Wednesday, October 11, 2017

African entrepreneurs to meet in Lagos

By Janet Otieno-Prosper

The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), one of Africa’s largest philanthropy focused on supporting entrepreneurship, has announced that the 3rd annual TEF Entrepreneurship Forum – an inclusive gathering of African Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs will take place on October 13-14 in Lagos, Nigeria.

Small and Medium sized Enterprises from across Africa who are scheduled to attend the forum would form networks, share knowledge, connect with investors, link with corporate supply chains and influence policy makers and business leaders in attendance.

In a press statement sent to newsrooms, TEF Founder Tony O. Elumelu said, “Since launching the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme – and committing $100 million to empowering 10,000 African entrepreneurs in a decade – we have unleashed our continent’s most potent development force – its entrepreneurs.”

“In just there years, our 3,000 entrepreneurs have created tens of thousands of jobs and generated considerable wealth. We invite the global entrepreneurship community to Lagos toward the realization of a new Africa, a thriving, self-reliant continent capable of replicating the results we have seen in our ground-breaking programme.”

The two-day event features plenary panels, masterclasses, and sector specific networking opportunities as well as policy-led talks focused on improving the enabling environment for African businesses.

TEF Chief Executive Officer Parminder Vir OBE said TEF has opened the forum up to include not just the 1,000 Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurs from the 2017 cycle of the programme, but the full pan-African entrepreneurship ecosystem to allow as many SME communities to come together and expand the possibilities for intra-African partnerships.

“I urge policymakers and investors to join us at the Forum as we empower the next generation of African business titans,” he said.

Speakers at the event include Wale Ayeni, International Finance Corporation; Stephen Tio Kauma, Afrexim Bank; Andre Hue, African Development Bank; Stephen M. Haykin, USAID Nigeria; Heikke Reugger, European Investment Bank; Abdoulaye Mar Dieye, United Nations Development Programme.

The Foundation’s long-term investment in empowering African entrepreneurs which is emblematic of Tony Elumelu’s philosophy of Africapitalism, which positions Africa’s private sector, and most importantly its entrepreneurs, as the catalysts for the social and economic development of the continent.