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Elumelu Program: about 10 000 applications of which 60% from West Africa

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Tony Elumelu, the Nigerian entrepreneur and chairman of Heirs Holdings, speaks to AFP in an interview on October 11, 2013 in Washington, DC. Elumelu has promised to invest $2.5 billion in the "Power Africa" initiative of US President Barack Obama which aims to expand energy in sub-Saharan Africa, where some two-thirds of people lack regular power. But a complementary effort in the US Congress has hit a snag in a dispute over requirements that certain US-backed projects be low in carbon emissions blamed for climate change. AFP PHOTO SHAUN TANDON        (Photo credit should read SHAUN TANDON/AFP/Getty Images)

Launched in December, 2014 in Lagos, Nigeria, the « Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Program » program arouses an unprecedented craze in the African entrepreneurs.

According to figures published by the Foundation with the Jeune Afrique magazine, about 9635 applications were received.

60 % of the applications come from West Africa (with a very high from Nigeria), 15 % from East Africa, 3,5 % from Southen Africa, 3 % from Central Africa, 1,5 % of North Africa, and 17 % from outside Africa.

By the way, 20 % of the files are from entrepreneurs of French-speaking Africa. The program is endowed with 100 million dollars over ten years.

The registrations are fully done on-line (on the site of the foundation: and in three languages: English, French and Portuguese, and comes to an end on 1st Mars 2015.

Then, a selection committee will list 1000 best files that will benefit from training and on-line tutelage, will participate in a bootcamp as well as in a big forum, before benefiting from two times of 5000-dollar financing each once their businesses plans completed.

« The program for entrepreneurship of the Tony Elumelu Foundation is a Pan-African initiative centered on the empowerment of the African entrepreneurs« , reminded Tony Elumelu, an entrepreneur who made fortune in banking (United Bank for Africa) before developing other sectors (hotel business, energy…)

« Although the Foundation is based in Nigeria, we are surrounded by several French-speaking countries that also create some of the next business managers in Africa. The diversified nature of applications received up to date, shows that our geographical situation did not limit us to the English-speaking market only. We are delighted to see people all over the continent being candidate on our on-line portal« , added the Nigerian businessman and the philanthropist.

For the record, Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Program is a program over ten years that aims at training, financing and supporting 10 000 start-ups and young companies in the 54 countries of the African continent.

This program that aims at creating 1 million new jobs and 10 billion dollars of annual incomes, is opened to any entrepreneur having a project or having launched his company less than three years ago.


Original text by: Blaise AKAME

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