Foundation targets 10,000 new African entrepreneurs by 2025

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LAGOS – The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) says about 10,000 new African entrepreneurs, driven by knowledge and technology, will emerge across the continent between 2015 and 2025.

The founder of the foundation, Mr Tony Elemelu in a statement, said that the entrepreneurs’ would be the vanguard of the foundation’s entrepreneurship programme.

According to him, the entrepreneurs are expected to boost Africa’s economy with one million new jobs and 10 billion dollars (N2.2 trillion) new revenues.

Elumelu said in Lagos that the aim was to discover and support 10,000 African entrepreneurs over the next decade.

He also said that the foundation’s entrepreneurship programme, TEEP, worth 100 million dollars (N22 billion), remained a Pan-African project that targeted promising entrepreneurs from the 52 countries

Elumelu said that the programme, moderated by African  professionals, remained a map and an attestation of African determination to drive the continent’s growth and development.

“The selection of these 1,000 entrepreneurs brings closer to our ultimate goal – to drive Africa’s economic and social transformation from within and to radically intensify job creation in Africa.

“Though I have never met or spoken to any of the winners, I am confident that due to the rigorous criteria and selection process, these entrepreneurs are Africa’s hope for the future.

“I will continue to invest my experience, time, influence and resources to see them succeed. I am embarking on this journey with these entrepreneurs hopeful and inspired,” Elumelu said.

He said that the winners represented 52 African countries and territories as well as value added sectors in agriculture, education, fashion and Information and Telecommunications Technology.

Elumelu, former Managing Director of Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, said Accenture, an independent consultant, assisted the foundation in evaluating applications based on laid down criteria.

The winners, he said, would go through a nine-month , including intensive online training curriculum, mentoring, participation in a two-day entrepreneurship boot-camp and the Elumelu Entrepreneurship Forum.

He said that more than 19,000 entrepreneurs, who did not meet the criteria, will be invited to join the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Network to further sharpen their entrepreneurial knowledge and skills.

Prof. Ndubuisi Ekekwe, a member of the selection committee, described the foundation as a catalytic development platform that would attract enablers, global financial institutions, NGOs’ and philanthropists.

“Another thing going for the foundation is the integrity and the well thought development programme designed for sustainable development and pegged on the African youth,” Ekekwe said.

Also, Parminder Vir, Director of Entrepreneurship at the TEF, said: “The high quantity and quality of applicants we have received is testament to the brilliant ideas and incredible talent that exists in abundance across Africa.

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“The TEEP will give structure and support to these African entrepreneurs to develop themselves and to grow their businesses.[pro_ad_display_adzone id=”10″]

“Through TEEP, the ripple effects of the long-term investments in a new generation of Africapitalists will be felt throughout the continent,” Vir said.

A breakdown of the five top countries,  in terms of numbers of winners, are Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, South Africa and Ghana.

TEF is an African-based and funded philanthropic organisation founded in 2010 by African and philanthropist Mr Tony O. Elumelu.

The foundation aims to create lasting solutions that contribute positively to Africa’s social and economic transformation. (NAN)