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The Tony Elumelu Foundation to Announce Selected Entrepreneurs for 2019 Programme on March 22, 2019

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The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), the leading African philanthropy committed to empowering African entrepreneurs, will announce the selected applicants for the 2019 cohort of the Foundation’s flagship Entrepreneurship Programme on March 22, 2019. The event, which marks the 5th round of the Foundation’s Entrepreneurship Programme, will take place at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja.

Every year, the Tony Elumelu Foundation opens its application portal to African entrepreneurs, with businesses of less than three years old. Through its $100million Entrepreneurship Programme, the Foundation empowers 1,000 entrepreneurs annually, who receive $5,000 in non-refundable seed capital, access to mentors, a 12-week training programme and opportunities to promote their businesses to a global audience. All applicants receive access to TEFConnect, Africa’s digital entrepreneurial hub, which provides access to networks, training, further capital sources and business opportunities.

As a means of cascading its proven entrepreneurial tool kit to the huge numbers of applicants, the Foundation launched in 2018, TEFConnect, the digital networking platform for African entrepreneurs. The platform, which has currently over 400,000 users, providing opportunities for entrepreneurs to network, receive training and forge business partnerships to scale their businesses beyond physical borders.

In the five years since the Foundation launched its Entrepreneurship Programme, it has empowered 4,000 African entrepreneurs directly and an additional 470 entrepreneurs supported by the Foundation’s partners. The Foundation recently appointed Ifeyinwa Ugochukwu as CEO effective from April 1. Mrs. Ugochukwu succeeds Parminder Vir, OBE, who will continue to lend her experience and expertise as a member of the Foundation’s Advisory Board.

The incoming CEO, Ifeyinwa Ugochukwu, emphasised the importance of partnership in reaching additional entrepreneurs beyond the Foundation’s annual commitment of 1,000 entrepreneurs.

“Each year we see a significant uplift in applicants. Our execution partner, Accenture Development Partnerships, are currently reviewing and finalising the applications. Over 215,000 African entrepreneurs applied from across 54 African countries, up from 151,000 applications last year, with an increase in female representation from 62,000 in 2018 to 90,000 in 2019. These rising figures demonstrate the burning desire of the African entrepreneur to develop our continent, and we must urgently convert this passion into viable businesses to develop our continent.

Our Programme has developed a robust mechanism for directing capital effectively and efficiently, to those who can deploy it in local communities with the greatest impact. We are looking forward to working with partners to collaborate with us, to scale the platform and process we have created. Empowering African entrepreneurs must be a shared responsibility to create economic prosperity for all”, she said.

Speaking on the Entrepreneurship Programme, Osato Noah, West Africa Lead, Accenture Development Partnerships, said:

“We have worked with the Tony Elumelu Foundation since the inception of the Entrepreneurship Programme. In 2015, the first round of the Programme saw us review 20,000 applications for the Foundation and this year we reviewed over 215,000 applications. The sheer diversity and speed at which applications have scaled in the last four years have been incredible. We commend the Tony Elumelu Foundation for their commitment to the transparency of the programme, and Accenture is proud to partner in the delivery of this Pan-African project.”

The Selection Announcement will also feature a Nigerian TEF Alumni Meet up, as well as an interactive dialogue with TEF Founder, Tony O. Elumelu, CON.

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FBN Holdings Carrts Away World Finance Best Corporate Governance in Nigeria Award

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By Segun Lawal
FBN Holdings Plc has won the 2019 Best Corporate Governance in Nigeria Award organized by World Finance; the leading financial services group announced today.
The award ceremony was held recently in London Stock Exchange studio by World Finance, renowned for its comprehensive coverage and analysis of the financial industry, international business and global economy.
The annual event is usually organised against a backdrop of a comprehensive analysis of the very best across various areas of business endeavours in each market around the world.

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UK Eke, Group Managing Director, FBN Holdings Plc receiving the Best Corporate Governance in Nigeria award on behalf of FBNHoldings from Paul Richardson, Producer, World Finance at the World Finance Awards 2019 held in London Stock Exchange Studio, London recently.

Elated to receive the award on behalf of FBNHoldings, UK Eke, Group Managing Director of the finance house said; “receiving this award from World Finance basically tells us two things. One: it’s an affirmation of what we are doing in corporate governance, beyond the giant strides we’re making in financial performance. So we see this as an endorsement of the brand, and it’s a bragging right for us. Because again, there are very few institutions in Nigeria that have benefited from this award. We are truly proud to receive this award.”

Since 2007, World Finance has been celebrating corporate achievement, innovation and brilliance in their annual awards.

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Tony Elumelu Foundation Hosts European Commission, Leading Development Finance Institutions and Think Tanks in Brussels

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At a time when Europe’s relationship with Africa is high on foreign policy and developmental agendas and with the European Union beginning to deliver on its 2017 External Investment Plan, targeted at attracting investment and job creation in Africa, the Tony Elumelu Foundation brought together leading stakeholders in the development finance sector, at a case study session in the EU capital, Belgium. The convening demonstrated that Africa also had solutions to bring to the table and platformed the Foundation’s unique approach to catalysing entrepreneurship in scale across the continent.

Themed “A Convening on Africa’s Economic Transformation: A Case Study of the Tony Elumelu Foundation”, the event presented the results of the first five years of the Foundation’s Entrepreneurship Programme a unique programme, which has trained, mentored and seeded 4,470 African entrepreneurs with 3,050 newly announced to receive seed funding, and drawn over 200,000 applications to its 2019 cycle. Tony Elumelu’s $100m investment in entrepreneurial philanthropy was held up as an example of how vital capital could be targeted efficiently and effectively, at African businesses best able to create significant economic and developmental impact.

Opening the event, Mr. Koen Doens, Deputy Director General, DEVCO, EU, said: “Africa needs to create jobs by the millions to match the needs of its exponentially growing population. It will achieve this only if it unleashes a generation of empowered entrepreneurs. The Tony Elumelu Foundation contributes to this massively. The European Union wants to play its part and contribute to this endeavour.”

During an indepth question and answer session with EU-Africa relations expert, Annie Mutamba, Founder, Mr. Tony O. Elumelu CON, highlighted the growing interest in the Tony Elumelu Foundation and its unique approach, while welcoming a new type of intervention in Africa. “We very much believe in collaboration, mutual respect and a shared commitment to transform Africa. Africa is ready but we need to do this through the right sustainable manner, that enables our people to become self-reliant, and independent, instead of perpetuating dependency. We need to implement practical solutions on ground through entrepreneurship, which empower people economically and addresses issues of extremism, migration, and insecurity.”

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L-R: Carl Michiels, Director, European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM); Former Prime Minister of Benin, HE Lionel Zinsou; Bruno Wenn, Former CEO/Chairman at DEG-German Investment and Development Company, and Advisory Board Member, Tony Elumelu Foundation; Minister Phillippe De Backer, Minister for Digital Agenda, Telecommunications and Post; and Ifeyinwa Ugochukwu, CEO of the Tony Elumelu Foundation.

Minister Phillippe De Backer, Minister for Digital Agenda, Telecommunications and Post, Belgium, also commented: “There is an increasing desire in Europe to engage Africa, including its grassroots in a structure and targeted approach with the right processes. The Tony Elumelu Foundation offers this platform.”

The Tony Elumelu Foundation, which last month in March announced 3,050 selected entrepreneurs for its 2019 cycle, continues to grow in scale, ambition and impact, and now actively leverages technology to support entrepreneurs through TEF Connect – a digital hub designed to link entrepreneurs across Africa, and which already has 500,000 users.

On the Foundation’s future plans, he stated: “We want to make sure that we impact more, reach more, touch more lives and get more women involved. We want to see more Northern Africa participation. We would like to reach 10,000 a year, with support from partners to empower additional entrepreneurs. We want to eradicate poverty and create wealth in a sustainable way. Ultimately, \we want a larger and broader entrepreneurship ecosystem, that supports young Africans, and we want to deepen our engagement with government to create the enabling environment to support these Africans to succeed – the right investment climate, training, education, access to capital and most importantly creating the right investment culture.”

Other dignitaries at the event included: Carl Michiels, Director, European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM); Bruno Wenn, Former CEO/Chairman at DEG-German Investment and Development Company, and Advisory Board Member, Tony Elumelu Foundation; Mr Viwanou Gnanssougou, Assistant Secretary General, African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) at the European Council of the European Union, and Ifeyinwa Ugochukwu, CEO of the Tony Elumelu Foundation.

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Firstbank Commemorates Global Money Week Empowering Over 7000 Students

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By Segun Lawal

Nigeria’s innovative financial powerhouse, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, commemorated the 2019 Global Money Week (GMW) themed “Learn Save Earn”, 25 – 31 March joining over 50,000 global institutions to mark the event.
Representatives of FirstBank imparted nuggets of financial literacy to over 7000 students in schools spread across the 6 geo-political zones of the country which is also in line with the mandate of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) that each bank in the country teach in selected schools across the 6 geo-political zones. Among the schools visited by FirstBank include the CEO school: Fiwasaye Girls Grammer Sch. Alagbaka Akure.
According to the official website of Global Money Week (GMW); “Child & Youth Finance International (CYFI) initiative, is an annual financial awareness campaign built to inspire children and young people to learn about money matters, livelihoods and entrepreneurship” which is akin to FirstBank’s commitment over the years to encourage its key stakeholders, customers, to imbibe savings culture whilst having their children also carried along on the essence of savings through its youth focused products, KidsFirsts (0 – 12 years) and MeFirst (13 – 17 years) carefully designed to meet the financial targets of the given demographics. These accounts ensure the accounts holders acquire the rudiments of banking and financial literacy as they grow into adulthood and they both come with exciting packages to support the financial journey of the children, enabling them learn money management from an early age.
The Global Money Week is in line with FirstBank’s FutureFirst programme, specially designed to equip students with the knowledge of money management, early entrepreneurship skills, and financial independence whilst stimulating in them savings culture at an early age. Commemorating the Global Money Week is consistent with the Bank’s financial literacy initiatives.
Speaking on the Global Money Week, Folake Ani-Mumuney, Group Head, Marketing & Corporate Communications, First Bank of Nigeria Limited said “interestingly the Global Money Week coincides with the month of the bank’s 125th anniversary celebration which indeed has been filled with activities of telling our story to the world, thereby promoting the need for efficient financial decisions as not just an individual but a business entity. The FirstBank story is one to be exemplified by all, especially the youth at promoting good money decisions towards business sustainability. .
“As the premier financial institution in Nigeria, we are committed to continually promote financial literacy amongst the younger generation as with them, the future of the country is secured, and they would be knowledgeably equipped and guided to make the right financial decisions, critical to improving their lives and venture into the right business activities, consequently influencing the economy.

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