Tony Elumelu Foundation Announces 10th Cohort of Entrepreneurship Programme – 20,000 Entrepreneurs Funded Across Africa

Mar 27, 2024 - 12:51
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Tony Elumelu Foundation Announces 10th Cohort of Entrepreneurship Programme – 20,000 Entrepreneurs Funded Across Africa

 Release: 

Lagos, Nigeria: The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), the leading philanthropy empowering young African entrepreneurs from all 54 African countries, has announced the successful entrepreneurs in its tenth selection for the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme.

This new cohort brings to 20,000, the number of young African entrepreneurs who have received funding, mentoring, and capacity-building support from the Foundation, double the initial commitment.  The Tony Elumelu Foundation has disbursed US$100,000,000 directly to young African entrepreneurs, who have created over 400,000 direct and indirect jobs, contributing significantly to Africa's economic growth and development. 45% of these beneficiaries are women, reiterating the Foundation’s commitment to gender inclusion and equity.

§  10th Cohort of the Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme Announced

§  Over 50 business sectors from farming to technology represented.

§  20,000 entrepreneurs from 54 countries across Africa funded in 10 years – doubling original target.

Past entrepreneurs selected across Africa include:

·       Stella Sigana, founder of Alternative Waste Technologies from Kenya, produces fuel briquettes by converting organic and charcoal waste from slum settlements, and dedicates a portion of the revenues to providing education, skills training, and job placement for adolescent girls and young women aged 18-24. Since her selection, Stella has created 12 jobs, generated over $79,000 in revenue, and recycled over 500 tons of waste into fuel briquettes for cooking. Her business model has also empowered hundreds of women entrepreneurs in slum settlements in Kenya, enabling them to build businesses by selling her products directly to their communities, thus significantly increasing household income and wellbeing.

·       Vital Sounouvou from Benin is the founder of Exportunity, an e-commerce platform that promotes export opportunities for Africans by connecting producers with traders. Through Exportunity, Sounouvou has engaged over 750 clients, and built a database of 85,000 companies trading with Africa. He has employed 32 people.

·    Nora Chaynane, a Moroccan entrepreneur, and founder of Shine Space, a socio-educational initiative aimed at bridging the knowledge gap and guiding students toward the right career path, helps young Moroccans develop technical and interpersonal skills beyond school curriculum requirements. Through Shine Space, Nora has upskilled and capacitised over 2,500 young Moroccans. 

Since inception in 2010, the Tony Elumelu Foundation has pioneered an innovative approach to seeding, capacitising and networking young entrepreneurs across Africa.  Drawing directly from Founder Tony Elumelu’s entrepreneurial journey, the Foundation democratises luck, spreads opportunity, in a sector agnostic approach, and has developed a bespoke infrastructure that reaches every country in Africa.  The Foundation is driven by our Founder’s philosophy of Africapitalism, which advocates that the private sector, particularly entrepreneurs, must play the pivotal role in Africa’s development.

The robust ability of the Foundation to reach entrepreneurs across geographies and sectors has enabled it to conduct innovative partnerships with the European Union (EU), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the US Government via the United States African Development Foundation (USADF), the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS), the French Development Agency (AFD), the German Development Finance Institution (DEG), the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ), the African Development Bank (AfDB), Sèmè City Development Agency, and Google, with bespoke programmes including targeting female empowerment and growth in fragile states. Building on its existing partnership with Sèmè City Development Agency, the Tony Elumelu Foundation will fund an additional 100 young entrepreneurs from Benin Republic in 2024. 

Tony O. Elumelu shared: "As we mark a decade of impact, I am immensely proud of the incredible journey we have embarked on. Our entrepreneurs represent the driving force behind Africa's economic transformation, and their resilience, determination, and innovation continue to inspire us all. The future of our continent is brighter because of their efforts.”

As part of the Tony Elumelu Foundation’s commitment to support young Africans, the following ongoing opportunities are currently open for applications from young entrepreneurs across Africa on TEFConnect:

§  Women Entrepreneurship For Africa (WE4A), a partnership between the European Union, GIZ and TEF

§  Aguka Entrepreneurship Programme, a partnership between UNDP and TEF in Rwanda

African entrepreneurs are encouraged to apply to these initiatives to receive training, mentorship, access to networks, and funding.

To learn more about the Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme "Decade of Impact" please see here. The success stories of these beneficiaries can be found here, and a full breakdown of the Foundation’s beneficiaries across Africa can be found here. For more insights into our impactful initiatives, milestones, and the transformative stories of entrepreneurs across Africa, delve into our annual reports here.

 

For media inquiries, please contact:

Moyo Awotile

Head, Marketing & Corporate Communications

+234-809-975-1482, [email protected]

About the Tony Elumelu Foundation

The Tony Elumelu Foundation is the leading philanthropy empowering a new generation of African entrepreneurs, driving poverty eradication, catalysing job creation across all 54 African countries, and increasing women economic empowerment. Since the launch of the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme in 2015, the Foundation has provided access to over 1.5 million young Africans on its digital hub, TEFConnect, and disbursed over USD$100 million in direct funding to 20,000 young African women and men, who have collectively created over 400,000 direct and indirect jobs.

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William K Howard William K Howard Jr is a young Liberian Journalist who is focused on investigative and human-interest reporting. He comes with about 10 years of experience in mainstream journalism. William K Howard is currently the Deputy Director of News at CT.com Liberia Limited, Kool 91.9FM/TV. His hard work has also earned him several professional certificates in journalism including Journalist of the year 2022/2023 in Liberia's biggest city, Paynesville.