“As of today, we have disbursed over 100 million dollars to over 15,000 young African entrepreneurs and created over 400,000 direct jobs. This, we intended to achieve within 10 years, but I am happy to share that since the launch of the foundation in 2015, we have more than surpassed that record,” CEO of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, Somachi Chris – Asoluka disclosed during her keynote address at Aspen Institute of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) Annual Conference hosted in Accra, Ghana.
The Tony Elumelu Foundation is the leading champion of entrepreneurship in Africa. The Foundation’s objective is to empower women and men across the African continent, catalyzing economic growth, driving poverty eradication, and ensuring job creation. The Foundation believes the private sector’s role is critical for Africa’s development and that the private sector must create both social and economic wealth.
To support the drive for Africa’s growth, Somachi indicated that, at the core of what the Foundation does is to democratize luck and increase access to opportunities for young people, to give our young people economic hope because they believe that entrepreneurship is the only true path to transforming the continent and creating a future where every African can not only dream but realize their dreams. “We are empowering the faces behind these dreams, the young men and women across Africa who wake up every day with the burning desire to do more, to create, to innovate and to make a difference, she emphasized,” she emphasized.
In her speech, she reiterated the Foundation’s mission which is rooted in Africapitalism, and positions the private sector, and most importantly entrepreneurs, as the catalyst for the social and economic development of the African continent. “Africa is a continent that has too long endured the weight of the past but is now poised to emerge the beacon of prosperity and innovation through the power of entrepreneurship,” she said.
Participants at the conference shared testimonials of witnessing first-hand the economic and social ripple effects of these businesses, as they have created jobs, inspired innovations, and a culture of collaboration. They shared stories of how several Tony Elumelu Foundation alumni stepped up in the face of adversity during the COVID-19 pandemic to develop innovative solutions to combat the virus in their countries.
To conclude, Somachi emphasized that, the time for talk is over and called on partners to bring all hands on deck to embrace the power of entrepreneurship and give holistic support across financing, policies, laws, regulations, and access to market to young entrepreneurs across Africa.
The conference with the Tony Elumelu Foundation as one of its sponsors featured engaging member-led sessions that delved into cutting-edge research, reports, and best practices supporting ANDE’s mission to strengthen entrepreneurial ecosystems for small businesses.