Liberian Entrepreneurs Urged to Take Advantage of Tony Elemelu Program

Flashback: Liberian delegates at the 2017 Tony Elemelu Foundation program in Lagos, Nigeria

– Opens its 4th cycle online application portal

The head of Marketing and Corporate Communications at the United Bank for Africa (UBA), Melody M. Ketter, has called on Liberians to take advantage of the four-cycle Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) entrepreneurship program, from which they will benefit from online learning, mentoring and seed capital investment.

Sponsored by UBA, the foundation is a brainchild of billionaire Nigerian business mogul and philanthropist Tony Onyemaechi Elumelu. It opened its online portal and started accepting applications from January 1, until midnight of March 1, 2018.

Ketter, who spoke to journalists at the UBA head branch on Broad and Nelson Streets, Snapper Hill, said the TEF was established three years ago with the aim of establishing a ‘preeminent Pan Africa program’ designed to equip entrepreneurs with the skills needed to build strong and sustainable business in ten years.

“So, this time around we encourage women and men with business ideas from all sectors in Liberia to apply for this great opportunity that will put them in better positions that will enable them contribute to the economic growth of Liberia, provide over one million new jobs and create a new generation of empowered entrepreneurs.

“Since its inception, the foundation has funded, trained and equipped 300 entrepreneurs in three years,” she revealed, adding that seven Liberians entrepreneurs in various sectors had benefited from TEF’s mentorship program.

The UBA head of Marketing and Corporate Communication noted that successful applicants from the African continent are subsequently availed four critical tools for business success, including a 12-week intensive online training on creating and managing a business.

The second stage includes a world class mentorship to guide the early transformation stages of the business, while in the third stage entrepreneurs are availed US$5,000 in seed capital to improve their concept. The fourth and last stage paves the way for beneficiaries to access the largest network of African start-ups and TEF’s founder and UBA Group Chairman, philanthropist Elumelu.

“In this cycle, 1000 entrepreneurs will be selected from all over Africa based on the viability of the idea, including market, opportunity, financial understanding, scalability and leadership and understanding entrepreneurial skills demonstrated in the application,” Ketter said, adding that beneficiaries must be at least 18 years and based in Africa.

“For one to be eligible, the business must be based in Africa, must be for profit, must be at least three years old and applicants must be at least 18 years of age and a legal or citizen of an African country,” she stressed.

TEF founder, Tony O. Elumelu, said: “When we launched the TEF program and committed $100 million to empowering Africa’s entrepreneurs, I knew we would create impact, but I never imagined it would be impact of this magnitude. We have unleashed a movement of African entrepreneurs — a force so strong, so inspiring, that I am confident they will collectively transform Africa. We need Africa’s best and brightest entrepreneurs to come learn and grow their businesses and build our continent.”

TEF founder, Tony O. Elumelu

Chisom Anthony Bethel, one if the beneficiaries, hailed TEF, saying it had undertaken to curb unemployment in Africa. “The foundation has enabled me to inspire other youths by training them in start-up business ideas and solutions among others,” he said.

Similarly, another beneficiary, Michael Fayiah, the manager at Michomp Technology, said the initiative has helped him expand his business and has graduated 132 students from a four-month skills training program.

TEF is one of the largest private philanthropic organizations in Africa. It was established in 2010 to encourage and empower entrepreneurs, promote thought leadership and create an integrated entrepreneurial ecosystem that drives African entrepreneurship. Since it was founded, the TEF has catalyzed the development of entrepreneurs and innovators in Africa.

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