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Women Take The Lead As Tony Elumelu’s Foundation Unveils 2021 Beneficiaries



Women Take The Lead As Tony Elumelu’s Foundation Unveils 2021 Beneficiaries


John Michael Ojo

Africas largest platform for the development and empowerment of African entrepreneurs, Tony Elumelu Foundation, has unveiled its 2021 beneficiaries of 4949 entrepreneurs, cutting across different sectors among the 54 countries in Africa.

The event which took place on Friday had a total of 68.7% of women entrepreneurs as beneficiaries.

At the inauguration, the Director of Operation, Tony Elumelu Foundation, Titi Akinola stated that African entrepreneurs hold many possibilities to transform the continent and that the day was to celebrate the dynamism, resilience, and the abilities of these entrepreneurs.

She said: “Today we are supporting the eco-system, working to meet the immediate needs of African entrepreneurs whether be it access to space, access to training and resources, access to funding, access to dignity and agency all working together to make sure that the challenges of inaccessibility are solved.”

Describing the impact Covid-19 had on African entrepreneurs, Akinola stated that African entrepreneurs were the most vulnerable as so many small and medium scale enterprises were deeply affected with so many dreams dashed and plans halted.

Akinola who revealed that the foundation did not follow its business plan last years due to the pandemic stressed that the foundation was a source of encouragement and hope to hundreds of thousands of young entrepreneurs in the continent and that it did things a little bit different.

READ ALSO: Tony Elumelu Foundation Funds 5000 From 54 African Countries In 2021

“We leveraged heavily on technology, for the first time we made our training modules and other resources available to hundreds of thousands of entrepreneurs, providing them with ready made solutions at the comfort of their home. Our modules this year were designed to accommodate entrepreneurs with different learning abilities, ensuring that no one is left out of our intervention”, she said.

She thanked the partners of the foundation, noting that it would not have been possible to achieve this great feat if they were not supportive. She also used the occasion to plead that the partners should continue to support African entrepreneurs by liking, purchasing, investing or providing extra funding for the businesses of young African entrepreneurs.

Unveiling the 2021 TEF beneficiaries, the Chairman of Evon Health Care and Chief Executive Officer of Evon Medicals, Dr. Awele Elumelu who doubles as the co-founder, Tony Elumelu Foundation, commended the 2021 TEF applicants who she  said showed deligency, hardwork, innovation and resilience.

She stated that “The aim of TEF was to empower ten thousand African entrepreneurs in ten years with an average of a thousand beneficiary each year. I am pleased to announce to you that we have an exact figure, four thousand four hundred and forty-nine African entrepreneurs. I am also happy to note that this year’s class has the highest number of female beneficiaries constituting 68 percent. By now I am sure you know that if you empower a woman, you empower a whole community and create a brighter society for all.

“This class as previous years represents a diverse range of interests from agriculture to health care, education and fashion all working towards a common goal. These men and women are disruptors, innovators and are the future leaders of industries. I am confident that these men and women will be excellent ambassadors of the foundation and for entrepreneurship programme. I am excited to see and read about their future success,” she added.

On her part, a panelist and one of the 2021 beneficiaries, Lungile Divine Marhungane a South African from Limpopo Province disclosed that the has received a lot of support and mentorship from the foundation since she was selected for the programme. Marhungane noted that it was one thing to have a business plan in mind and another thing to implement that and that the foundation has helped her with  many other things.

Referring to her childhood experience and her inspiration, she said: “My business is water purification. I grew up in an environment  where water is not easily accessible and when it is accessible, it will not be clean and we all know that water needs to be clean in order to prevent otherwise. So, I use Marcadamia shells to purify water instead of chemicals.”

Also, Leroy Mwasaru, an alumni of the foundation and founder of Greenpact who runs a bio-gas energy industry in Kenya said he became a beneficiary of TEF at the age of eighteen. He described the support he has got from the foundation as what is obtainable in  a father and son relationship.

READ ALSO: Tony Elumelu Foundation Announces Three Senior Executive Appointments

Mwasaru stated that he was into waste management when he was selected and has now diversified into bio-gas with about thirty employees currently working with him.

He urged  intending entrepreneurs to start regardless of the little resource they have even if no one was watching. “If you start something, the universe will conspire to make the mission possible for you. You must be focused, because as a young person, there are so many things in the space and it is just important for you to know the right thing for you and the number of right decisions that you make,” he cautioned.

Founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, Mr. Tony O. Elumelu said:  “To you young African entrepreneurs – work hard, dream dreams, and be very disciplined. You must continue to think of impact. The entrepreneurship journey is not linear – there are ups and downs, but by staying focused and resilient, ultimately success will come your way. The future of our continent is in your hands. What you do as entrepreneurs will go a long way in lifting Africa out of poverty. I am happy that our female entrepreneurs are doing very well, with 68% representation this year.”

He added: “To our African leaders –  these young, intelligent, energetic hardworking, resilient Africans are ready to go. We need to keep creating the right enabling environment to enable our young ones to succeed. We must realise that their success is success for all of us on the continent. We must prioritise them because nations and continents that prioritise their people, succeed. To my fellow business leaders, let us realise that in the 21st century and beyond, it is about impact, legacy and about how we work together to power people out of poverty. It is such a great feeling to see 5000 young Africans also commence their own entrepreneurial journeys today.”

In his remarks, President Muhammadu Buhari described Tony Elumelu as a global icon, whose business and philanthropic interests have continued to create opportunities for growth and development not only in Nigeria, but Africa in general.

“I would like to specifically congratulate the Tony Elumelu Foundation on this extraordinary humanitarian act of funding 4,949 entrepreneurs!

“I am particularly pleased that this year alone, the Tony Elumelu Foundation will fund 1,522 Nigerian entrepreneurs from all the 36 States and Federal Capital Territory of the Federation. This unifying act by a private sector leader is commendable and worthy of emulation by others,” the President said.

READ ALSO; Shell sells 30% stake in OML 17 to Elumelu’s TNOG

He noted that entrepreneurship and youth empowerment were important components of the work of his administration, adding that, “we believe that they are the key to the future and recognize that by empowering our youth, we will build businesses that in turn sustain our economy.”

Also speaking at the event, Assistant Administrator, UNDP/Director, UNDP Regional Bureau for Africa, Ms. Ahunna Eziakonwa stated: “Our partnership with the Tony Elumelu Foundation on youth entrepreneurship is informed by our belief that Africa will only succeed when young Africans are given the opportunity to excel. This is what has inspired us to invest more than $20 million in emerging African entrepreneurs since we entered into our partnership with the Tony Elumelu Foundation. Our joint ambition is to empower 100,000 young African entrepreneurs over the next ten years across Africa, recognising that entrepreneurship is the only way dreams can be realised.”

In her closing remark, the Chief Executive Officer of Tony Elumelu Foundation, Ifeyinwa Ugochukwu stated that the foundation has trained more entrepreneurs this year than it has done since its inception. “Today, we have trained ten times more young African entrepreneurs than we have trained from 2015 to 2019 combined. Today in 2021, we will be paying out a record US$24,750,000 directly to the hands of African entrepreneurs from all 54 African countries. This is impact,” she added.


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BREAKING:Nigeria Air Launch A Fraud – Reps



Nigeria Air

The House of Representatives on Monday faulted the purported launch of Nigeria Air in the last days of the administration of former President, Muhammadu Buhari.

The Chairman of the House Committee on Aviation, Nnolim Nnaji, declared the launch of Nigeria Air a fraud after the major stakeholders in the deal between the Federal Government and Ethiopian Airlines denied knowledge of the launch.

The Ministry of Aviation claimed Nigeria Air was only unveiled and not launched, which the committee dismissed as an attempt to divert the lawmakers’ attention.

Members of the committee were shocked when NAMA disclosed that the aircraft bearing Nigerian colours was on a chartered flight to Nigeria.

Other stakeholders who confirmed the disclosure noted that a chartered flight could be painted in any colour and with any inscriptions.

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BREAKING: CBN Speaks On Devaluation Of Naira To N630/$1



BREAKING: Old Naira Notes Deadline Stays - Emefiele
CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele

The Central Bank of Nigeria ( CBN) on Thursday denied devaluing the naira .

This clarification came from the
Acting Director, Corporate Communication, Dr. Isa AbdulMumin, in a statement titled, “CBN Has Not Devalued the Naira”.

He said: “The attention of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has been drawn to a news report… titled “CBN Devalues Naira To 630/31”.

“We wish to state categorically that this news report, which in the imagination of the newspaper is exclusive, is replete with outright FALSEHOODS and destabilizing innuendos, reflecting potentially willful ignorance of the said medium as to the workings of the Nigerian Foreign Exchange Market.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the exchange rate at the Investors’ & Exporters’ (I&E) window traded this moming (June 1, 2023) at N465/US$1 and has been stable around this rate for a while.”

The bank advised the public to ignore the news report in its entirety, saying it’s speculative and calculated at causing panic in the market.

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BREAKING: After Subsidy Removal, NNPC Increases Petrol Price To Over N500



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President Tinubu

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC) on Wednesday adjusted the pump price of petrol by over 100% to between N488 and N557.

The development followed the announcement by President Bola Tinubu during his inaugural address on Monday that fuel subsidy was ‘gone’.

However, it was learnt that the president will meet with organised labour from 2pm Thursday (today) afternoon.

The prices have now been adjusted upward from between N189 to N194 to N537 per litre in Abuja and other North-central States.

For Lagos and other South-west states, a litre of fuel now sells for between N488 and N500 per litre.

In the South-east, the price will range from N515 to N520, while in the North-west, the price of the product was raised to N540. In the North-east, it moved from N199 to N557 per litre.

For the South-south, it is now from N511 to N525 per litre. Nigeria’s subsidy budget of N3.6 trillion for this year, expires in June, 2023.

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