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$100m pan-African initiative to support 10k entrepreneurs across the continent

Africa’s startup landscape just got a lot more exciting.

The Nigerian-based Tony Elumelu Foundation has just announced a US$100-million entrepreneurship programme that seeks to empower the next generation of African entrepreneurs across the continent.

The multi-year programme, which is headed by Nigerian billionaire Tony Elumelu, aims to provide training, funding, and mentoring for local innovative business minds. Ten-thousand entrepreneurs, to be exact who are all expected to create over 10-billion jobs within the next 10 years.

“Whether you’re in Lagos, Accra, Johannesburg, Nairobi or Dakar, Africa is buzzing with entrepreneurs who need a platform that enables them to take their business or idea to the next level. The Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme has been designed to provide that mechanism,” said Parminder Vir, Director of Entrepreneurship at The Tony Elumelu Foundation.

“The opportunity and challenge in Africa is scale — in our people, our resources and our horizons. In my business and philanthropic journeys, I have always sought ways to help inspire a generation across our continent. This programme brings together my own entrepreneurial experience and my fundamental belief that entrepreneurs – women and men across Africa – will lead Africa’s development and transform our futures,” said Elumelu in a statement.

The Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme is inspired by three guiding principles: the 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 empowering of African entrepreneurship; and a mission to institutionalise luck by creating an environment where African entrepreneurs can get critical elements of support in the early stages of their business life.

“Entrepreneurship is the cornerstone to African development and the key to local value creation in Africa. I am determined to ensure that Africa’s next generation of entrepreneurs have the platform they need to turn their entrepreneurial aspirations into sustainable businesses that will drive economic growth and job creation across Africa,” stated Elumelu.

As you can imagine, the programme includes seed funding, a customised 12-week business skills training course, mentoring, an entrepreneurship boot camp, participation in the annual Elumelu Entrepreneurship Forum, membership of the Alumni Network and promises much more.

Author Bio

Jacques Coetzee
Jacques grew up in Stellenbosch, South Africa. Keen to take over the world, one word at a time, he has always been interested in both politics and development and studied International Relations (BA) at Stellenbosch University. With an interest in innovation and social change, he seeks to tell the... More