Africa Economy & Business

African creatives

March 13, 2024

Trailblazing Ivorian executive Laureen Kouassi-Olsson invests in Africa’s heritage fashion brands

By Africa Center

Meet Laureen Kouassi-Olsson, a trailblazing Franco-Ivorian executive with over a decade of experience investing in private companies and financial institutions on the African continent. 

Throughout her career, she has helped unlock capital flows and financial opportunities across Africa’s private sector. After holding roles at Lehman Brothers and Proparco, Kouassi-Olsson joined the founding team of Amethis, a French private-equity fund specializing in the African market. In 2016, she moved to Abidjan to launch Amethis West Africa, supporting small to medium-sized enterprises in Francophone West and Central Africa.  

Inspired by the vibrant fashion industry across the continent, in 2020, she founded Birimian Ventures, the first financial institution dedicated to the sustainable development of African heritage luxury brands. She currently serves as the chief executive officer of Birimian. Through this company, Kouassi-Olsson aims to cultivate African designers striving to lead sustainable creative enterprises capable of driving lasting economic value across the continent. 

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Image: Laureen Kouassi-Olsson, founder of Birimian Ventures. Paris, France. June 24, 2021.