• Friday, April 19, 2024
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The future of our country depends on entrepreneurs – Elumelu


  The future of our country to a large extent depends on entrepreneurs, Tony Elumelu, founder, Tony Elumelu Foundation, and chairman, Heirs Holdings, said recently in Lagos at the inaugural Nigeria50 Awards.

Elumelu said Nigeria’s entrepreneurs should be firmly encouraged to continue making sustainable investments in the local economy, as this will form a new approach towards building competitive industries in Africa.

The Tony Elumelu Foundation and United States-based AllWorld Network, which ranks dynamic fast-growth private companies globally, hosted the inaugural Nigeria50 Awards in Lagos last week, to honour 50 of Nigeria’s most innovative and fastest-growing companies. Nigeria Fast Growth 50 is poised to generate much-needed excitement about entrepreneurship and its role in the future prosperity of Nigeria. The showcase opportunity is part of the wider mission of the Tony Elumelu Foundation to champion and celebrate entrepreneurship and competitiveness across Africa, starting from Nigeria, according to findings.

“We are committed to developing the future leaders of industry in Africa,” said Elumelu, “The Tony Elumelu Foundation has dedicated itself to the promotion of entrepreneurship, and the creation of an enabling environment for business leaders to reach their maximum potential and transform their communities. This is how economic prosperity for all will be achieved; this is what adds social value to the people of Africa.”

According to him, “All 50 companies demonstrate Nigeria’s capacity for dynamic growth and investment,” adding that “these are African entrepreneurs investing for the long term in Africa, driving Nigeria and Africa’s economic development – a key pillar of Africapitalism. They are showing that the private sector has what it takes to turn economies around dramatically.”

In his view, the founding patron, The Tony Elumelu Foundation, and AllWorld co-founder, Michael Porter, said, “It is entrepreneurs who are going to change the developing world, not governments. The Nigeria50 is not about 50 companies, but a process of changing the status quo, representing the leading edge of a new approach to the region’s competitiveness.”

Also at a lecture delivered at The Tony Elumelu Foundation office in Lagos, Porter, who was described by the Times of London as the world’s “most influential management guru” and widely regarded as the foremost authority on company and country competitiveness, shared on competitive strategy, addressing entrepreneurs and business leaders on how best to sustain market advantage.

Porter who also met with the members of the recently-inaugurated National Competitiveness Council of Nigeria (NCCN), chaired by Olusegun Aganga, minister of trade and investment, delivered a timely lecture on how to improve the productivity and competitiveness of the Nigerian business environment, which is experiencing a lot of changes under the transformation agenda. Improved performance in this area, he said, will help Nigeria’s private sector become more productive and competitive.

Suffice to say that the winning entrepreneurs have diverse professional backgrounds and run companies in energy, information technology, agriculture, management consulting, financial services, logistics, and medical practice sectors, among others.

Arjan Mirchandani runs the number one company, Euro Global Foods and Distilleries Limited, which blends, bottles and distributes beverages with inputs sourced from local farmers. Mirchandani is aiming to create a positive change in blending and bottling in Nigeria by establishing processing facilities that support local farmers and the greater agricultural sector, while also creating jobs. The runner up is Swiss Biostadt Limited, a medical services company owned by Emmanuel Ajayi. In third place is Global Oceon Engineers, a Lekki-based engineering services company founded in 2007 by Seun Faluyi.