Empowering African Entrepreneurs: The 5th Edition of the Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Forum


The 5th edition of the Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Forum, themed “Empowering African Entrepreneurs” will take place from 26th-27th July at the Transcorp Hilton, Abuja Nigeria.

The Forum will feature a Presidential Dialogue with the President of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Felix Tshisekedi, President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame and President of Senegal, Macky Sall in an interactive plenary session with Founder, Tony O. Elumelu.

Other notable speakers expected at this year’s Forum include Prof. Benedict Oramah, President of African Export-Import (AFREXIMBANK) and Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina, President of African Development Bank (AFDB).

What is the TEF Forum?

The TEF Entrepreneurship Forum was designed as the capstone experience of the 7 Pillars of the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme which comprise of the 12 Week Start-up Enterprise Toolkit; Mentoring; Resource Library; Meet-ups; Entrepreneurship Forum; Seed Capital investment and Alumni Network.  

The TEF Entrepreneurship Programme is Africa’s most ambitious holistic entrepreneurship programme. The programme, designed as an authentic, innovative, credible, homegrown, and game-changing programme is growing a new generation of successful entrepreneurs who are the heart of the Forum.

Since its launch in 2015 as a “bootcamp”, the TEF Entrepreneurship Forum has evolved into the largest convening of African entrepreneurs, past alumni, mentors, policy makers, government leaders, donor agencies, financial institutions, and media organisations in Nigeria.

Every year, the 1,000 entrepreneurs selected for the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme have travelled from across the 54 African countries to partake in this awesome gathering after which they return to their home countries and states with renewed vigour and determination for the entrepreneurial journey ahead.

They enjoy the interactive sessions with successful entrepreneurs, business and political leaders who share their experiences of business development, financial management, corporate governance, and other facets of a successful enterprise.

As he closed the inaugural boot camp in 2015, Tony O. Elumelu challenged all the entrepreneurs by saying, “I want to go to Zambia when I am 80 years old and meet someone who shows me their manufacturing business or financial institution and tells me that it was built starting with $10k from Tony Elumelu.  That’s what this is about and that’s what you owe me. The return I want from this $100 million investment is your success, because your success is Africa’s success.”

In 2016, the two-day forum buzzed with energy as entrepreneurs shared and gained knowledge, built cross-border partnerships, and connected with investors and policymakers, fulfilling the goal of fostering innovation and collaboration between entrepreneurs from across Africa. A fitting end to an action packed event!

Focusing on the uniqueness of TEF’s approach to entrepreneurship development, President Koroma of Sierra Leone hailed the programme as “a genuinely innovative approach to philanthropy in Africa – an African offering African solutions.

Speaking at the TEF Forum in 2017, the Vice President of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo charged African Entrepreneurs to take their destinies into their hands as he said, “the History of Africa does not determine its future unless we allow it”.

In 2018, the President of Ghana, HE Nana Akufo-Addo, in an interactive dialogue with TEF Founder, Tony O. Elumelu underlined the importance of galvanising the broad entrepreneurship eco-system, calling on public sector representatives to encourage, support and replicate the work of the Tony Elumelu Foundation in their respective regions. Speaking on the importance of putting the right policies in place, he said: “Nothing is changed or developed on its own. People must get up, speak, have discussions and change the dialogue.”

The 2018 TEF Forum also saw the Foundation launch TEF Connect, the world’s largest digitalplatform for African entrepreneurs, dedicated to connecting African entrepreneurs and the entrepreneurship ecosystem.

With the 5th edition of the Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Forum on 26th and 27th July the Tony Elumelu Foundation continues to live up to its mission of empowering African Entrepreneurs, to fostering engagement and deliberate discussions to change the narrative of Africa and scaling its impact. Click here for programme information.

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