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1,104 African entrepreneurs get Tony Elumelu Foundation $5.5m grant

The Tony Elumelu Foundation yesterday unveiled the 10th Cohort of its annual entrepreneurship programme which supports not less than 1,104 young entrepreneurs from across Africa…

The Tony Elumelu Foundation yesterday unveiled the 10th Cohort of its annual entrepreneurship programme which supports not less than 1,104 young entrepreneurs from across Africa with a non-refundable $5000 grant each amounting to 5,520,000 USD.

The founder of the foundation, Tony Elumelu, stated that the entrepreneurship programme is a testament of his belief in democratizing luck and spreading prosperity.

The applicants were unveiled out of 13,500 applications that were received.

According to the renowned entrepreneur and billionaire, with over 1.2 billion people in Africa and an alarming poverty rate across the continent, the foundation seeks to eradicate poverty across Africa while creating job opportunities for the younger generation and empowering them in businesses.

“These 1,104 beneficiaries, young men and women, from 54 countries across Africa will each receive a nonrefundable 5000 US Dollars grant to support their businesses.

“We believe in spreading luck, democratizing luck and spreading prosperity. We think that the easiest way to spread prosperity in Africa is by identifying our young ones, encouraging them and helping them to start their own businesses. This is why we have done this.

“Awele and I started this journey over 10 years ago. We sought to democratize luck and improve lives and we are happy with the results we are seeing today. Till date, over 20,000 young men and women from across Africa have received over 100 million US Dollars from this entrepreneurship programme.

“We are happy to see our young ones progressing. We are happy that what we started alone as the Tony Elumelu Foundation, we have been able to identify and partner with other global institutions,” Elumelu said.

Awele Elumelu, the co-founder of TEF and wife of the CEO, urged the beneficiaries to utilise the opportunity in shaping the future of Africa.

“It’s been a wonderful journey so far. From the beginning, we had a clear vision of eradicating poverty and empowering African men and women.

“We have indeed fulfilled a promise today. I express my gratitude to all the participants from 2015 when the programme started,” she said.

Partner, Ernest and Young, Dami Aloba, while explaining the scrutiny process of the beneficiaries, disclosed that there were 1,485 applicants shortlisted from Nigeria, 240 from Benin Republic and 825 from the rest of Africa from which 1104 beneficiaries were shortlisted.

He said, “Ernest and Young were appointed to review the 2024 applications. The review process was a very rigorous one where we set criteria in which the selection was done.

“We looked at the feasibility of each business plan. We looked at the market opportunity to be sure that there was an opportunity. We looked at the financial understanding of all the entrepreneurs. We looked at the scalability of their businesses.

“Lastly, we looked at their leadership and entrepreneurship skills. These five key criteria were used in evaluating all the participants. Out of all those that were reviewed, we came up with a shortlist of about 590 beneficiaries from Nigeria, 109 from Benin Republic and 405 from the rest of Africa.”


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