Chairman of the Tony Elumelu Foundation has said that its entrepreneurship programme is targeted at generating one million jobs and $10 billion in terms of revenue across the African continent.
Speaking at a press conference in Lagos yesterday, the chairman of the Foundation, Tony Elumelu, said that the foundation, through the Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneur Programme (TEEP), will over the next 10 years train, mentor and provide start up capital to 10,000 entrepreneurs.
The TEEP which was launched in December last year is a $100 million initiative of the foundation to discover and support 1,000 entrepreneurs every year for the next 10 years through training, funding and mentoring that is designed to empower the next generation of African entrepreneurs.
Elumelu, who noted that the harsh operating environment prevalent in African countries, particularly for entrepreneurs, said the foundation is set to put African entrepreneurs on the global platform.
The first intake for the programme drawn from 52 countries on the continent will arrive Nigeria on July 10 for a two day boot camp after which they would be given a $5,000 seed capital, the first tranche of a $10,000 grant for each participant.
“In empowering these emerging entrepreneurs, we are providing the capital, the networks, the training and support for them to drive economic and social transformation throughout Africa, providing solutions to its problems as well as securing their future and that of generations to come,” Elumelu stated.
Also speaking on the ideals of the programme and the need for the training, the chief executive of the foundation, Parminder Virsaid, said, “We are excited to be pushing the envelope and providing a springboard for this set of emerging African entrepreneurs to take off with their innovative ideas, beginning from their local communities.At the end of this boot camp, we want them to have come, seen and be transformed into full-fledged entrepreneurs and ambassadors of Afrcapitalism,” she said.
In the build-up to the boot camp, the foundation said that it had engaged the emerging entrepreneurs in a 12-week online training programme that culminates in the two day session.
The 1,000 participants are drawn from 52 countries in Africa with 400 or 40 per cent of them from all the states of Nigeria. A breakdown of the entrepreneurs by sectors reveals that 30 per cent of them are agriculture based while commercial/retail and education/training account for 9 per cent. Information and communication technology and manufacturing had 8 per cent each while healthcare and fashion entrepreneurs took up 5 and 4 per cents of the total number. 70 per cent of the total figure were men while women entrepreneurs took up the remaining 30 per cent.