The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) has selected 1,000 entrepreneurs for the 2017 Entrepreneurship Programme.
Founder of TEF, Mr. Tony Elumelu who disclosed this in Lagos said the successful applicants will benefit from a $10, 000 seed money to start their businesses.
“Standing here today to announce the successful applicants is bitter sweet; we have 92,000 budding business leaders who weren’t selected for our programme and these young African men and women have demonstrated a lot of energy, innovation, and creativity in their applications. We should not relent until we help them all realize their aspirations,” he said.
The TEF founder said over 93,000 entrepreneurs from 55 countries and territories in Africa applied for the 2017 Entrepreneurship Programme.
He said the successful applicants will, in the next nine months, be trained and mentored to use the skills acquired to develop a business plan.
He said Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, Uganda and Cameroon produced the most applicants.
Elumelu further disclosed that applicants with interest in agriculture led the pack with 29 per cent, ICT, 11 per cent, and manufacturing, 9 per cent.
He said the statistic “is a reflection of industries of interest for African startups.”
Also speaking, the chief executive officer of TEF, Ms. Parminder Vir said the programme had created tremendous impact in the economy.
“The achievements of each successive cohort are clear evidence of the growing transformative power of our programme. We recently sampled 600 of our existing 2,000 entrepreneurs to analyse the programme’s impact and have been impressed by the robustness and particularly impact on employment we are beginning to have. We have also partnered with organisations, including Microsoft, General Electric, Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), to provide further benefits to our entrepreneurs,” she said.
The Foundation’s long-term investment in empowering African entrepreneurs is emblematic of 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.