The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), Africa’s leading entrepreneurship philanthropy, is partnering with Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, the German Government’s Agency for International Cooperation.
GIZ will support the Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme to empower 210 young African entrepreneurs, focusing specifically on female entrepreneurs and tech-enabled businesses. The Entrepreneurship Programme of TEF was launched in 2015, having supported more than 4,000 entrepreneurs with seed capital pan-African wide. The announcement is coming ahead of the largest gathering of African entrepreneurs – The Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Forum – which will hold on October 25, 2018 in Lagos, Nigeria. The Forum will celebrate the 2018 cohort of the Foundation’s beneficiaries.
The joint partnership will equip more African entrepreneurs with the skills needed to build strong and sustainable businesses, while providing them with access to seed funding. The partnership will be implemented by Make-IT in Africa, a programme GIZ is implementing on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). Make-IT already works in close collaboration with more than 20 corporate and financing partners, social enterprises, hubs, and networks to support an enabling environment for young entrepreneurs, to enable better access to finance, markets, and skills.
By signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on 8th August 2018, GIZ and TEF strengthened the entrepreneurial ecosystem to support African entrepreneurs. GIZ and TEF share the common understanding that young companies, especially from the technology sector, have the potential to radically transform the business landscape in Africa and are key drivers of sustainable development.
Parminder Vir, OBE, CEO of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, said: “The partnership with GIZ ensures that more entrepreneurs across Africa will access seed capital, as well as the world-class TEF proprietary online training and mentoring programme. Since the launch of the programme, we have received over 300,000 applications, and we are actively looking at leveraging our success, so we can greatly exceed our own commitment to 1,000 entrepreneurs annually over 10 years.”
Dr. Thomas Kirsch, the Country Director of GIZ Nigeria, said:” Employment is the key measure for socio-economic development in Nigeria. Entrepreneurs and start-ups have the capacity to facilitate job creation in a way that wasn’t imaginable ten years ago. We’ve entered a new era where initiatives by the German government, such as Make-IT in Africa, could be instrumental in empowering youth by addressing the skills gap and connecting them to markets, corporates, and financing opportunities. We are encouraged by this partnership with TEF and the opportunity to create lasting impact in the lives of many.”