Tony Elumelu Foudation Launches $100m Fund to Accelerate African Startups


Tony-Elumelu-BiographyThe Tony Elumelu Foundation has launched a $100m Pan-African initiaitve dubbed the Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme to train, fund and mentor the next generation of African entrepreneurs.

Speaking about the move, Tony O. Elumelu, CON, Founder of The Tony Elumelu Foundation said, “The opportunity and challenge in Africa is scale – in our people, our resources and our horizons. In my business and philanthropic journeys, I have always sought ways to help inspire a generation across our continent. This programme brings together my own entrepreneurial experience and my fundamental belief that entrepreneurs – women and men across Africa – will lead Africa’s development and transform our futures.”

The Programme will offer a structured, multi-year opportunity to access funding, knowledge and perhaps most importantly mentoring, on s scale that is unprecedented in Africa to empower a generation.

The programme will identify and help grow an initial 10,000 start-ups and young businesses from across Africa over the next 10 years, targeting the creation of 1,000,000 new jobs and $10 billion in annual revenues.

“Whether you’re in Lagos, Accra, Johannesburg, Nairobi or Dakar, Africa is buzzing with entrepreneurs who need a platform that enables them to take their business or idea to the next level. The Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme has been designed to provide that mechanism,” said Parminder Vir, Director of Entrepreneurship at The Tony Elumelu Foundation.

Members of the selection committee to pick 1,000 most promising start-ups include Ory Okolloh, Director of Investments at the Omidyar Network’s; Dr Ayodeji Adewunmi, CEO and Co-Founder of Nigerian job search site Jobberman; Dr Vera Songwe, Country Director at the World Bank Group for Senegal, Cape Verde, the Gambia, Guinea-Bissau and Mauritania; Opunimi Akinkugbe, CEO of pan-African board game company Bestman Games Ltd; Dr Ndubuisi Ekekwe, founder of technology company First Atlantic Semi-Conductors & Microelectronics; Sam Nwanze, Chief Investment Officer at Heirs Holdings; Monica Musonda, CEO of Java Food in Zambia and Dr Wiebe Boer, CEO of The Tony Elumelu Foundation.

Successful applicants will participate in a comprehensive programme designed to equip them with the skills needed to build a successful business. The programme includes seed funding, a customized 12-week business skills training course, mentoring, an entrepreneurship ‘boot camp’, participation in the annual Elumelu Entrepreneurship Forum, membership of the Alumni Network and much more.