Over 130 Kenyans chosen for the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme 2019

The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) has announced that it has chosen over 130 Kenyans for its annual TEF Entrepreneurship Programme. The Kenyans are among 3,050 African entrepreneurs drawn from all 54 African countries who will join the 5th cycle of its USD100 million initiative.

They also announced that the annual TEF Entrepreneurship Forum will be held on 26-27 July 2019. The announcement was made at the Transcorp Hilton Abuja, following a presentation of the selection process by Accenture Development Partners.

This year, over 216,000 applications were received which represents an increase from last year’s 151,000. Nearly 90,000 were submitted by female entrepreneurs, an increase of 45%. The selected Entrepreneurs will each receive non- refundable amount of USD5,000 in seed capital, access to mentors, and a 12-week business training programme. On 26-27 July 2019, all the selected entrepreneurs will attend the TEF Entrepreneurship Forum.

Over 130 Kenyan entrepreneurs were selected in this year’s TEF Entrepreneurship Programme, nearly double the 74 that were selected last year. This brings the total number of Kenyan entrepreneur beneficiaries from the programme to over 480 over the last 5 years.

Marking the fifth anniversary of the 10-year programme, this year’s selection includes 2,050 entrepreneurs, supported by the Foundation’s partners. This is in addition to the Foundation’s annual commitment of 1,000, bringing the total number of entrepreneurs empowered by the Foundation to date to 7,520. Last year, the organization launched TEFConnect, a digital networking platform for African entrepreneurs.

The Foundation’s partners include; the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Federal Republic of Benin (Seme City), the Anambra State Government, Indorama, the Government of Botswana and the African Development Bank (AfDB).

Sierra Leone: New Ecowas project seeks to empower female entrepreneurs

50MAWS is an initiative of the African Development Bank (AfDB), which is providing the funding, in partnership with the regional blocs ECOWAS, the East and Southern Africa Common Market (COMESA) and the East African Community (EAC).

It aims to improve women’s ability to access financial and non-financial information, to facilitate peer-to-peer learning and access to business financing opportunities.

Through this initiative, women will also be able to build networks and establish partnership relationships with people and structures that can help them grow and support their businesses.

According to officials, the project was conceptualised and designed following a pilot study conducted by AfDB, which identified challenges impeding women from growing their businesses.

Mrs Bio was speaking at the launch of the Sierra Leone Country Team of the 50MAWS.

It comes at the end of a two-day stakeholders’ engagement on Thursday.

The Sierra Leonean First Lady, who presided over the launching, said the initiative would bring more respect to women and give them a voice in the development process.

“I want to encourage every Sierra Leonean woman who is already [an] entrepreneur, who wants to be one and has vision, but do not know where to start,” Mrs Bio said in a statement on Friday.

She added: “This is an opportunity for you to be part of a network that is beyond the borders of this country. This is an opportunity for you people to market your products beyond Sierra Leone. This is an opportunity Ecowas is brining for us women in Sierra Leone.”

Sierra Leone becomes the tenth country to launch and officially commit to the implementation of the initiative.

Senegal, Cote d’Ivoire, Mali, Burkina Faso, Guinea, Niger, Nigeria, Benin and Cape Verde have all already launched it.

Sierra Leone is also billed to host a continental launch of the initiative.

ECOWAS Vice-President, Sierra Leonean Mrs Finda Koroma, represented the regional bloc at the event in Freetown.

She said the project is in line with the ECOWAS Gender Program that is fully aligned with the ECOWAS Gender Policy adopted in 2004.

“This project if successful will take many women out of poverty and it will bring more respect to the women,” she said.