Tony Elumelu Foundation And Entrepreneurship Devt In Africa | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Tony Elumelu Foundation And Entrepreneurship Devt In Africa

Posted: Jul 1, 2015 at 2:24 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Ikechi Nzeako  – Lagos 


One of the major challenges facing African people is poverty occasioned by unemployment and African governments and leaders have been doing their best to meet the challenge. Other organisations, corporate bodies and others have also been making efforts to mitigate the problem posed by unemployment on the African continent.

However, the Tony Elumelu Foundation, through the Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme (TEEP), has taken a bold step to train young 1,000 entrepreneurs, who are in turn expected to become self-reliant and provide employment opportunities to thousands, if not millions of other persons, both directly and indirectly, in Africa.

The foundation will be doing this by proving the capital, the networks, the training and support for 1000 pan-African entrepreneurs at the $100 million Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme Boot Camp.

Speaking at a media event to herald the event, the founder of the foundation, Tony Elumelu, said he was sure that the chosen “entrepreneurs are Africa’s hope for the future.”

The 1,000 entrepreneurs, who were selected from over 20,000 applicants from all over Africa, are expected to converge in Nigeria for a two-day boot camp session. This will be the maiden boot camp of TEEP and the event will take place between July 10 and 12 in Ota, Ogun State, Nigeria.

In what is billed to be the largest ever gathering of emerging entrepreneurs on the continent, the boot camp will see an interaction between established entrepreneurs from different sectors of industry, and the selected 1000 of TEEP.

Elumelu, who has been vocal about entrepreneurship-led development and the push for a private sector-driven turnaround of Africa stated that: “In empowering these emerging entrepreneurs, we are providing the capital, the networks, the training and support for them to drive economic and social transformation throughout Africa, providing solutions to its problems as well as securing their future and that of generations to come.”

In the build-up to the boot camp, the Tony Elumelu Foundation had engaged the emerging entrepreneurs in a 12-week online training programme that culminated in the two-day session. The boot camp format will be predominately plenary style sessions from speakers with proven track record in business and leadership. The entrepreneurs will participate in sessions including an open mic with Elumelu and other captains of industry.

Speaking on the ideals of the programme and the need for the training, Chief Executive Officer of the Foundation, Parminder Vir, said: “We are excited to be pushing the envelope and providing a springboard for this set of emerging African entrepreneurs to take over the world with their innovative ideas, beginning from their local communities. At the end of this boot camp, we want them to have come, seen and be transformed into full-fledged entrepreneurs and ambassadors for Africapitalism.”

The winners represent 51 African countries and territories, as well as a multitude of value adding sectors ranging from agriculture to education to fashion and ICT. All five African regions – North, East, Southern, Central and West Africa are represented, as well as every state in Nigeria.

In addition, all major language blocs – Anglophone, Francophone, Lusophone, and Arabic Africa are represented among the 1,000 selected entrepreneurs.