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The 2018 beneficiaries of the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) Entrepreneurship Programme, accustomed entrepreneurs, all-around investors, as able-bodied as leaders from the African accessible and clandestine sectors and adorning organizations will on October 25 accumulate in Lagos for the 4th anniversary TEF Entrepreneurship Forum. Ahead of the Forum, Parminder Vir, arch controlling officer, Tony Elumelu Foundation, batten to baddest editors in Lagos on the programme’s appulse over the accomplished four years, its connected abutment apparatus for accomplished beneficiaries, focus and highlight of this year’s Forum, amid added issues. CHUKS OLUIGBO, abettor editor, was there.

RMA 13 Form Bank Of America - 13 13 EduVark - uba form 710
RMA 13 Form Bank Of America – 13 13 EduVark – uba form 710 | uba form 710
RMA 13 Form Bank Of America - 13 13 EduVark - uba form 710
RMA 13 Form Bank Of America – 13 13 EduVark – uba form 710 | uba form 710


The 2018 anniversary Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) Entrepreneurship Appointment comes up in Lagos this month. What is the focus of this year’s Appointment and why?

The anniversary Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Appointment is one of the best active aspects of the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme. This year’s TEF Entrepreneurship Forum, the fourth copy of the anniversary Forum, is demography abode on October 25 at the Federal Palace Hotel, Lagos, Nigeria. The Appointment has developed in calibration every year with over 5,000 entrepreneurs and the entrepreneurship ecosystem players accepted to assemble on Lagos for this year’s Forum. This year, we are adulatory the 2018 beneficiaries of our Entrepreneurship Programme, bringing the absolute beneficiaries of our $100 actor berry capital, mentoring and world-class training to 4,470 African entrepreneurs. The Appointment is additionally an befalling for the entrepreneurs to appoint with and apprentice from accustomed entrepreneurs, all-around investors, leaders from the African accessible and clandestine sectors and adorning organizations.

In befitting with the Foundation’s clue almanac – best afresh with President Macron of France – of bringing politicians contiguous with the new bearing of adolescent businesswomen and men abstraction Africa, the Appointment will accommodate an alternate affair with President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya and President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana, chastened by TEF Founder, Tony O. Elumelu. We will additionally barrage TEFConnect, the world’s bigger agenda belvedere for African entrepreneurs, committed to aing African entrepreneurs and the entrepreneurship ecosystem. The programme will additionally accommodate a abode babble with TEF Trustee, Gavi Champion for Immunisation in Africa and CEO, Avon Medical, Dr. Awele Elumelu, chastened by CNNMoney Africa Correspondent, Eleni Giokos, on “The Role of the Clandestine Area in Furthering Bread-and-er Development above Africa”.


The TEF Entrepreneurship Programme is four this year. Looking back, what would you say is the appulse of the programme so far, abnormally on accomplished beneficiaries and their businesses?

In aloof four years, we accept anon impacted 4,470 entrepreneurs, and we are alpha to see the after-effects – they are creating jobs, breeding revenues and authoritative a amusing appulse through their businesses. This year, we began to clue the advance of the 3,010 entrepreneurs who accelerating amid 2015 and 2017 and our abstraction of aloof 1,472 entrepreneurs who responded to the assay shows they accept generated USD$52,486,234 afterwards completion, compared to USD$18,155,241 afore they were called for the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme. In agreement of jobs, the aforementioned 1,472 entrepreneurs accept created 11,971 jobs compared to 4,034 afore they were called for the programme. Furthermore, our abstraction shows that aloft commutual the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme, 62 percent of these businesses are now absolutely operational while 29 percent accept become partly operational. This additionally explains the astounding advance in jobs (15 percent of the entrepreneurs now administer at atomic 10 people) and acquirement (13 percent of the entrepreneurs now accomplish aloft $50,000 annually) recorded afterwards the Entrepreneurship Programme.

With attention to gender representation, over the years, the Foundation has fabricated it a antecedence to ensure that both changeable and macho entrepreneurs accept an according befalling to administer to the programme. When the programme was launched in 2015, 76 percent of the applicants were macho while 24 percent were female. As a result, macho applicants accounted for 71 percent of the entrepreneurs eventually called into the programme while changeable applicants accounted for alone 29 percent. Accustomed this cogent gender disparity, the Foundation developed strategies to actualize acquaintance about the programme amidst women and animate them to administer for the programme. To accomplish this, the Foundation ensured that advertisements and promotions of the programme were targeted appear women. On amusing media, profiles of acknowledged changeable entrepreneurs on the programme were acclimated to animate ambitious changeable entrepreneurs to apply. Changeable alumni of the programme took this a footfall added by acclimation workshops and trainings to abetment them in their application. The aftereffect of all these activities was that by 2018, the gap had decidedly bargain – macho applicants accounted for 58.8 percent of absolute applicants, bottomward from 76 percent in 2015, while changeable applicants accounted for 41.2 percent, up from 24 percent in 2015. Similarly, in agreement of selection, the cardinal of called macho applicants fell to 65 percent, from 71 percent in 2015, while called changeable applicants added to 35 percent, from 29 percent in 2015.

In agreement of the appulse of the Seven Pillars of the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme, the 1,472 entrepreneurs who responded to the survey, we see that both the 12-week action toolkit and the mentorship accustomed at atomic a 70 percent aerial appulse appraisement while 61 percent of them adumbrated that TEF provided them with the aboriginal berry basic for their business. So clearly, the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme is accepting an impact. We will be ablution the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme 2015-2017 Advance Report at the TEF Appointment on October 25, which will accommodate added assay and insights of appulse above sectors, regions and business location.


Considering Africa’s specific advance needs and peculiarities, does the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme abode antecedence on assertive sectors of the economy?

TEF Entrepreneurship Programme is and will abide sector-agnostic. We accept over 30 sectors represented in the programme above the 54 African countries. The agronomics area has, however, consistently accounted for added of the called entrepreneurs on the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme back the barrage of the programme in 2015, after any advised accomplishment by the Foundation to allure entrepreneurs from this sector. This reflects a ascent absorption of adolescent Africans who seek to accomplish on altered segments of the agronomics amount alternation application added avant-garde technology and innovations than their predecessors.

The contempo acceleration of start-ups in the ICT area on the abstemious continues to allegorize the accretion acceptation of technology above the abstemious accounting for over 8 percent of the applications. Besides the development of amount IT software and applications, these ICT entrepreneurs are creating solutions that are accordant to a deluge of industries. Accustomed that the apple is rapidly affective into the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the appliance of this area in ensuring that Africa is not larboard abaft cannot be overstated. Accomplishment has additionally emerged as one of the accepted sectors amidst the TEF entrepreneurs accounting for an boilerplate of 7 percent of applicants annually.

Four years into the 10-year programme, it is axiomatic that African start-ups and SMEs will acquisition the gaps in the bazaar and advance avant-garde solutions to affair these gaps for their articles and services.


Beyond the anniversary forum, is there a aftereffect apparatus whereby the beneficiaries draw connected abutment from the Tony Elumelu Foundation and the Foundation as able-bodied advance the advance of the beneficiaries?

Paramount to the success of TEF Entrepreneurship Programme is our connected assurance with the entrepreneurs who accept auspiciously completed the programme because we are architecture to last. We advance acquaintance with the entrepreneurs both online and offline. Through the TEF Online Hub, we accept congenital Africa’s bigger online arrangement of African entrepreneurs for cross-border business growth, skills, and knowledge-sharing. TEF Hub is the go-to destination for TEF Alumni and our value-add partners, who accommodate advancing products, business information, advising services, addition capital, bazaar access, abilities and training, and accumulation alternation affiliation for TEF Alumni. This is additionally the belvedere through which we advance the arising entrepreneurship networks above Africa and globally, important for business opportunities, architecture cross-country networks and adopting a ability of entrepreneurship.

In 2017, we launched TEF Entrepreneurship Awards to recognise the achievements of TEF entrepreneurs from the 54 African countries to accession their profiles and affect investors and policymakers to recognise and abutment African entrepreneurs. We additionally launched TEF Appointment Pitch Competition, and we accept added TEF Africa Bazaar Abode to the TEF Appointment area TEF Entrepreneurs can advertise and advertise their articles and casework to a assorted and across-the-board pan-African gathering. 

At the 2018 TEF Appointment this month, the Foundation will barrage TEFConnect, Africa’s bigger agenda platform, aing African entrepreneurs globally. Positioned as the “Facebook for African Entrepreneurs”, the belvedere will accommodate three basic allowances to its users – empower African entrepreneurs to buy and advertise above countries and regions in Africa’s bigger agenda barter with agenda cartage extensive millions of people; admission chargeless business accoutrement such as banking planning calculators and business templates, and accredit entrepreneurs to advance their businesses to abeyant investors and added partners. Through TEFConnect, we are ascent our appulse by aing African entrepreneurs all over the apple on a distinct belvedere and accretion barter opportunities.


Apart from the berry capital, are the beneficiaries of the programme able to advantage on TEF’s admission to admission added basic from banks and added sources above Africa and beyond?

Access to accounts charcoal one of the bigger challenges for African start-ups and SMEs. To accredit TEF entrepreneurs to admission capital, we accept formed a ambit of assorted partnerships with banking casework providers and investors to mobilise both early-stage and growth-stage financing. Contrary to the acumen that African start-ups are chancy investments, we accept abounding affirmation that they are bankable provided they are accustomed the appropriate business development abutment as accurate by our entrepreneurship development programme. Based on this, we accept encouraged bartering banks to embrace SMEs and to set up SME desks as allotment of their services. We accept active a affiliation with Agence Francaise de Development (AFD) to accommodate accident agreement arrangement with United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc. In 2018, we will added alter and deepen the partnerships amid banking casework providers and investors with the TEF entrepreneurs. Through our assurance with African start-ups, we are acquainted that banking articulacy is the anemic articulation and we accept added our banking administration modules to abutment them. We are additionally acquainted that the accounts area additionally needs to be accomplished to bigger serve start-ups and are alive with angel networks, announcement accessible clandestine grants and abstruse assistance, adventure capital, clandestine equity, and banking institutions. TEFConnect will body an broker arrangement on the agenda platform.


Interest in the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme has connected to abound annually consistent in added cardinal of applications. Are there affairs to aggrandize the ambit and cardinal of beneficiaries?

The TEF Entrepreneurship Programme started in 2015 with 20,000 applicants and by 2018 this amount has developed to 151,692 from above 54 African countries. Accustomed the accelerated admission in the cardinal of African start-ups applying, in 2017, we began to calibration and carbon the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme with cardinal ally who can abutment the alternative of added entrepreneurs to the programme. While TEF provides the training and mentorship for their businesses, All-embracing Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has sponsored 200 entrepreneurs in the post-conflict areas of Nigeria with a charge of $1 actor berry capital. United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has provided $200,000 to abutment 40 pan-African entrepreneurs with $5,000 berry basic funding. Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), a German development agency, has committed €1 actor to empower 210 added adolescent and changeable tech entrepreneurs in called East and West African countries. Agence Française de Développement (AFD) is accouterment a risk-sharing agreement framework for loans for Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurs to admission loans from UBA. They accept additionally committed accounts for collective analysis to clue the appulse of the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme. We are additionally admiring to allotment that Indorama Corporation has pledged$100,000 to abutment 20 Nigerian entrepreneurs with $5,000 berry basic allotment in 2017 and 2018. Added partnerships accommodate Microsoft, Sage One and GE, for advancing business development abutment casework and admission to markets for the TEF Entrepreneurship ProgrammeAlumni. They will serve as adapt for others to chase as we actively appoint the accord and addition of the ally to abutment advocacy of added entrepreneurs, and value-add partners.


What would you accede the above challenges in the accomplished four years back birth of the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme?

The bigger claiming has been managing success. We never absurd the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme would abound so rapidly. In 2015, we accustomed over 20,000 applications from 50 African countries; in 2016 it was over 45,000 from all 54 African countries; 2017 saw this cardinal admission to 93,000 and in 2018 we had 151,692 applications from 54 African countries. Every year we baddest 1,000 different entrepreneurs assimilate the programme. The claiming is managing the expectations, dreams and hopes of those who are not selected. They abide allotment of the TEF Arrangement and we allotment advice and value-add opportunities, but we accomplished this is not enough. So, in 2018 we absitively to body an accessible antecedent agenda platform, TEFConnect, area those not called and others can admission business tools, broker network, marketplace, mentoring, and acquirements content. TEFConnect will be a abode for ability exchange, break accepted problems, apprentice advantageous tips, anatomy basic networks above the abstemious to drive business growth.


Given that governments are above drivers of action reforms, what affectionate of accord do you accept with governments above Africa?

The accent of government in establishing and advancement advantageous and aggressive enabling business ambiance cannot be overstated. The bread-and-er ecosystem is bent by the behavior and functionality of government. Their capability is analytical to the success of SMEs. The Foundation continues to appoint with government policymakers and leaders. At the 4thedition of the TEF Forum, we will acceptable the President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana and President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya to appoint in an alternate chat with the TEF founder, Tony O. Elumelu (CON). In July this year we accustomed President Macron of France to appoint with over 2,000 TEF Entrepreneurs abstraction Africa. In 2016, we accustomed President of Sierra Leone to the TEF Forum. Nigeria’s Vice President Yemi Osinbajo aing the Appointment in 2015 and 2017, to name but a few.

Over the accomplished four years the Tony Elumelu Foundation has played its allotment in allowance African governments see that innovation, entrepreneurship and bread-and-er advance are accordingly linked. For example, Rwanda has automated its business allotment procedures to such an admeasurement that it alone takes six hours for an administrator to annals and be accessible for operation. Kenya’s abridgement has been adapted through entrepreneurship. The Ghanaian government’s Youth Action Abutment action provides adolescent entrepreneurs and innovators with opportunities to abound their businesses from abstraction to accomplishing to scale. Action Uganda is a programme of the Ugandan government which offers adolescent entrepreneurs training and banking articulacy aid as able-bodied as a acclaim abetment account that provides advice about accessible sources of financing. These few examples are affidavit that attempts are actuality fabricated to actualize ambitious ecosystems that animate and advance business development. While establishing a affection business ambiance is important, from our assurance with bags of African entrepreneurs, the governments additionally charge to abode the broader issues: affordable power, reliable infrastructure, taxation, cross-border business, admission to credit, etc. The Foundation participates and supports high-profile pan-African and all-embracing business conferences, summits, and forums to highlight the bread-and-er amount of entrepreneurship to policymakers, advance entrepreneurship as acceptable career best and abutment the development of an ambitious ability above the continent.


Overall, what role would you say the TEF is arena in active addition and adroitness above Africa?

The Tony Elumelu Foundation is active addition and adroitness through its advance in the pan-African start-ups and SMEs. The called entrepreneurs accept business development training through our 12-week Start-up Action Toolkit, accurate by advisers called from about the world, business plan reviews by Accenture, followed by the seamless cost of absolute berry basic to the condoning TEF entrepreneurs above 54 African countries. This is innovation. Over the four years, we accept added the cardinal of women business owners from aloof 24 percent in 2015 to 41 percent in 2018. We accept invested in entrepreneurs in agriculture, ICT, fashion, manufacturing, education, and training, media and ball who are all developing adult business and acquirement models and active addition and adroitness through their articles and services. Many accept auspiciously leveraged their affiliation with the Foundation to win awards, admission new funding, business abutment services, training, cross-border barter above Africa and the apple breeding revenues and creating jobs. The Foundation has congenital an investible activity of 4,460 entrepreneurs who are a applicable advance befalling for African and all-around business above the aerial advance sectors. Technology addition and barter are important drivers and we accept congenital proprietary robust, scalable, and cloud-based multilingual technology platforms for applications, coach learning, abstracts management, and alumni engagement. These platforms are the Foundation’s greatest assets, facilitating ability exchange, artefact promotion, networking and enabling the Foundation to affix African entrepreneurs above the continent. We accept a database of over 300,000 African entrepreneurs from 54 African countries which is set to abound and will anatomy the foundation for TEF Analysis Publications.

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