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UBA / Founder, Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), Tony O. Elumelu CON (middle) flanked on the left by Owen Omogiafo, Chief Operating Officer TEF; Parminder Vir OBE, CEO, TEF and on the right by Nimi Akingugbe, Selection Committee (SC) Member; and Martin Eigbike, SC member during the selection committee (SC) meeting where 1,000 new Entrepreneurs for the 2017 TEF Entrepreneurship Programme were selected and announced in Lagos.
Two Mozambicans are among the one thousand candidates selected for training by the Africa Entrepreneurship Support Program.
The program, with an investment of US$100 million, is organized by UBA and the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF).
This year, the program has selected thousands of applicants across the African continent who will benefit from up to US$10,000 each in funding, including Mozambican women entrepreneurs Suzana Moreira and Tauanda Benjamim Chare.
A statement from UBA Bank sent to AIM says that this year more than 93,000 people representing 55 African countries signed up for the TEF Foundation Entrepreneurship Program. This number surpasses the 2016 candidate roll and has the distinction of covering all the countries on the continent.
Over the next nine months, the 2017 program entrepreneurs will be trained and mentored and use the skills they acquire to develop a business plan, and will then will be eligible to receive up to US$10,000 in start-up capital to implement their projects.
The selected entrepreneurs will also do a 12-week course online after which they will travel for the boot-camp in Lagos, Nigeria.
The boot-camp includes learning relevant life skills and advanced business planning. Each participant will receive a guaranteed US$5,000 non-refundable seed capital investment from the founder, Mr. Tony Elumelu at the end of the boot-camp.
The Elumelu Entrepreneurship Program represents a decade-long commitment by the Tony Elumelu Foundation to bolster African entrepreneurship with the goal of identifying, creating and growing 10,000 African-owned businesses over the next 10 years that will generate one million new jobs and contribute US$10 billion in revenue across Africa.
Tony O. Elumelu commented: “For the third year, I am humbled by the quality and depth of the candidates, their determination and vision. I am so pleased that we can contribute in a meaningful way to the success of the next generation. Selection is getting more and more difficult, with the outstanding strength of all 93,000 applications and we are working on initiatives to help harness this extraordinary demonstration of Africa’s entrepreneurial talent.”
The Foundation’s long-term investment in empowering African entrepreneurs is emblematic of Mr. Elumelu’s philosophy of Africapitalism, which positions Africa’s private sector – and most importantly entrepreneurs – as the catalysts for the economic and social development of the continent.
In terms of sectors, agriculture drew the most applications, with 29 percent of applicants, followed by ICT 11 percent and manufacturing nine percent. Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, Uganda and Cameroon produced the most candidates. Women represent 39 percent of the applicant pool, up from 36 percent. “We are extremely happy that our attempts to attract applicants from across the whole continent have been successful and the figures illustrate the real diversity of opportunity,” Mr. Elumelu stated.
CEO, Parminder Vir OBE, said: “The achievements of each successive cohort is evidence of the transformative power of our Programme. We recently sampled 600 of our 2,000 entrepreneurs to analyse the Programme’s impact and have been impressed by the impact on employment we are having. We have also partnered with organisations, including Microsoft, GE, ECOWAS, to provide further benefits to our entrepreneurs.”
The Programme culminates in the two-day TEF Entrepreneurship Forum – the largest annual gathering of African entrepreneurs and the full entrepreneurship ecosystem from across the continent.
The African empowerment program is seen as a long-term investment of the foundation and is the flagship of Elumelu’s Afro-capitalist philosophy, which positions the African private sector and entrepreneurs as catalysts for the continent’s economic and social development.
Half of the new 1,000 entrepreneurs selected for the Tony Elumelu Foundation’s entrepreneurship programme are from Nigeria. “Africa’s largest economy, Nigeria, is home to 50 per cent of the 2017 cohort, with regional powerhouses Kenya, Ghana, Uganda and Cameroon following respectively,” an emailed statement from the foundation read in part.
One thousand African entrepreneurs were selected from over 93,000 applicants across 55 African countries. This number represents over 100 per cent increase from 2016, and nearly quadruple of the 2015 application numbers.
In sectoral terms, agriculture has the most participants with 29 percent of the candidates, followed by information and communication technologies with 11 percent and manufacturing sector with 9 percent.Source: AIM Moçambique / Liberia Observer