US Consulate commits $105,000 to support Nigerian entrepreneurs

… partners TEF to select 20 businesses

The United States Consulate in Nigeria has committed a public diplomacy grant of $105, 000 to support the training of entrepreneurs from southern part of Nigeria under the 2019 Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme (TEF).

“Under this partnership, we selected 20 ‘U.S. Consulate/TEF Fellows’ to receive additional entrepreneurship training through a day-long programme at the U.S. consulate general that utilises some of the resources of the Young African Leaders Initiative, including alumni of the Mandela Washington Fellowship,” Claire Pierangelo, U.S. consul general, said at a joint press conference in Lagos last Thursday.

She said the 20 Fellows were selected from the Consular District with a priority placed on five key sectors, which were energy, technology, transportation, agriculture, and health.

Pierangelo explained that the programme was intended to give the Fellows insight to innovative US business models that would help them manage their businesses, market their products or services, seek capital, and develop partnerships.

She said the U.S. Mission was interested in supporting Nigerian entrepreneurs because its primary goal was to support Nigeria’s economic development.

“And entrepreneurship is a key driver of economic growth and success. That is why the U.S. Department of State supports entrepreneurs all over the world by working with host nation governments and non-government organisations such as the Tony Elumelu Foundation,” she further said.

Ifeyinwa Ugochukwu , chief executive officer of TEF, said the purpose of the partnership was to leverage the novel philanthropy pioneered by TEF focused on empowering African entrepreneurs.

“We are very excited that the United States Consulate has partnered with us to extend the impact of the Foundation here in Nigeria. The partnership will replicate the tried and tested TEF Entrepreneurship Programme model, in response to the problem of youth unemployment across the African continent, and Nigeria in this case,” she said.

She explained that the Fellows benefitting from the programme would receive training, mentoring, business plan review, non-refundable seed capital investment, and have access to numerous networking opportunities.

Adebowale Daniel Oluwatosin,  one of the entrepreneurs supported by the US Consulate, said he has got a contract of N1.2 million and has 10 team members, thanks to the support from the consulate.



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