The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) has selected two Liberians for its Entrepreneurship Program 2017. A dispatch from the foundation says the two Liberians form part of the 1,000 entrepreneurs the Foundation selected out of over 93,000 applications received from 55 countries and territories in Africa, applied – more than twice 2016 applications and nearly four times 2015.
Menekenu Waritay and Michael W. Sartoma Pewu submitted competitive proposals on education and agriculture sectors respectively and will be trained and mentored. They will then use the skills acquired to develop a business plan. Following which, they be eligible to receive up to $10,000 in seed capital to implement.
The selected entrepreneurs will also do a 12-week course online after which they will travel for the boot-camp in Lagos, Nigeria.
The boot-camp includes learning relevant life skills and advanced business planning. Each participant will receive a guaranteed US$5,000 non-refundable seed capital investment from the founder, Mr. Tony Elumelu at the end of the boot-camp.
The Elumelu Entrepreneurship Program represents a decade-long commitment by the Tony Elumelu Foundation to bolster African entrepreneurship with the goal of identifying, creating and growing 10,000 African-owned businesses over the next 10 years that will generate one million new jobs and contribute US$10 billion in revenue across Africa.
Tony O. Elumelu commented: “For the third year, I am humbled by the quality and depth of the candidates, their determination and vision. I am so pleased that we can contribute in a meaningful way to the success of the next generation. Selection is getting more and more difficult, with the outstanding strength of all 93,000 applications and we are working on initiatives to help harness this extraordinary demonstration of Africa’s entrepreneurial talent.”
The Foundation’s long-term investment in empowering African entrepreneurs is emblematic of Mr. Elumelu’s philosophy of Africapitalism, which positions Africa’s private sector – and most importantly entrepreneurs – as the catalysts for the economic and social development of the continent.
In terms of sectors, agriculture drew the most applications, with 29 percent of applicants, followed by ICT 11 percent and manufacturing nine percent. Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, Uganda and Cameroon produced the most candidates. Women represent 39 percent of the applicant pool, up from 36 percent. “We are extremely happy that our attempts to attract applicants from across the whole continent have been successful and the figures illustrate the real diversity of opportunity,” Mr. Elumelu stated.
CEO, Parminder Vir OBE, said: “The achievements of each successive cohort is evidence of the transformative power of our Programme. We recently sampled 600 of our 2,000 entrepreneurs to analyse the Programme’s impact and have been impressed by the impact on employment we are having. We have also partnered with organisations, including Microsoft, GE, ECOWAS, to provide further benefits to our entrepreneurs.”
The Programme culminates in the two-day TEF Entrepreneurship Forum – the largest annual gathering of African entrepreneurs and the full entrepreneurship ecosystem from across the continent.