The gathering, expected to be the largest of African entrepreneurs, will involve about 1,000 people, selected from over 45,000 applicants in 54 African countries.
As part of the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme’s 10-year, $100 million commitment, participants are now eligible to receive up to $10,000 seed capital to implement their business plans. Elumelu Entrepreneurs represent sectors as diverse as agriculture and fashion. Thirty-six per cent of those chosen were women, a significant increase on the first year’s twenty-four per cent. Entrepreneurs range from 18 to 54 years old.
“The TEF Forum is the centrepiece of the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme, and through it, we are giving from the perspective of empowering the recipient, instead of making them dependent on us,” explained Elumelu.
“As a result, our entrepreneurs will change the face of Africa, creating a wave of dynamic African businesses, bringing wealth to their communities and countries, and driving economic growth across the whole continent,” he added.
Commenting, the foundation’s chief executive, Parminder Vir, said: “We are proud to have established a uniqueplatform for African entrepreneurs to forge relationships and business partnerships. In doing so, we are creating an ecosystem that fosters innovation and collaboration, on a scale few believed possible.”
The Forum allows entrepreneurs to share and gain knowledge, build cross border partnerships, and connect with investors and policymakers. The first day features plenary panels, masterclasses, TED-style talks and sector specific networking opportunities. The second day is a policy-led gathering, focused on improving the enabling environment.
The Foundation’s long-term investment in empowering African entrepreneurs is emblematic of Tony Elumelu’s philosophy of Africapitalism, which positions Africa’s private sector, and most importantly entrepreneurs, as the catalyst for the social and economic development of the continent.