The Tony Elumelu Foundation, a leading champion of entrepreneurship in Africa, has disbursed over $100 million to over 15,000 young African entrepreneurs, creating over 400,000 direct jobs.
This is according to Somachi Chris-Asoluka, the Foundation’s CEO, who made the disclosure during her keynote address at the Aspen Institute of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) Annual Conference hosted in Accra, Ghana.
Chris-Asoluka said the Foundation intended to achieve this within 10 years but had surpassed that record since its launch in 2015.
She emphasized that the Foundation’s core objective is to democratize luck and increase access to opportunities for young people, to give them economic hope.
She said the Foundation believes entrepreneurship is the only true path to transforming the continent and creating a future where every African can not only dream but realize their dreams.
Chris-Asoluka reiterated the Foundation’s mission which is rooted in Africapitalism, and positions the private sector, and most importantly entrepreneurs, as the catalyst for the social and economic development of the African continent.
She said Africa is a continent that has too long endured the weight of the past but is now poised to emerge the beacon of prosperity and innovation through the power of entrepreneurship.
Participants at the conference shared testimonials of witnessing first-hand the economic and social ripple effects of the businesses supported by the Tony Elumelu Foundation, as they have created jobs, inspired innovations, and a culture of collaboration.
They shared stories of how several Tony Elumelu Foundation alumni stepped up in the face of adversity during the COVID-19 pandemic to develop innovative solutions to combat the virus in their countries.
To conclude, Chris-Asoluka emphasized that the time for talk is over and called on partners to bring all hands on deck to embrace the power of entrepreneurship and give holistic support across financing, policies, laws, regulations, and access to market to young entrepreneurs across Africa.