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TEF entrepreneurs create 400,000 jobs, says Elumelu

The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) has trained over 1.5 million young African entrepreneurs who have created over 400,000 jobs across the continent, Founder, Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), Tony O. Elumelu, has said.

He spoke on Friday during the announcement of the 1,104 selected TEF entrepreneurs for the 2024 entrepreneurship programme held at the United Bank for Africa (UBA) headquarters, in Lagos. Elumelu said each of the selected 1,104 entrepreneurs for 2024 TEF Entrepreneurship Programme will get $5,000 non-refundable seed capital to support their businesses.


He said beneficiaries have also received world-class business training, mentorship, coaching, and funding, in addition to lifelong access to the prestigious TEF Alumni Network.

“To date, the Foundation has disbursed US$100,000,000 directly into the hands of young African entrepreneurs, who have, in turn, created over 400,000 direct and indirect jobs, contributing significantly to Africa’s economic growth and development. The Foundation has also provided capacity building support, advisory services, and market linkages to over 1.5 million Africans through its digital entrepreneurship-support platform, TEFConnect,” he said.

According to him, it is government’s function to  set the right environment for businesses to thrive, but the private sector should take the lead and take charge to ensure that such businesses succeed.

Elumelu explained that having been an entrepreneur himself, he thought it right to help create more entrepreneurs for the continent and that is the driving force for the Tony Elumelu Foundation.

He said the TEF plan is to democratise luck and create more businesses in Africa. “We are not targeting any sector, we just want people who can grow these businesses and lift the continent, that was what drove us to supporting these entrepreneurs,” he said.

Continuing, Elumelu said: “My family thought there is no better way to celebrate my 61st birthday than announcing the 2024 beneficiaries of the TEF Entrepreneurship programme on my birthday. The selected 1,104 entrepreneurs will each receive a non-refundable $5,000 seed capital. We believe in spreading prosperity”.

On the TEF Entrepreneurs for 2024, Elumelu said: “My advise to you is to continue to be positive about the future. We believe, we should be a voice for economic empowerment for Africans. The $100 million TEF fund is from my family. But we now embrace partnerships in order to attract more people who will come together to support young Africans. We want to launch Coalition of African Entrepreneurs to empower more Africans ”.

Also speaking, Co- Founder, Tony Elumelu Foundation, Dr. Awele Elumelu, said  the massive impact of the TEF Entrepreneurship programme is being felt across Africa.

She said: “We knew what we wanted from the onset, and so far, it has been a decade of fulfilled promises. The 10th TEF Entrepreneurship programme beneficiaries will be supported to ensure they succeed. For those who were not selected, your journey is not over, you just have to work harder and success will be yours”.

Speaking on the selection process,  Ernst & Young (EY) Partner, Damilola Aloba, said that during the 2024 selection process, 1,485 applications were received from Nigeria, 240 from Benin Republic and 825 from the rest of Africa .

“The selection went through a very rigorous process.  We considered the feasibility of the business plans, market opportunity, financial standing of the entrepreneurs, scalability of the business, leadership and entrepreneurship skills. When these were received, we came up with 590 applications from Nigeria, 109 from Benin Republic and 405 from the rest of Africa,” Aloba said.

Some of the past TEF Entrepreneurs which have grown to become big businesses include Nkem Okocha, founder, Mama Moni, Nigeria; Innocentia Mamila, Founder Biodiesel, South Africa; Mohammed Dhoufi, Founder, Cure Bionics, Tunisia; Nonkhuede Kasonde-vanden broek, Founder, Zanya African Metrics, Zambia and Ayodele Ognin, Wurami Consulting, Benin Republic.

Others include Ndubisi Eze, Ifedayo Durosinmi-Etti, Edmond Nonie, Maureen Amakabane, Farida Musa, Nkem Okocha, Rachael Aname, Agboeni Asode, Joel Cherup, Nze Biang, among others.

The past TEF Entrepreneurs all said the 12-week TEF Entrepreneurship training and seed capital helped them to set business priorities, boost production, and expand their business operations.




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