The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), in its commitment to empowering young African entrepreneurs, has announced a partnership with the European Union to identify, train, mentor and fund 2,500 young African women entrepreneurs in 2021.
The partnership will disburse €20 million 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).
Commenting on the landmark partnership, Tony Elumelu, Founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation 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.”
The EU Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen, said “This partnership with the Tony Elumelu Foundation will help women participants in economic development, realise their full potential and accelerate economic inclusion.