Actors of the continent's entrepreneurship ecosystem took part in the most diverse and inclusive gathering of African entrepreneurs in Lagos - Nigeria.
Some 1,000 entrepreneurs drawn from across Africa, forming the third cohort of the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme (TEEP), have been introduced to the concept of 'Africapitalism'. The entrepreneurs got insights of the concept and other motivations to unveil their potentials during the third edition of the annual Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) Entrepreneurship Forum. The most diverse and inclusive gathering of African entrepreneurs took place in the commercial city of Lagos, Nigeria, October 13-14, 2017. The Founder of TEF, Tony O. Elumelu coined the term 'Africapitalism' for his plan for Africa's transformation. The concept revolves around the action for businesses to make decisions that will increase economic and social wealth and promote development in communities and nations in which they operate. While speaking to the African entrepreneurs, Tony O. Elumelu, the philanthropist who is also Chairman of the United Bank for Africa, expressed his belief that a vibrant African-led private sector is the key to unlocking Africa's economic and social potential. "Youths need jobs and economic hope. Many risk their lives across the Mediterranean in search of jobs in Europe. Most of them die without getting the jobs while those who succeeded to get one are exposed to the worst forms of human degradation," Elumelu said, indicting his determination not to allow such to continue. Elemelu said his TEF is poised to incubate a new breed of entrepreneurs who can themselves become catalyst for further entrepreneurial-led growth. The gathering brought together some 1,300 African entrepreneurs, business leaders and policymakers from 54 countries in the continent. The event featured plenary panels, masterclasses and sector specific networking opportunities as well as policy-led talks focused on improving the enabling environment for African businesses. This year's 1,000 TEF entrepreneurs were selected out of 93,000 applicants. Since March 2017, they have been trained and mentored to develop a business plan; giving them eligibility to receive up to $10,000 in seed capital to develop their business concepts. Launched in 2015, the Forum was born out of the Foundation's $100 million commitment to identify, train, mentor and fund 10,000 African entrepreneurs, over a decade, through the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme.