Tony Elumelu, Founder of Tony Elumelu Foundation, speaking at the unveiling of the 2019 TEF EntrepreneursThe Tony Elumelu Foundation, on Friday, unveiled finalists of its 2019 entrepreneurs drawn from 54 African countries.
The event which took place in Abuja had in attendance the Wife of the President, Aisha Buhari, wives of Governors of Kogi and Nasarawa States, the founder, Tony Elemule among others.
More than 3,000 applicants were selected for the 2019 cohort of the Foundation’s flagship Entrepreneurship Programme.
According to the foundation, the applicants were selected from the 216,000 submitted applications representing 58% male, 42% female.
Some of the parameters used in selecting shortlisted applicants included feasibility, market opportunity, scalability, leadership skill and viability of the idea.
Founder of TEF, Tony Elumelu stressed the importance of private sector in the development of Africa’s economy.
He noted that the small and medium scale enterprises were main drivers of the economic transformation.
“No one but us will develop our continent. The private sector has a key role to play in doing this. It is not the big businesses that make the difference, but the SMEs are known for creating jobs, alleviating poverty, helping to bridge inequality gaps and who ensuring that our women were more economically involved.”
“It is in this realisation that the TEF decided that entrepreneurship is the most catalytic way of making little contributions to humanity.”
He said that the selected finalists are 3,050 young African men and women from 54 African countries.