Post Views: 258 The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), at the weekend said 3,050 African entrepreneurs have been selected from all 54 African countries to...
The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), at the weekend said 3,050 African entrepreneurs have been selected from all 54 African countries to join the 5th cycle of its $100m Programme.
This year’s selection included 2,050 entrepreneurs, supported by the Foundation’s partners in addition to its annual commitment of 1,000, bringing the total number of entrepreneurs empowered by the Foundation in the five years to 7,520.
During the selection process presented in Abuja by Accenture Development Partners, according to a statement by the foundation, over 216,000 applications were received, up from last year’s 151,000.
The successful entrepreneurs will on July 26 and 27, 2019, gather at the TEF Entrepreneurship Forum, the largest annual gathering of African entrepreneurs and the entrepreneurship ecosystem on the continent.
A breakdown of the figure showed that nearly 90,000 of the applicants were female entrepreneurs, an increase of 45%, illustrating the Foundation’s strategy to achieve greater gender balance.
The selected Entrepreneurs will each receive non- refundable $5,000 of seed capital, access to mentors, and a 12-week business training programme, directly focused on the needs of African entrepreneurs.
The statement quoted TEF Founder, Tony O. Elumelu, as saying: “Every year, we face an almost impossible task – to select 1,000 entrepreneurs, from the hundreds of thousands that apply. Our entrepreneurs are hungry to effect change.
“We know we are only scratching the surface, we see the depth of entrepreneurial talent, that all of us – government, business indeed African society, must harness to transform our economies and livelihoods. We must rally together to empower them and accelerate the change we want on the continent,” he added.
Speaking at the event, Mrs. Aisha Buhari, wife of the President, commended the Programme’s impact on the continent, charging the selected entrepreneurs to contribute to the advancement of the African continent.
“Indeed, I am confident that these Tony Elumelu entrepreneurs will inspire deep confidence and be of immense value not just to Nigeria but to the entire continent,” she added.
Speaking on the announcement, the foundation’s incoming CEO, Ifeyinwa Ugochukwu, said the entrepreneurship programme has successfully empowered 7,520 entrepreneurs in the first five years of the 10-year programme.
“Last year, we launched TEFConnect – the digital networking platform for African entrepreneurs and open to all – to further democratise the access to opportunities for the thousands of entrepreneurs that cannot directly benefit from our Entrepreneurship Programme. This further demonstrates our commitment to empowering our entrepreneurs and our belief that entrepreneurship holds the key to unleashing the true potential of the African continent”, she stressed.
The growing list of partners include the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Federal Republic of Benin (Seme City), Anambra State Government, Indorama, the Government of Botswana and the African Development Bank (AfDB).