BusinessDay

Tony Elumelu Foundation to give $5000 each to 3369 female entrepreneurs

The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), the leading philanthropy empowering African entrepreneurs across all 54 African countries, is giving out $5,000 seed capital each to 3369 female entrepreneurs.

This implies that the Foundation is giving out a total sum of $16.8m non-refundable grant to young African female entrepreneurs as part of the 2021 Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme.

The young women, numbering 3,369, make up over 68 percent of the total candidates selected this year.

Tony Elumelu disclosed this via his instagram page @tonyoelumelu where he hailed Awele Vivien Elumelu, Trustee of the Tony Elumelu Foundation for the initiative and for silently supporting female entrepreneurs in Africa.

“This year alone, the Tony Elumelu Foundation disbursement is $24.75m to 5,000 African SMEs for #TEF2021 Programme,” he added.

Since inception, The Tony Elumelu Foundation has been deliberate in its support for female entrepreneurs. TEF Alumni have gone on to directly create an additional 35,000 jobs for women, reiterating its position to create an ecosystem where everyone, regardless of their gender benefits from equal opportunity to scale and thrive.

In June 2021, the Foundation announced a $3million grant from Google.org to complement the 2021 TEF Entrepreneurship Programme. During this period, 500 additional rural-based aspiring women entrepreneurs received seed capital of $5,000.

These 500 aspiring African women entrepreneurs came from Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa and select Francophone countries. The objective is to increase economic inclusion, improve economies and further empower these rural-based women to lift them from poverty, strengthen their livelihoods and incomes, while creating more decent jobs in the African economy.

Addressing this announcement, the CEO, Ifeyinwa Ugochukwu commented, “As Africa’s leading philanthropy empowering young African entrepreneurs, this grant support will provide financial and technical support for additional women-owned businesses and marginalised groups in the informal sector through the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme.

“There is no better time to invest in women’s economic participation on the continent than now. Through this support, women will drive growth for local economies and enable better living conditions for their communities. We are delighted to disburse the Google.org grant to scale our ongoing work to empower young African entrepreneurs as we believe this will be instrumental in building the much-needed businesses and resilient economies.”

This announcement directly correlates with the foundation’s mission to catalyse economic growth, drive poverty eradication, and ensure job creation in Africa.

Selection prioritised informal businesses, further equipping them with digital skills through TEFConnect, its proprietary digital platform supporting millions of African entrepreneurs with access to free resources for professional development, knowledge-sharing opportunities and quality market linkages.

Nitin Gajria, managing director of Google Sub-Saharan Africa, echoed a dedication to building a world where all women can thrive. Looking at data collected by the World Bank across 10 African countries, he revealed that male-owned enterprises have six times more capital than female-owned enterprises.

For him, “The huge capital gap is not stopping the rise of female entrepreneurs, but it slows them down and makes their journeys that much more challenging. We hope that the support to The Tony Elumelu Foundation will help accelerate the growth of women tech-makers and entrepreneurs in Africa.”

TEF’s Women Entrepreneurship for Africa (WE4A) programme is an action jointly supported by the European Union (EU), the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and implemented by the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), and the German Development agency GIZ (E4D programme).

It is focused on empowering underserved communities in Sub-Saharan Africa comprising women, youth, and the informal sector.

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