As part of its resolve to identify, train, mentor and fund 2,500 young African women entrepreneurs in the year 2021, The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), Africa’s leading philanthropy committed to empowering young African entrepreneurs, has announced a partnership with the European Union.
According to reports, the partnership will provide 20 million Euros in financial and technical support for women-owned businesses, across all 54 African countries, in addition to providing increased access to market linkages, supply chains and venture capital investments.
The joint initiative will significantly strengthen and deepen the EU-Africa partnership, builds on the platform and experience of the US$100m TEF Entrepreneurship Programme, and forms part of the EU External Investment Plan to support women economic empowerment within the EU Gender Action Plan (GAP III).
Tony Elumelu, Founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, commenting on the landmark partnership, said:
We are delighted to partner with the European Union, sharing our unique ability to identify, train, mentor and fund young entrepreneurs across Africa. This joint effort will prioritise and provide economic opportunities for African women, whom for too long have endured systemic obstacles to starting, growing and sustaining their businesses. Our partnership will alleviate the funding, knowledge and market constraints threatening the livelihoods of women entrepreneurs on the continent, to create more income, jobs, growth and scale for women-owned businesses.
On her part, Jutta Urpilainen, the EU Commissioner for International Partnerships, said:
This partnership with the Tony Elumelu Foundation will help women participants in economic development, realise their full potential and accelerate economic inclusion. Empowering women entrepreneurs is a key driver for sustainable jobs and growth, especially in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and in line with the objectives of our African Strategy. Women and girls represent half of the world’s population and they deserve equal opportunities.
The Tony Elumelu Foundation, which marks ten years of impact this year, is empowering a new generation of African entrepreneurs, catalysing economic growth, driving poverty eradication and ensuring job creation across all 54 African countries.
The Foundation has trained, mentored and funded nearly 10,000 young African entrepreneurs from 54 African countries, and continues to provide capacity-building support, advisory and market linkages to over 1 million Africans through its digital networking platform, TEFConnect.