Parminder Vir is the Chief Executive Officer of the Tony Elumelu Foundation. In this account with Ibrahim Apekhade Yusuf she speaks on the aftereffect of the Foundation’s socioeconomic action beyond Africa adverse the milestones achieved, challenges and approaching opportunities. Excerpts:
Focus of this year’s anniversary Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) Entrepreneurship Forum One of the best active aspects of the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme is the anniversary TEF Entrepreneurship Forum. The 4th anniversary Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Forum is demography abode on 25th October at the Federal Palace Hotel, Lagos, Nigeria. The Forum has developed and calibration every year with over 5000 entrepreneurs and the entrepreneurship ecosystem players accepted to assemble on Lagos for this year’s Forum.
This year, we are adulatory the 2018 beneficiaries of our Entrepreneurship Programme bringing the absolute beneficiaries of our $100million berry capital, mentoring and world-class training to 4,470 African entrepreneurs. The Forum is additionally an befalling for the entrepreneurs to appoint with and apprentice from with accustomed entrepreneurs, all-around investors, leaders from the African accessible and clandestine sectors and adorning organisations.
In befitting with the Foundation’s clue record¯most afresh with President Macron of France¯of bringing politicians face to face with the new bearing of adolescent business women and men abstraction Africa, the Forum will accommodate an alternate affair with President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya and President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana, chastened by TEF Founder, Tony O. Elumelu.
We will additionally barrage TEFConnect, the world’s bigger agenda belvedere for African entrepreneurs, committed to aing African entrepreneurs and the entrepreneurship ecosystem.
The programme will additionally accommodate a abode babble with TEF Trustee, Gavi Champion for Immunisation in Africa and CEO, Avon Medical, Dr. Awele Elumelu, chastened by CNNMoney Africa Correspondent, Eleni Giokos, on “The Role of the Clandestine Area in Furthering Economic Development beyond Africa.” An alternate casting accident and anticipation console with a array of board from the clandestine area and development organisations.
Impact appropriately far
In aloof four years, we accept anon impacted 4,470 entrepreneurs, and we are alpha to see the results: they are creating jobs, breeding revenues and authoritative a amusing appulse through their businesses. This year began to clue the advance of the 3010 entrepreneurs who accelerating amid 2015 – 2017 and our abstraction of aloof 1472 entrepreneurs who responded to the assay shows they accept generated USD 52, 486, 234 afterwards achievement compared to USD 18, 155, 241 afore they were called for the programme. In agreement of jobs, the aforementioned 1472 entrepreneurs, accept created 11, 971 jobs compared to 4034 afore they were called for the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme. Furthermore, our abstraction shows that aloft commutual the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme, 62% of these businesses are now absolutely operational while 29% accept now become partly operational. This additionally explains the astounding advance in jobs (15% of the entrepreneurs now administer at atomic 10 people) and acquirement (13% of the entrepreneurs now accomplish aloft $50,000 annually) recorded afterwards the Entrepreneurship Programme.
With commendations to gender representation, over the years, the Foundation has fabricated it a antecedence to ensure that both changeable and macho entrepreneurs accept an according befalling to administer unto the programme. When the programme was launched in 2015, 76% of the applicants to the Programme were macho while 24% were female. As a result, macho applicants accounted for 71% of the entrepreneurs eventually called into the programme while changeable applicants accounted for alone 29%.
Given this cogent gender disparity, the Foundation developed strategies to actualize acquaintance about the programme amidst women and animate them to administer for the programme. To accomplish this, the Foundation ensured that advertisements and promotions of the programme were targeted appear women. On amusing media, profiles of acknowledged changeable entrepreneurs on the programme were acclimated to animate ambitious changeable entrepreneurs to administer to the programme. Changeable alumni of the programme took this a footfall added by organising workshops and trainings to abetment them in their application.
The aftereffect of all these activities was that by 2018, the gap had decidedly reduced, macho applicants accounted for 58.8% of absolute applicants (down from 76% in 2015) while changeable applicants accounted for 41.2% (up from 24% in 2015). Similarly, in agreement of selection, the cardinal of called macho applicants fell to 65% (from 71% in 2015) while called changeable applicants added to 35% (from 29%) in 2015.
In agreement of the appulse of the Seven Pillars of the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme, the 1472 entrepreneurs who responded to the survey, we see that both the 12-week action apparatus kit and the mentorship accustomed at atomic a 70% aerial appulse appraisement while 61% of them adumbrated that TEF provided them with the aboriginal berry basic for their business. So clearly, the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme is accepting an impact. We will be ablution the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme: 2015-2017 Advance Report at the TEF Forum on the 25th October which will accommodate added assay and insights of appulse beyond sectors, regions and business location.
Paramount to the success of TEF Entrepreneurship Programme is our connected assurance with the entrepreneurs who accept auspiciously completed the programme because we are architecture to last. We advance acquaintance with the entrepreneurs both online and offline.
Through the online TEF Online Hub, we accept congenital Africa’s bigger online arrangement of African entrepreneurs for cantankerous bound business growth, skills, and ability sharing. TEF Hub is the go-to destination for TEF Alumni and our value-add partners, who accommodate advancing products; business information, advising services, addition capital, bazaar access, skills/training, and accumulation alternation affiliation for TEF Alumni. This is additionally the belvedere through which we advance the arising entrepreneurship networks beyond Africa and globally, important for business opportunities, architecture cantankerous country networks and adopting a ability of entrepreneurship.
In 2017, we launched TEF Entrepreneurship Awards to recognise the achievements of TEF entrepreneurs from the 54 African countries to accession their profiles and affect investors and policy-makers to recognise and abutment African entrepreneurs. We additionally launched TEF Forum Pitch Competition and we accept added TEF Africa Bazaar Abode to the TEF Forum area TEF Entrepreneurs can advertise and advertise their articles and casework to a assorted and across-the-board pan-African gathering.
Access to accounts
Access to accounts charcoal one of the bigger challenges for African startups and SMEs. To accredit TEF entrepreneurs to admission capital, we accept formed a ambit of assorted partnerships with banking casework providers and investors to mobilise both aboriginal date and advance date financing.
Contrary to the acumen that African start-ups are chancy investments, we accept abounding affirmation that they are bankable provided they are accustomed the appropriate business development abutment as accurate by our entrepreneurship development programme. Based on this we accept encouraged bartering banks to embrace SMEs and to set up SME desks as allotment of their services.
We accept active a affiliation with Agence Francaise De Development (AFD) to accommodate accident agreement arrangement with United Bank for Africa (UBA). In 2018, we will added alter and deepen the partnerships amid banking casework providers and investors with the TEF entrepreneurs.
Through our assurance with African start-ups, we are acquainted that banking articulacy is the anemic articulation and we accept added our banking administering modules to abutment them. We are additionally acquainted that the accounts area additionally needs to be accomplished to bigger serve start-ups and are alive with angel networks, announcement accessible clandestine grants and abstruse assistance, adventure capital, clandestine equity, and banking institutions. TEFConnect will body an broker arrangement on the agenda platform.
Opportunities for amplification
The TEF Entrepreneurship Programme started in 2015 with 20,000 applicants and by 2018 this amount had developed to 151,692 from beyond 54 African countries. Accustomed the accelerated admission in the numbers African start-ups applying, in 2017, we began to calibration and carbon the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme with cardinal ally who can abutment the alternative of added entrepreneurs to the programme. While TEF provides the training and mentorship for their businesses, All-embracing Committee of the Red Cantankerous (ICRC) accept sponsored 200 entrepreneurs in the post-conflict areas of Nigeria with a charge of $1million berry capital. United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) accept provided $200,000 to abutment 40 pan-African entrepreneurs with $5,000 berry basic funding. Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) German development bureau has committed €1million to empower 210 added adolescent and changeable tech entrepreneurs in called East and West African countries. Agence Française de Développement (AFD) is accouterment a risk-sharing agreement framework for loans for Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurs to admission loans from UBA. They accept additionally committed accounts for collective analysis to clue the appulse of the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme. We are additionally admiring to allotment that Indorama Corporation has apprenticed $100,000 to abutment 20 Nigerian entrepreneurs with $5,000 berry basic allotment in 2017 and 2018.
Other partnerships accommodate Microsoft, Sage One and GE for advancing business development abutment casework and admission to markets for the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme Alumni.
Driving addition and creativity?
The Tony Elumelu Foundation is active addition and adroitness through its advance in the pan-African start-ups and SMEs. The called entrepreneurs accept business development training through our 12-week Start-up Action Toolkit, accurate by Mentors called from about the world, business plan reviews by Accenture, followed by the seamless cost of absolute berry basic to the condoning TEF entrepreneurs beyond 54 African countries. This is innovation.
Over the four years, we accept added the cardinal of women business owners from aloof 24% in 2015 to 41% in 2018. We accept invested in entrepreneurs in agriculture, ICT, fashion, manufacturing, education, and training, media and entrainment who are all developing adult business and acquirement models and active addition and adroitness through their articles and services.
Many accept auspiciously leveraged their affiliation with the Foundation to win awards; admission new funding; business abutment services; training; cantankerous bound barter beyond Africa and the apple breeding revenues and creating jobs. The Foundation has congenital an investible activity of 4,460 entrepreneurs who are a applicable advance befalling for African and all-around business beyond the aerial advance sectors.
Technology addition and barter are important drivers and we accept congenital proprietary robust, scalable, and cloud-based multilingual technology platforms for Applications, Mentor Learning, Documents Management, and Alumni Engagement. These platforms are the Foundations greatest assets, facilitating ability exchange, artefact promotion, networking and enabling the Foundation to affix African entrepreneurs beyond the continent. We accept a database of over 300,000 African entrepreneurs from 54 African countries which is set to abound and will anatomy the foundation for TEF Analysis Publications.
Challenges adverse African entrepreneurs
Entrepreneurs face astronomic challenges throughout their ambitious journey. Amidst the challenges the TEF Entrepreneurs say they face are: Accessing start-up basic for their businesses. This can be addressed if banks and added academic lenders can abate the accessory requirements.
Operating costs to buy machinery, equipment, technology or raw abstracts bare to operate. Power of advance is the bigger challenge. Government adjustment and acquiescence from business registration, article government can calmly fix by ambience up on stop windows for SMEs Finding, training and application aptitude is a claiming for those aggravating to abound their businesses.
Financing the activity
The Foundation is absolutely adjourned by the Founder Mr Tony O. Elumelu CON. Since we launched the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme in 2015, we accept invested over $30 actor in the abutment of 4000 entrepreneurs. Of this, $20 actor has been acclimated for absolute berry basic investments to the entrepreneurs while $10 actor has been deployed to body the programmes basement including the scalable proprietary technology platforms, acquirements content, TEF Entrepreneurship Forums, meetups and events, pan-African marketing, and programme administration. Our all-embracing ally AFD, ICRC, UNDP, GIZ banking abutment goes anon to sponsor added entrepreneurs with berry capital.
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