BY FIDELITY MHLANGA
The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) has announced 38 local entrepreneurs as among beneficiaries of the $100 million entrepreneurship programme that is meant to empower African entrepreneurs.
TEF, the leading African philanthropy committed to empowering African entrepreneurs, last Friday announced that 3 050 African entrepreneurs, drawn from all 54 African countries, had been selected to join the fifth cycle of its programme.
Last year, 21 local entrepreneurs were among the 1 000 young persons who benefitted with a $5 000 non-refundable seed grant and mentorship.
TEF, a brainchild of Nigerian banker, billionaire and United Bank for Africa Plc chairman Tony Elumelu, in 2017 gave seed capital to 17 local entrepreneurs.
This year’s cycle would see 1 000 entrepreneurs directly funded and an additional 2 050 beneficiaries supported by the foundation’s partners, among them the International Committee of the Red Cross, the United Nations Development Programme, the Federal Republic of Benin, the Anambra State Government, Indorama, the Government of Botswana and the African Development Bank.
Speaking on the announcement, the incoming CEO, Ifeyinwa Ugochukwu, said: “The Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme has successfully empowered 7 520 entrepreneurs in its first five years of the 10-year programme.
“Marking the fifth anniversary of the 10-year programme, this year’s selection includes 2 050 entrepreneurs, supported by the foundation’s partners in addition to the foundation’s annual commitment of 1 000, bringing the total number of entrepreneurs empowered by the foundation to date to 7 520,” Ugochukwu said.
The TEF goal is to invest in businesses that would generate at least one million new jobs and contribute at least $10 billion in new annual revenues across Africa.
Nkosana George Mazibisa, an alumni specialising in agro business, got the most impactful award, along with five others at last year’s edition in Lagos.