Tony Elumelu Foundation(TEF) has disbursed $15.25 million to 3,050 candidates drawn from African countries for the 2019 Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurs, a gesture described by Wife of President Buhari, Aisha, as transforming lives of young entrepreneurs in African..
The Chairman of the foundation, Mr Tony Elumelu, unveiled the applicants on Friday in Abuja, and said that 5,000 dollars would be disbursed to each beneficiary.
According to him, the amount will serve as seed fund to empower the entrepreneurs in their various businesses.
Elumelu said entrepreneurship was the way to go at impacting on humanity and growing the continent, hence it was important to invest in it.
“We should contribute our quota to humanity as we do in the foundation’’
“We have decided to use this as opportunity to unveil the selection of 3,050 young entrepreneurs so that there will be more prosperity on our continent.
“We urge the President Muhammad Buhari’s led administration to improve access to electricity in the country for the benefit of the entrepreneurs,” he said.
Elumelu also revealed that the foundation had spent about 50 million dollars in the last five years to empower 4,470 African Entrepreneurs.
“We spend like 10 million dollars every year. It’s a ten year commitment.
‘’Every year we spend five million dollars directly for seed capital. We spend money for forum, the training, mentoring and so many other things.
“So about 10 million dollars is spent every year in supporting this programme.
“We are spending a little more now because of the additional number; we have an additional 2,050 and we have to train them,” he said.
lemelu said the foundation had set up a TF connect which is helping African entrepreneurs to connect and almost 700,000 of them were already on the platform.
He said that the eradication of poverty on the continent was the responsibility of all and urged well- meaning people to support the course for the benefit of all.
“What I see happening, if others were to come on board, we will be progressively reducing the level of poverty, increase female participation in economic activities on the continent and the number of jobs we create.”
Aisha Buhari, a guest at the Fifth Cohort of the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme in Abuja, expressed hope that TEF entrepreneurs would grow to inspire confidence in both local and foreign markets.
“They will be a source of immense value not just to the Nigeria real sector but to the entire African continent.
1,000 out of the 3,050 candidates from Africa would be directly funded by the Foundation and the additional 2,050 supported by the Foundation’s partners.
Buhari said the future Assured Programme of the Aisha Buhari Foundation shared the same Vision with the TEF aims to optimise potentials through interventions in health, education and empowerment.