Entrepreneurs share success stories from Tony Elumelu Foundation
Entrepreneurs across Nigeria have continued to share their success stories after passing through the Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme.
Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme, which launched in 2015, includes a 12-week training, mentoring, and $5000 of seed funding. To date, more than 7,000 thousand aspiring entrepreneurs have gone through the programme.
In an interview with CNN’s African Voices Changemakers, Elumelu said that he wants to encourage young African entrepreneurs to succeed and surpass what his peers have done as African business leaders.
CNN travelled with Elumelu to meet some of the entrepreneurs who have become successful after completing the foundation’s programme. One of the businessmen is Ndubuisi Eze, who explained his initial business pitch. “I applied with just an idea of using drones to support crop dusting and also gather data on farms and that’s where the magic really started,” Eze said.
After gaining access to the intra-African trade fair through the Elumelu Foundation, Eze was spotted by a Singaporean minister and today his drone company is up and running in Singapore.
Eze said his success would not have been possible without the Elumelu Foundation.
“Without the Elumelu Foundation Programme, there was no way, not a chance for this idea that I had at that time to take off. The programme not only helped the business plan, it put us through on how to evaluate customer acquisitions, and the business canvass helps you to break down where you are going to get your resources.”
Eze now has plans to start his own training programme. There are many others in a position to give back to their communities after going through Elumelu’s foundation.
CNN met Oduwa Agboneni, who grew her mechanic business, thanks to the entrepreneurship programme. She detailed how she employed local people for her growing business. “We have about 20 people working with us— five of them are interns because we also encourage interns from the university,” Agboneni said.
As part of the Entrepreneurship Forum, Elumelu was interviewed by CNN’s Fareed Zakaria. He asked about Elumelu’s motivations behind the foundation.
“I believe the best legacy is the lives that we touch. We have the privilege to do so. It’s not just about my bank balances. I came to this with nothing, so it’s about what I worked so hard, I’m using it to help others,” Elumelu said.
The Forum also provided Elumelu with an opportunity to address the aspiring entrepreneurs. His message was a significant one. “The future of Africa is firmly and indeed in your hands. The journey for the development and transformation of Africa cannot happen without you all,” he said.