One of the factors that promote women empowerment is financial strength and economic stability. No wonder more women are striving to be managers of their own businesses.
This was evident in the number of females that applied for the 2019 Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme for African Entrepreneurs. 42% of the 216,025 applicants were women who slugged it out with their male counterparts. In fact, all the chosen Entrepreneurs from Seychelles are Women.
At the end of the contest, 3050 were most favored to benefit from the support that TEF and its partners are making available for African Entrepreneurs for 2019 season.
Over 3000 African Entrepreneurs drawn from all the 54 African countries are to receive seed capital of 5000 dollars each in addition to a 12-week business training programme and mentoring to boost their enterprises. The names of the successful Entrepreneurs that formed the 5th Cohort of the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship programme were announced at an event in Abuja recently.
The Tony Elumelu Foundation had committed a 100 million dollars to empower 10,000 African Entrepreneurs over a 10 year period with the aim of creating at least one million jobs and contributing over 10 billion dollars in revenue to the African economy.
In her remarks at the event, the Wife of the President of Nigeria, Mrs. Aisha Buhari lauded the impact of the programme on the African continent and charged the selected entrepreneurs to contribute to the advancement of the continent. She said, “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.”
Earlier, The founder of the foundation, Mr. Tony Elumelu, explained that “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 talents that all of us -government, businesses 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.”
The incoming Chief Executive Officer of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, TEF, Ifeyinwa Ugochukwu, announced that the programme had successfully empowered 7520 Entrepreneurs in its first five years of the 10-year programme.
Ugochukwu noted that the 2019 selection includes 2050 Entrepreneurs supported by the TEF’s partners in addition to the foundation’s Annual commitment to empowering 1000 Entrepreneurs.
The foundation’s partners include the International Committee of the Red Cross, ICRC, the United Nations Development Programme, UNDP, the Federal Republic of Benin(Seme City), the Anambra State Government(Nigeria), Indorama, the Government of Botswana and the African Development Bank(AfDB).
In 2018, the foundation launched TEF Connect which is a digital networking platform for African Entrepreneurs and open to all, to further democratize the access to opportunities for the thousands of Entrepreneurs that cannot directly benefit from the Entrepreneurship Programme.
Meanwhile, the newly empowered 3050 entrepreneurs alongside other African Entrepreneurs would converge on Abuja, on July 26-27, 2019 for the annual Entrepreneurship forum which is said to be the largest gathering of Entrepreneurs in Africa.
Guest Post – Written by:
Afolasade Osigwe (2017 TEF journalism fellow)