Business failure rate across Africa has consistently been estimated at above 80%. This long worrisome trend however looks to soon become a thing of the past, as early this month the Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme (TEEP) announced its commitment of a whopping $100 million, to the training, mentoring and funding of 10,000 entrepreneurs across 54 countries in Africa, over the next 10 years. (continues below... )
This commitment was announced by the foundation's founder, Nigerian billionaire industrialist and philanthropist, Tony Elumelu (CON), in a press conference to launch the program early this month.
Tony Elumelu, himself a Forbes listed super entrepreneur, is personally experienced in creating mega companies out of great ideas, having amassed an estimated $1 billion from the African banking, real estate and energy sectors, among others. Speaking at the conference he stated that the vision was born primarily from his continuous encounters across Africa, of brilliant entrepreneurs with the potential to "fuel our future" but who lacked the support to drive their ideas to reality. Another reason he proposed, was that Africa's demographic trends required the continent to produce at least TEN MILLION jobs a year to "sustain" Africa's young population.
The Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme, thus aims to identify and help grow an initial 10,000 start-ups and young businesses from across Africa over the next 10 years, so that these businesses will go forward to create an estimated 1,000,000 new jobs and $10 billion in annual revenues.
The program kicks off on the 1st of January 2015, when interested participants will be able to apply at the program website: www.tonyelumelufoundation.org .
Successful applicants will participate in a comprehensive 12-week business skills acquisition course, mentoring, and of course seed funding.
The Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme is inspired by three guiding principles: the inclusive economic philosophy of Africapitalism, commitment to drive African economic growth through the empowering of African entrepreneurship; and a mission to "institutionalise luck" by creating an environment where African entrepreneurs can access much needed elements of support in the early stages of their business life.
Tony O. Elumelu is a 51 year old Nigerian economist, banker, investor, and philanthropist. He is the Chairman of Heirs Holdings, a pan-African proprietary investment company with strong interests in key sectors of Africa's economy. He is Chairman of UBA Group and Transcorp PLC, and also the founder of the not-for-profit Tony Elumelu Foundation. He holds the national honour of the Commander of the Order of Nigeria (CON), and was recently listed him as one of the 100 most influential people in Africa, with a host of philanthropic deeds to his name.
So... It's now 8 days to the launch of TEEP. African Entrepreneurs! Are your business plans in order? Are you ready?