The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) has received N400 million in grants funding from the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) through the Export Expansion Facility Programme (EEFP) to accelerate the performance of TEF Alumni small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria within the non-oil export sector.
At the signing ceremony recently, the Executive Director/CEO of NEPC, Mr. Olusegun Awolowo, said: “NEPC is delighted to embark on this journey with The Tony Elumelu Foundation, as we jointly create an army of exporters to drive non-oil exports and promote the diversification of Nigeria’s export portfolio for inclusive and sustainable economic growth.
“We have keenly admired the work that The Tony Elumelu Foundation has been doing with entrepreneurs across Africa, and took a cue from President Muhammad Buhari to support these efforts on behalf of the federal government through the EEFP under the Nigeria Economic Sustainability Plan (NESP).
“We hope that this grant of N400 million to the Foundation targeted specifically for Nigerian entrepreneurs will spur other governments in Africa to support the Foundation in its audacious drive to create tens of thousands of entrepreneurs across the continent of Africa.”
Also speaking at the event, the chief executive officer of TEF, Ms. Ifeyinwa Ugochukwu, said: “Our core mandate at the Foundation is to empower young African entrepreneurs with training, support and first stage funding needed to start their businesses.
“We are very excited to have been identified by the NEPC/ EEFP as a reputable organisation to partner and empower 50 young Nigerian entrepreneurs with easy access to foreign markets and a one-of-a-kind opportunity to show the rest of the world the quality of minds and products that we have in Nigeria.
“Over the years, we have provided targeted technical assistance and support, equipping entrepreneurs with resources that capacitate them to transform the continent.
“Similar to our objective, we have launched the TEFConnect, a digital platform that enables market linkages for African entrepreneurs.”
The signing ceremony, which was held at the Export House in Abuja, had alumni from the TEF network of over 4,000 Nigerian entrepreneurs present to share their business success stories with the Executive Director/CEO NEPC, Olusegun Awolowo.
The strategic objective of the N400 million grants is to promote export inclusion, market access, and minimise logistical and export trade facilitation challenges. Selected beneficiaries are from the TEF Alumni network of over 10,000 African entrepreneurs, who have been trained, mentored, and funded to enable their businesses grow.