By Sonia Odita
The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) has signed a N400M partnership with the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), through the Export Expansion Facility Programme (EEFP) to accelerate the performance of 50 TEF Entrepreneurs in Nigeria within the non-oil Export Sector through second-stage funding.
According to TEF’s CEO, Ifeyinwa Ugochukwu, the foundation has dialed up several notches on turning the spotlight on African entrepreneurs!
“On Wednesday in Abuja, we signed a N400M partnership with the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), through the Export Expansion Facility Programme (EEFP) to accelerate the performance of 50 TEF Entrepreneurs in Nigeria within the non-oil Export Sector through second-stage funding.
“Recently at the 2021 Africa Debate, I presented the TEF model of empowering grassroots African Entrepreneurs who do not have any access to traditional means of funding – institutional loans, financial instruments, debt financing. They neither have the network of family and friends to invest in their ideas nor interest from VC communities home and abroad.
“Our funding is usually their very first and goes a long way in helping them prove their concepts. With TEF Support, they not only get the opportunity to operationalize their business ideas, but our continued guidance grows them into more competitive start-ups that become viable and valuable, especially as we witness growing global interest in African start-ups.
“As I spoke on Empowering Women and Youths to Spur Africa’s Transformation Agenda at the West African Business Forum, I shared impressive success stories of our highflying entrepreneurs, spread across all 54 African countries. Did you know that our alumni have created over 400,000 direct and indirect jobs? Talk about impact! Our TEF Entrepreneurs and their businesses continue to validate the Foundation’s work and commitment to eradicating poverty, driving job creation and transforming the African continent through the potent force of entrepreneurship.
“More good news! This year, the Foundation will fund over 3,000 women owned businesses across the continent, meaning for the first time ever we close the gender gap! The first of the Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme, we had less than 25% female representation. 5 cycles after, we have more than doubled this ratio. Even as we empower and bring on board new entrepreneurs at TEF, we continue to support our existing alumni.
“All TEF Women entrepreneurs will be eligible to receive up to €50,000 in further grant support, combined with high-level technical assistance, access to market support and other value add that will help scale their businesses, thanks to our ongoing partnership with the European Commission and the OACPS. At TEF, the support we give to our entrepreneurs never ends!
“We are proud to foster a new narrative of entrepreneurship on the continent. Our entrepreneurs have successfully created and deployed solutions to help their communities adjust to living in a pandemic. From handwashing systems, 3D printed face shields, patient tracking devices, medical professional support applications, food and essential needs delivery applications, educative content for children, our TEF Alumni have done it all, further attracting additional financing from several VCs and Private Equity firms.
“Across the HH Group, we share a common goal of improving lives and transforming Africa; of achieving economic prosperity for all. And if there is one thing we have witnessed first-hand at the Foundation, it is that putting our people first and empowering them through their very capable hands and innovative minds, gets us there sooner. We are proud to be the philanthropic arm of the HH Group, and hope that you are proud of us too!”