The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) Entrepreneurship Forum 2018 took place at the Balmoral Event Centre, Federal Palace Hotel, Lagos. The event brought together entrepreneurs, guests, investors and dignitaries together under one roof to mark the fourth year of the Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme and celebrate African entrepreneurs doing incredible things in their respective countries and sectors.
Here are some highlights from the event.
- TEF CEO, Parminder Vir, Shares the Impact of the Foundation and its Entrepreneurs on the African Continent
During her welcome address, the CEO of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, Parminder Vir OBE, stated that the Foundation has invested 20 million dollars in seed capital to 4000 entrepreneurs in the four years that the programme has run. She also stated that within 18 months to 2 years of being a part of the programme, the entrepreneurs have generated 52 million dollars in revenue and created about 12 thousand jobs, a giant leap from the 18 million dollars generated in revenue and 4 thousand jobs created before the programme.
- TEF Alumni and Mentors Rewarded for Outstanding Achievements
There are over 3000 alumni and 700 mentors on the entrepreneurship programme who are changing the African narrative through their ingenuity and innovation in their respective business. The Tony Elumelu Foundation recognised the entrepreneurs and mentors who have made outstanding impacts in 2018. These awards were presented by Dr Awele V. Elumelu, TEF Trustee and CEO Avon Medical.
- Dr Elumelu Champions Entrepreneurship, Health Sector Development and Female Empowerment
Dr Awele Elumelu, TEF Trustee, Founder Avon Medical and GAVI champion for immunization in Africa, engaged in a Fireside Chat with CNNMoney Africa correspondent, Eleni Giokos. The conversation was engaging and informative as they discussed the importance of private and public sector partnerships for the African economy, government support for the health sector especially through funding and the importance of investing in the African woman.
- Cash Madam Emerges Winner of TEF Pitching Competition
Five TEF entrepreneurs took part in a pitching competition anchored by BBC News Correspondent, Mayeni Jones. These entrepreneurs were given three minutes to deliver a pitch to an expert panel of judges. The panel was led by Sam Nwanze and had Lanre Da Silva-Ajayi, Oluchi Orlandi and Alessia Balducci who asked questions and gave the entrepreneurs advice drawing from their wealth of experience in business.
The entrepreneurs were Vital Sounovou of Exportunity (Benin Republic), Sandra Onwuekwu of Ecoprune (Nigeria), Jessica Rakotoarisa of Nomad Solar Bag (Madagascar), Mohamed Dhaouafi of Cure Medicare (Tunisia) and Mahassin Quadri of Cash Madam (Nigeria). Mahassin Quadri emerged the winner of the competition.
- Words of Wisdom from Leaders
One of the major highlights of the forum came when the Founder of TEF, Tony O. Elumelu, the President of Ghana and the President of Kenya addressed the audience. The President of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta gave a goodwill message to the entrepreneurs via an online video stream. He affirmed his support for the growth of entrepreneurship on the continent and implored policymakers to create policies that support an environment for young entrepreneurs to thrive.
President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana and Tony Elumelu discussed the role of the government in developing the African economy and harnessing the opportunities that exist in Africa. It was an enlightening conversation that ended with a question-and-answer session with the entrepreneurs.
- The Launch of TEFConnect
The most anticipated event at the TEF Forum 2018 was the launch of TEFConnect, the world’s largest digital platform for African entrepreneurs and the larger entrepreneurship ecosystem. This session was anchored by the Business Information Specialist of the Foundation, Folarin Aiyegbusi, who mentioned some of the benefits of the platform which include access to a marketplace, access to free business tools, networking and funding opportunities.
- The Buzzing TEF Marketplace
At the forum, the marketplace was delightful and aesthetically pleasing. The entrepreneurs were given a space to showcase their products and services, network with guests and to meet with potential investors. The crowning jewel of the marketplace experience came when the President of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo and Tony O. Elumelu toured the space to meet the entrepreneurs.