The Tony Elumelu Foundation has been at the forefront of promoting entrepreneurship on the continent. The philosophy of the foundation, taken from its founder Nigerian entrepreneur Tony Elumelu, is to empower a generation of successful for-profit entrepreneurs who drive Africa’s economic and social transformation.
The third annual Tony Elumelu Foundation entrepreneurship forum will take place on the 13th and 14th of October this year. The foundation will host the largest gathering of African entrepreneurs from 54 countries. The foundation received 93,246 applications from all over the continent, which was whittled down to 10,135 and only 1,100 applicants were selected to participate in the forum.
According to a press release by the foundation, this is the first year that invitation to the Forum is extended beyond the 1,000 Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurs from the 2017 cohort, to include selected SMEs, media, hubs, incubators, academia and investors from diverse nations across Africa; from Mauritius to Cape Verde to Kenya and more. Elumelu said, “Since launching the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme – and committing $100 million to empowering 10,000 African entrepreneurs in a decade – we have unleashed our continent’s most potent development force, its entrepreneurs.”
He added, “In just 3 years, our first 3,000 entrepreneurs have created tens of thousands of jobs and generated considerable wealth. On October 13 and 14, the global entrepreneurship community will gather in Lagos to build a New Africa, a thriving, self-reliant continent capable of replicating the results of our ground-breaking Programme.”
The release stated that the two-day forum will feature plenary panels, masterclasses, sector specific networking opportunities and policy-led forums focused on enabling African business growth.
The forum will be live streamed and speakers such as Wale Ayeni, International Finance Corporation; Stephen Tio Kauma, Afrexim Bank; Andre Hue, African Development Bank; Stephen M. Haykin, USAID Nigeria; Heikke Reugger, European Investment Bank; Abdoulaye Mar Dieye, United Nations Development Programme will be present.