Tony Elumelu Foundation is a lifeline for African young entrepreneurs

Hilda Koshuma, a TEF’s beneficiary who provides mobile beauty services in Dar es Salaam.

In today’s corporate world, youths’ future is portrayed on academics and employment, but the Tony Elumelu Foundation portrays youth as an intergenerational asset that defines their future.

The foundation believes that the private sector’s role is critical for Africa’s development and that the sector must create both social and economic wealth.

It does not necessarily require an established young entrepreneur to qualify for TEF’s support, but any entrepreneur that is at least 18 years old and with a business based in the African continent.

Since its inception in 2010, the foundation has trained, mentored, and funded over 15,847 young African entrepreneurs across all 54 African countries through its Entrepreneurship Programs.

In addition, it has also been providing capacity building support, advisory and market linkages to over 1 million Africans through its digital networking platform,

Tanzanian young entrepreneurs spotted such an opportunity and exploited it in no small measure.

It is not hard to see that through an evolving mobile beauty parlor owned by Hilda Koshuma, Dar es Salaam-based young lady providing mobile beauty services ranging from make ups, skin care, and hair dressing, to advice and training.

Hilda’s story is coined from her irresistible predilection for the beauty industry from which she left her banking and finance profession for.

“My colleague at work knew very well that I had my heart melting for beauty more than anything,” Ms. Hilda says. Prior to TEF entry, her beauty career did not jump-start as she was unaware of what it takes to run her own startup perfectly.

As much as a novice she was in the game, she ran out of capital and considered rejoining the bank in despair.

She started seeing her hazy-looking future illuminated after joining TEF’s training through its various programs.

She was then infused with insights on how to operate a successful entrepreneurial venture online and later granted US$ 5,000 (equivalent of TZS11.7 million) to her surprise.

The funds brought in a dermatologist for skin care advice, a photographer for make-up photoshoots and now she is geared up for manicure and pedicure in the near future.

 “I used that money to extend a realm of my beauty services with new offerings and value creation,” says Ms Hilda who admits that only Covid-19 tilted her direction unexpectedly.

Despite that challenge, she is still determined to see her mobile beauty services blossom into a full-fledged parlour.

Anna Robert is another beneficiay of TEF’s training programs. She is a 27-year old young lady that owns a nail polish line with the brand name called ‘Robiannah’ hitting stores.

As she aimed higher for her venture, she came across an opportunity of TEF’s training programs for merging and startups run by young entrepreneurs.

 After her application for TEF’s training programs and grants clicked, she soon discovered that her dreams are tagged along with the beauty and cosmetics industry.

“I made the decision to stick with the nail polish business having been imparted necessary skills by TEF after completing my studies and quash employment chase,” says Ms. Anna.

Doreen Urio is a Green Pass Social Enterprise young entrepreneur to look at. She deals with reusable sanitary pads and skin care products.

Ms. Doreen is a force of this generation that wishes to help adolescent girls from disadvantaged back-grounds to afford reusable pads on one hand and quench the thirst of skin beauty for her customers on the other.

Needless to say, such a big vision required financing for improving her enterprise and that it remained futile until TEF hopped in.

Grants from TEF changed everything. She managed to boost production of her reusable sanitary pads with skin care products gaining traction.

“Frankly speaking, the training I received from TEF is life-changing. I urge other younger entrepreneurs to grab this opportunity because it will provide them with fresh knowledge and grants to drive forward their enterprises,” says Ms. Doreen.

Josephat Shimo, a Chief Executive Officer of Fine Space and Business Consultancy and beneficiary of TEF draws curtains for promising Tanzania young entrepreneurs in this feature.

The younger CEO with his company based at Tegeta in Dar es Salaam, operates a turnkey information software that connects smallholder farmers with their end consumers. The system is a lifeline to most farmers as it addresses post-harvest loss and ensures reliable markets for their produce.

What a favor to embrace! He responded to TEF’s call for training and reaped big cognitively and fiscally like the rest.

TEF background

The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) was founded in 2010 by Tony O. Elumelu, C.O.N; an entrepreneur, investor and philanthropist who is passionate about Africa’s economic development.

The Tony Elumelu Foundation is the leading champion of entrepreneurship in Africa.