Tony Elumelu Foundation commits $100m to African entrepreneurs


The Chairman of Heirs Holdings, Tony Elumelu has launched a $100 million entrepreneurship programme, a flagship entrepreneurial scheme under its Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF).

The programme aims to create 10,000 businesses across 54 countries in Africa. These are businesses that can generate 1,000,000 new jobs and contribute at least $10 billion in annual revenue to the African economy.

“Entrepreneurship is the cornerstone of African development and I firmly believe that there is nothing I have accomplished that other young people can’t replicate.

“Thus, I am determined to ensure the next generations of entrepreneurs are empowered to turn their entrepreneurial aspirations into real and sustainable businesses that will drive economic growth and job creation,” Elumelu was quoted to have said in a statement on Sunday.

The programme is backed by $100 million and a decade-long commitment to give start-ups and entrepreneurs with a dream, the funds, the mentorship and the network to become the next generation of global business titans from Africa.

It is supported by a selection committee of established African business leaders, from the Harvard-trained Director of Investments for Omidyar Network’s Government Transparency Initiative, Ory Okolloh; the co-founder, Nigerian job search site, Jobberman, Dr. Ayodeji Adewunmi; the World Bank Group’s Country Director for Senegal, Cape Verde, the Gambia, Guinea-Bissau and Mauritania, Dr. Vera Songwe.

Furthermore, the statement explained that the 1,000 start-ups selected from the tens of thousands of applicants across the continent would participate in a comprehensive programme designed to equip them to build successful value adding businesses.

The programme includes seed capital funding, a customised 12-week business skills training course, mentoring, an entrepreneurship ‘boot camp’, participation in the annual Elumelu Entrepreneurship Forum, membership in the TEEP Alumni Network, among others.

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