The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), has selected 4,949 entrepreneurs from across Africa for its 2021 entrepreneurship programme and of these, 296 have been selected from Uganda.
The 212 female and 84 selected Uganda entrepreneurs will each receive non -refundable USD 5,000 seed capital.
The 2021 beneficiaries were selected from a pool of over 400,000 applications, based on their innovation, performance, and growth potential to create jobs and eradicate poverty on the continent.
Consisting of both new start-ups and existing small businesses, the 2021 Tony Elumelu entrepreneurs have undergone world-class business training, mentorship and coaching and will have a life-time access to the Tony Elumelu Foundation alumni network.
“To you young African entrepreneurs – work hard, dream dreams, and be very disciplined. You must continue to think of impact. The entrepreneurship journey is not linear – there are ups and downs, but by staying focused and resilient, ultimately success will come your way. The future of our continent is in your hands. What you do as entrepreneurs will go a long way in lifting Africa out of poverty. I am happy that our female entrepreneurs are doing very well, with 68% representation this year,” said founder, Tony O. Elumelu.
“To our African leaders, these young, intelligent, energetic hardworking, resilient Africans are ready to go. We need to keep creating the right enabling environment to enable our young ones to succeed. We must realise that their success is success for all of us on the continent. We must prioritise them because nations and continents that prioritise their people, succeed. “
He also urged fellow business leaders to realise that in the 21st century and beyond, it is about impact, legacy and about how working together to push people out of over.
The Director-General for International Cooperation and Development at the European Commission, Koen Doens said, “I am very glad that over 2400 women will benefit from the Tony Elumelu Foundation’s training programme and will get seed capital to support their ideas. I am extremely happy that at the European Union, we are able to be part of this great endeavour and to support it.”
The Director for UNDP Regional Bureau for Africa, Ahunna Eziakonwa said the partnership with the Tony Elumelu Foundation on youth entrepreneurship is informed by their belief that Africa will only succeed when young Africans are given the opportunity to excel.
“This is what has inspired us to invest more than $20 million in emerging African entrepreneurs since we entered into our partnership with the Tony Elumelu Foundation. Our joint ambition is to
empower 100,000 young African entrepreneurs over the next ten years across Africa, recognising that entrepreneurship is the only way dreams can be realized,”Eziakonwa said.
Since its inception, the Tony Elumelu Foundation has now funded a total of 15,847 entrepreneurs who have created more than 400,000 direct and indirect jobs and counting.