The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) has announced plans to include 50 additional Beninese entrepreneurs to its usual selection of 1000 African entrepreneurs for training and sponsorship every year.
The additional beneficiaries will be trained and sponsored based on a partnership between the foundation and Sèmè City, who will invest $250,000, a statement from the TEF revealed.
Speaking about the partnership, the incoming CEO of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, Ifeyinwa Ugochukwu said: “We have always advocated for a collaboration between the public and private sector and this partnership exemplifies our conviction that working together to empower African entrepreneurs is the only way to create sustainable economic development on the continent”.
According to Claude Borna, the managing director, Sèmè City Development Agency, Sèmè City supports innovative entrepreneurship so that it becomes a key growth factor to boost productivity, create jobs and help improve the quality of life in Benin. With its unique large-scale programme that promotes “Africapitalism”, the Tony Elumelu Foundation is a partner of choice to accomplish our mission of developing a vibrant knowledge-based economy in Benin.
The Beninese entrepreneurs to be selected will be those with innovative projects across various sectors ranging from tourism to health, energy, ICT, environment, fashion, media, entertainment and agriculture.
The statement from TEF further disclosed that the partnership aims to provide beneficiaries with the necessary skills to develop high-impact ventures as well as encourage female entrepreneurship.
“The 50 beneficiaries will be selected in addition to the 1,000 African entrepreneurs selected during the 5th edition of the Foundation’s flagship Entrepreneurship Program.
The beneficiaries will benefit from the training and mentorship programme offered by the Foundation, at the end of which they will receive $ 5,000 each to develop their businesses which will, in turn, contribute to the creation of jobs and wealth in Africa,” the statement read.
Other partners of the Tony Elumelu Foundation who have committed to empowering additional entrepreneurs include Indorama, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).
Sèmè City will thus join a growing list of governments, development agencies and private sector organisations partnering with the Tony Elumelu Foundation to explore the Foundation’s sustainable model of philanthropy geared at addressing the root cause of poverty in Africa while creating jobs and economic wealth for all.
Sèmè City is described by the foundation as the international knowledge and innovation campus that brings together higher education and professional training institutions, research centers, incubators, as well as open innovation spaces. Its mission is to put knowledge, innovation, and entrepreneurship at the service of inclusive and sustainable development and its objective is to create 190 000 new jobs by 2030 including at least 40 percent by women and 30 percent self-employed.
Interested entrepreneurs are encouraged to apply for the programme on www.tefconnect.com.