Take no less the TEF initiative

Thursday, January 04, 2018

The development hinging around the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) reported on Wednesday by this paper is a golden opportunity that deserves to be taken with all seriousness.

The foundation has announced it is now accepting applications for business ideas that can transform Africa.

This is Africa’s largest philanthropy supporting entrepreneurship. In its 4th cycle, the 10-year programme has rolled out $100 million commitment to identify, train, mentor and fund 10,000 African entrepreneurs by 2024. This is no mean feat, and needs to be taken with all seriousness by especially African nations like The Gambia, whose people - some burgeoning entrepreneurs - have been benefitting from it.

This current round of support provides critical tools for business success, including 12 weeks of intensive online training which guides and helps to create and manage a business; a world-class mentor to guide participants during the early transformation stages of the business; $5,000 in seed capital to prove the concept, plus access to further funding; and access to the largest network of African start-ups and TEF’s own global contacts.

This therefore should be taken no less as it is a grand opportunity and blessing for African (Gambian) entrepreneurs, out to support and promote entrepreneurship in Africa for the growth and development of Africans and the African continent.

Our people therefore should take advantage of this opportunity.

Entrepreneurship promotes innovation, which is the act that endows resources with a new capacity to create wealth

No country can do without entrepreneurship as it boosts economic development as well as the social welfare of its citizenry.

Entrepreneurs play major roles not only in the growth of industrial sector of a country but also in the development of farm and service sector. 

Therefore The Gambia’s dream of becoming an economic superpower can only materialise if more focus is put on entrepreneurship development.

It is also vital to note that industrial development depends upon sound entrepreneurship.

A country might remain backward not because of lack of natural resources or dearth of capital, as it is widely perceived, but because of lack of entrepreneurial talents.

We have heard and seen how entrepreneurship has spurred industrial development in Singapore, Japan, Korea and Taiwan to name a few. 

If Gambia wants to be like one of these countries, we must do as they did – support our entrepreneurs and remove the factors that may be affecting them.

Rich and developed countries like the United States and the United Kingdom realised this and have ever been pumping more resources into supporting entrepreneurs and enhancing entrepreneurial skills and knowledge of their citizens.

This is what the African son of the soil Dr. Tony Elumenu the iconic economist and great philanthropist is doing in Africa for Africans.

The individuals, corporate institutions, private sector umbrella bodies like GCCI and GIEPA are expected to give a lending hand to entrepreneurs to take advantage of it. The government also is expected to support its small-scale corporate citizenry to engage in it, as it is all geared towards promoting entrepreneurship.

The selfless son of Africa has been doing his part; let us take advantage of it and promote it. Tony Onyemaechi GF Elumelu, born March 22, 1963, is a Nigerian economist, banker, investor and philanthropist, with two degrees in Economics.

In addition to many accolades or feathers in his cap, Elumelu holds the Nigerian nationwide respect, the Commander of the alignment of Nigeria (CON).

New African magazine recently recorded him as one of the 100 most influential persons in Africa.

HisTony Elumelu Foundation is to accomplish its objective by enhancing the capacity of African enterprises, carrying and driving principles that encourage competitiveness, establishing economic capital through influence investments, and educating public and private actors through rigorous study.

His TEF initiative is a game changer for African economies; let’s embrace it.

“A country may remain backward because of lack of entrepreneurial talents.”

The Point