Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), an organization that fosters and supports entrepreneurs in Africa, has gone into partnership with the European Union (EU) with the aim of empowering African women entrepreneurs.
The partnership between both organizations will provide economic empowerment to 2,500 women entrepreneurs across Africa.
The empowerment would provide the entrepreneurs with increased access to finance and venture capital investment with a contribution of €20 million.
“We are pleased to partner with the European Union, sharing our unique ability to identify, train, mentor and fund young entrepreneurs across Africa. This joint effort will prioritise and provide economic opportunities for African women, whom for too long have endured systemic obstacles to starting, growing and sustaining their businesses. Our partnership aims to alleviate the funding, knowledge and market constraints threatening the livelihoods of women entrepreneurs on the continent, to create more income, jobs, growth and scale for women-owned businesses.” – Tony Elumelu, Founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation.
Commenting on the partnership, Jutta Urpilainen, EU’s Commissioner for International Partnerships, said that the aim of the partnership is in line with the objectives of the EU’s “Africa Strategy.”
“Empowering women entrepreneurs is a key driver for sustainable jobs and growth, especially in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and in line with the objectives of our Africa Strategy.” – Jutta Urpilainen.
Jutta Urpilainen further added that the partnership will help women participate in economic development, realise their full potential and accelerate economic inclusion.
The partnership between both organizations is structured on the experience of TEF Entrepreneurship Programme, and will form part of the European Union’s External Investment Plan to support women economic empowerment within the EU Gender Action Plan (GAP III).
Tony Elumelu Foundation, which marks 10 years of empowering African entrepreneurs and catalysing Africa’s development, has empowered over 9,000 entrepreneurs across 54 Africa countries.
Some of the beneficiaries of the empowerment program include:
Adebimpe Oni – who runs an eco-friendly company that upcycles solid waste like old tyres, bottles, plastics into recycled furniture suitable for homes, offices, playgrounds, studios, etc.
Chioma Ifeanyi-Eze, an entrepreneur-accountant. She introduced a virtual and retail tech-accounting firm called the AccountingHub to address the market needs of SME’s on bookkeeping and auditing.