Elumelu identifies private sector as a core driver of Africa’s transformation.
•TEF unveils the fifth edition of $100 million entrepreneurship scheme
Founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), Tony Elumelu, has identified the private sector as the core driver of Africa’s economic transformation.
He said the sector plays a critical role in the attainment of the economic and social potential of the continent, noting, however, that it cannot attain its full potential if entrepreneurs are left behind.
Elumelu, who is chairman of United Bank for Africa (UBA), disclosed this in a statement to announce the opening of applications for the 2019 cohort of its entrepreneurship development programme.
He urged all stakeholders, policymakers, business leaders and development agencies to actively commit to creating a better future for young Africans, who have demonstrated intellect, skill, and passion.
The $100m programme is a 10-year, commitment to identify, train, mentor and fund 10,000 African entrepreneurs.
The statement added that the programme’s objective is to generate at least, one million new jobs and create at least $10 billion in new business revenues across Africa.
It said this is the fifth year that the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme has empowered 4,470 entrepreneurs, using a bespoke and robust selection, training and implementation process to create visible and sustainable impact across all 54 African countries.
Elumelu said empowering outstanding African entrepreneurs who have start-ups, or business ideas with high growth potential and ensuring they succeed is essential to the continent’s development.
“Their success is Africa’s success. The programme is open to citizens and legal residents of all African countries, who run for-profit businesses based in Africa that are no older than three years. Deadline for the submission of applications is March 1, 2019.
“Applications will be judged based on criteria including feasibility, scalability, and potential for growth of the product/service; market opportunity for the idea/business; financial understanding, leadership potential, and entrepreneurial skills,” the statement said.
It informed that applicants could apply on TEFConnect – www.tefconnect.com, which is the largest digital networking platform for African entrepreneurs.
TEF urges business owners with transformative ideas to apply, adding: “We are particularly looking to grow representation from French, Arabic and Portuguese speakers, as well as female entrepreneurs.”
According to the Chief Executive Officer of the Foundation, Parminder Vir, “The entrepreneurs illustrate the Foundation’s commitment to transforming the African economy, by building on the intelligence, skills, and resourcefulness of Africans.
“I encourage all ambitious young Africans to take advantage of this unique opportunity,” the CEO said.