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Six Sierra Leoneans benefit Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme

March 27, 2017 By Hassan Gbassay Koroma

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As the Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme announced their 2017 entrepreneurship programme selection, six Sierra Leoneans from different field of entrepreneurship have been selected to receive skills training, mentoring and access to seed capital funding.

The selected Sierra Leoneans include Abdulsalam Kamara, Manufacturing Bockarie Sama Banya, Commercial and Retail Bridgetta Audrey Modupeh Amoateng, Agriculture (Agri-business, Farming), Dominic Andrew Boima, Agriculture (Agri-business, Farming), Henry Orlando Joseph Tucker, Agriculture (Agri-business, Farming) and Martin Kailie, Energy and Power respectively.

In could be recalled that in January, 2017 the Foundation opened its applications for the third cohort of the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme (TEEP), with a further 1,000 entrepreneurs to be selected to join the 2017 edition of the programme.

In February, 2017 the Foundation through the United Bank for Africa Sierra Leone placed a 28 days advert on the major television stations in the country giving instructions on how to apply for the entrepreneurship.

However, according to the press release from Lagos, Nigeria dated 22nd March, 2017 over 93,000 entrepreneurs, from 55 countries and territories in Africa, applied and that the application received in this 2017 was more than twice in 2016 ,and nearly four times 2015.

“The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) is proud to announce the selection of 1,000 African entrepreneurs, creating the 3rd cohort of the 10-year, $100 million TEF Entrepreneurship Programme,” stated in the press release.

It further stated that over the next nine months, the 2017 Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurs will be trained and mentored, and will use the skills acquired to develop a business plan, adding that after having gone through the process,they will be eligible to receive up to $10,000 in seed capital.

The founder Tony Elumelu had once said their programme is a deliberate effort to institutionalise luck and provide the essentials for business growth to Africa’s next generation of business leaders, and that it is a demonstration of his faith in the generation’s ability to transform the African narrative, from the single story of disease and poverty, to one of enterprise and opportunity.

 “Standing here today to announce the successful applicants is bittersweet; 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,” Founder, Tony O. Elumelu, said.

 The press release continued that the foundation’s long-term investment in empowering African entrepreneurs was emblematic of Mr. 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.

 It says Agriculture leads the sectors with (29%) of applicants coming from this sector, followed by ICT (11%) and manufacturing (9%)reflecting the industries of interest for African startups. Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, Uganda and Cameroon produced the most applicants.

 According to the Chief Executive Officer of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, Parminder Vir OBE, the achievements of each successive cohort was clear evidence of the growing transformative power of their Programme, and that they recently sampled 600 of their existing 2,000 entrepreneurs to analyse the Programme’s impact and have been impressed by the robustness and particularly impact on employment they are beginning to have.

She further that they have also partnered with organisations, including Microsoft, GE, ECOWAS, to provide further benefits to  entrepreneurs.”

 The Programme culminates in the TEF Entrepreneurship Forum – the largest annual gathering of African entrepreneurs and the full entrepreneurship ecosystem from across the continent, which brings together entrepreneurs, mentors and business and political leaders in October, for a two day event in Lagos, Nigeria.

The Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme is the flagship entrepreneurship programme of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, founded by the entrepreneur, respected investor and philanthropist Tony O. Elumelu.
The pan-African programme is inspired by the Founder’s inclusive economic philosophy of Africapitalism, based on the belief that a vibrant African-led private sector is the key to unlocking Africa’s economic and social potential, commitment to drive African economic growth through the fostering of African entrepreneurship, mission to institutionalize luck and create an environment where home-grown pan-African companies in various sectors can flourish.

The vision of the foundation is to establish the pre-eminent pan-African entrepreneurship programme and create 10,000 startups across Africa within the next 10 years that generate significant employment and wealth.

TEEP was launched in December 2014 by the Tony Elumelu Foundation with the target of creating one million new jobs, and US$10 billion in additional revenues for African economies. The Foundation pledged to invest US$100 million during the course of the 10 year initiative.

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