TEF, DEG to Empower 200 Additional African Entrepreneurs
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
A partnership to empower 200 additional young African entrepreneurs from all the 54 African countries has been entered into between the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) and DEG, a German development financial institution.
A statement from the organisation said the collaboration will provide funding support to the beneficiaries and complement the $100 million entrepreneurship programme of the foundation.
This initiative has been used to identify, train, mentor and empower over 9,000 entrepreneurs on the continent since 2015.
In alignment with TEF and DEG’s development policy, the partnership will create jobs and income, boost economic growth and generate local value in Africa.
It will make important contributions to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by providing funding, technical skills and comprehensive business readiness to drive better performance of SMEs in accordance with SDG 1 (No poverty), SDG 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth) and SDG 9 (Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure).
Entrepreneurs will be connected to networking support for further skills development, knowledge sharing and market linkages through a lifetime membership on TEFConnect. In addition, periodic impact assessment of up to 10,000 SMEs will be conducted through the partnership to inform policies and laws that will improve the environment for small enterprises in Africa, directly catalysing Africa’s economic growth and contributing to the continent’s prosperity and social development.
“In our continued quest to invest in African entrepreneurs, this partnership will fully assist young entrepreneurs to grow their businesses.
“DEG is a global player in fostering efforts in emerging markets and developing economies to generate employment, which is a mission we are dedicated to through entrepreneurship.
“African Entrepreneurs are the engines of growth, innovation and wealth creation in Africa, and there is no better time to invest in their development,” the CEO of TEF, Ms Ifeyinwa Ugochukwu, stated.
“The projected outcome of this partnership encompasses the entire entrepreneurial value chain and will create a massive opportunity for entrepreneurs to build their ventures while equipping them with the skills to sustain business growth,” she added.
In his remarks, the Head of DEG’s West Africa office, Mr Bernd Tilemann, noted that, “DEG is delighted to start this cooperation and especially eager to support TEF’s digitalisation efforts and the drive for impact inclusion and its critical evaluation, which are topics that DEG is very passionate about.
“We believe these measures will form a great foundation to enable TEF to scale its efforts to boost entrepreneurship and small enterprise development in Nigeria and across the continent.”