

Expert commentary by Luca Peyrano, CEO, ELITE

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are the backbone of Africa’s economy, accounting for approximately 90% of all companies and providing nearly 80% of the region’s employment. These companies are fundamental to the future success of the African continent. They have the potential to drive innovation, create employment and, in turn, contribute to domestic wealth creation.

The Companies to Inspire Africa reports play a vital role in showcasing some of these businesses. They also complement London Stock Exchange Group’s initiative for high-growth, private companies – ELITE.

ELITE is a platform, programme and ecosystem focused on supporting the most exciting and ambitious private companies to achieve their growth potential by helping them access the knowhow, network and capital they need.  

Today, over 1,000 companies make up the growing global ELITE community. Companies come from over 35 countries and more than 35 sectors, from technology to food and drink, healthcare and manufacturing. They generate in excess of €65bn in combined revenues and account for over 400,000 jobs across the countries they operate in.

ELITE is proud to be forging close ties across Africa. The ELITE Africa story began in Morocco in 2016, in partnership with Casablanca Stock Exchange (CSE) and since then more than 60 Moroccan companies have joined ELITE. Morocco’s success has also expanded across West Africa in collaboration with the BRVM and the CSE, and 10 companies joined as the first group from the region in 2018.

Furthermore, ELITE entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Nairobi Securities Exchange and FSD Africa to explore the ELITE opportunity for the East Africa region and we are looking forward to the first group of companies from the region soon. 

Today we are proud that over 70 companies from across Africa are part of ELITE’s dynamic international community, together generating in excess of €1.9bn and employing over 20,000 people. We continue to work with our regional partners and key stakeholders such as the African Development Bank and FSD Africa to further develop the ELITE offering across Africa.

The ELITE chapter highlights the impressive growth of some of the ELITE companies from Africa. We also shine a spotlight on two Moroccan businesses that have made the list for two years running: energy provider Energy Transfo and DIY retailer Bricoma.

The impact of Africa’s SMEs on the sustained economic development of the continent is unquestionable. That’s why, sitting at the heart of the international capital markets, we see it as our fundamental responsibility to provide an ecosystem for companies of all sizes to flourish.

Together, the Companies to Inspire Africa report and ELITE are championing some of Africa’s brightest businesses and channelling growth capital to the innovators, job creators and business stars of tomorrow. 

More of Africa’s inspiring companies can benefit from the support provided through ELITE. Visit to find out more.