TEF Entrepreneurs Are Changing Lives Across Africa; From Job Creation to Poverty Alleviation

Mr Tony Elumelu surrounded by 2017 TEF entrepreneurs

Accra, Ghana, November 28, 2018//-The Tony Elumelu Foundation 2015 – 2017 Progress Report that seeks to analyse the progress of the 3,010 beneficiary entrepreneurs who have completed the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) Entrepreneurship Programme since its launch in 2015, revealed that the programme is making significant impact on the lives of individuals, countries,  governments, among others.

Their businesses are therefore from creating jobs leading to poverty alleviation in their various countries.

Also, central governments, states/regions and local authorities are taxing them to undertake development projects in their operational countries.

According to the report, a sample of 1472 entrepreneurs from the 3010 representing 49% of the programme alumni who responded to the survey, and represent 48 African countries, five regions and 25 sectors, added that the programme has been a blessing and life changing.

Economic impact

Total annual revenue generated by the 1,472 Tony Elumelu entrepreneurs surveyed before and after their selection to the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme.

From these revenue data, it is evident that the number of entrepreneurs that generated between 0 to $5,000 before the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme was 1048 which account for 71% of the total entrepreneurs) and 15% of the entrepreneurs surveyed generate between $10,001- $50,000, according to the report.

“This reveals that a lot of these businesses are still small scale or still in the early stages of their growth – a reality of majority of the SMEs in Africa”.

The percentages of entrepreneurs that generate between $10,001 to $50,000 have increased from 15% before the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme to 28% of the total entrepreneurs after completing the Entrepreneurship Programme.

“It is also worthy to note that upon completing the Entrepreneurship Programme, the number of entrepreneurs that generate $50,000 and above have increased by 273% from 51 entrepreneurs before the Entrepreneurship Programme to 190 entrepreneurs”, the reported stated.

This is an indication that the entrepreneurs experienced a phenomenal growth in revenue of more than 100% after the Entrepreneurship Programme.

The Founder of the Tony Elumely Foundation, Mr Tony Elumelu who wrote the forward of the report said: “Our programme which is both sector agnostic and pan-African – empowering entrepreneurs from all 54 African countries – has directly impacted 4,470 entrepreneurs and is globally regarded as the single largest endowment to African entrepreneurs as a result of our scale, capital commitment and opportunities offered”.

“Thus, it is with great pleasure that I introduce the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme 2015-2017 Progress Report which showcases the depth of the Foundation’s impact on the businesses of thousands of beneficiaries”, Mr Elumelu added.

He continued: “The findings from this report are startling! On the average, revenue generated by our entrepreneurs increased by 189% post-graduation from the Programme, and jobs created increased by 197%.

These figures validate my conviction that the private sector must be the core driver of Africa’s economic transformation. With this report, TEF demonstrates beyond doubt, its commitment to democratising luck and access to opportunities for success for African entrepreneurs. Indeed, the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme is the most impactful project of my life”.

 Some few key performers of the phenomenal revenue growth recorded by some of the entrepreneurs

 Osazoduwa Agboneni, CEO of Nenis Engineering Limited and a 2015 Tony Elumelu entrepreneur from Lagos, Nigeria also one of the few female mechanics in Nigeria. Osazoduwa Agboneni’s revenue since joining the programme has increased from 0 to $92,400 annually.

In 2016, Osazoduwa made partnership with UBER to handle professional vehicle inspection for over 4,000 UBER cars. Following the receipt of her seed capital, she upgraded her auto garage to have a standardised mechanical pit, engine lift, equipment and special tools and went on to employ an additional 15 people making a total workforce of 25.

Another example is Kennedy Lamwenya, CEO of Angaza Boma (currently SunPoynt LTD) and a 2015 Tony Elumelu entrepreneur from Uganda.

Angaza Boma’s revenue since joining the Programme has increased by over 1000% from $18,000 at the start of the Programme to $292,800 currently.

Angaza Boma has developed a 19-inch LED digital solar-powered TV, which provides off-grid households with television services as well as access to clean solar lighting.

By so doing, this innovative solar powered TV system connects rural communities to information, education, entertainment, solar lighting and phone charging. So far, the company has connected at least 12,500 rural households in Kenya.

Jobs created by TEF entrepreneurs

Similar to the revenue analysis, the progress report further revealed that the entrepreneurs now create more jobs compared to before they enrolled into the programme.

A good example of the significant increase in job creation by one of TEF entrepreneurs is shown by Exportunity founded by TEF Benin entrepreneur, Vital Sounouvou, a 2015 Tony Elumelu entrepreneur and CEO of Exportunity.

Today, Exportunity employs 32 people, a 540% increase from the 5 people the company employed at the time of joining the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme.

Exportunity is an exclusive virtual market that organizes and manages B2C and B2B trade in Africa. It allows producers to sell their production upstream, as well as allowing buyers from across the world to place their orders with an African-stop shop. Exportunity has been able to facilitate a large amount of transactions and trades through its platform.

It currently has a database of 85,000 companies across the continent that utilise that platform to facilitate trade and business.

Supporting ideas into big businesses

As part of the survey, the entrepreneurs were asked to indicate the operational status of their business before and after the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme.

The stages of their business before the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme were classified into four categories-Idea (Concept); Infancy (Market Entry) ; Testing (Research and Development) ; and Growth.

The stages of business after completing the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme were also classified into four categories:

Fully operational meaning the business is running in full scale; Partly operational: Business placed on a temporary hold due to seasonal or operational challenges; there are plans to return to full time operations soon.

Not yet operational: Idea is yet to be implemented, but plans are underway to launch the business; and Closed: Business model failed, and operations have been shut down.

Based on these categories after the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme, majority of the entrepreneurs, 918 in total (62% of the 1472 entrepreneurs surveyed) indicated that their business is fully operational, the report noted.

Much fewer entrepreneurs, 14 in total (about 1%, 11 males and 3 females) indicated that their business is closed, it added.

“It is very clear that many of the businesses on the programme have indeed experienced high growth in revenues or jobs or both, regardless of the stage of business”.

There is evidence that our programme supports growth regardless of the stage of business. This is revealed in the more than 100% growth in the revenue generated by the entrepreneurs after completing the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme”.

Launched in 2015, The Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme is the largest African philanthropic initiative devoted to empowering entrepreneurs and championing entrepreneurship.

It represents its 10-year, $100 million commitment, to identify, train, mentor and fund 10,000 African entrepreneurs, who will create a million jobs, and add $10 billion in revenue to Africa’s economy. This is consistent with the Founder philosophy of Africapitalism, which positions Africa’s private sector and most importantly entrepreneurs as the catalyst for the social and economic development of the continent.

The TEF Entrepreneurship Programme started in 2015 with 20,000+ applicants and by 2018 this  151,692. As such, the programme was opened up to partners in order to offer this unique opportunity to more entrepreneurs across the continent.

By Masahudu Ankiilu Kunateh, African Eye Report

 

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