Tony Elumelu Grants $5M Seed Fund to Empower 1,000 African Entrepreneurs

Tony Elumelu, a Nigerian businessman, has once again shown his unflinching support for Africa’s emerging business leaders. Through the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), Elumelu has provided a lifeline to over 1,000 young men and women from all 54 African countries, providing them with non-refundable seed cash in excess of $5 million.

Elumelu celebrated his birthday by revealing the beneficiaries of The Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Program 2024 on LinkedIn. Each applicant will get $5,000 in non-refundable seed funding to help them launch their entrepreneurial ventures.

Elumelu reflected on the trip he took with his wife, Awele, a decade ago, with the joint goal of democratizing opportunity and igniting transformative change throughout Africa. “This journey began 10 years ago by Awele and I, with a vision to democratize luck and transform lives across Africa,” he told reporters.

This current effort expands on Elumelu’s decade-long aim of democratizing opportunity and transforming African lives via entrepreneurship. Since the TEF’s inception in 2015, Elumelu has supported over 18,000 young entrepreneurs from a variety of backgrounds and sectors across Africa. He initially committed $100 million to support 10,000 startups over ten years. However, they exceeded expectations.

TEF goes beyond only cash support. It provides its beneficiaries with extensive support, including training, coaching, and access to key networks. The foundation’s cutting-edge digital training platform has already influenced over 1.5 million young Africans, providing them with the skills and information needed to succeed in today’s competitive business environment.

Elumelu’s commitment to Africa’s economic change goes beyond philanthropy. As chairman of Heirs Holdings, he oversees large investments in critical areas such as banking and energy. Notably, through Transcorp Power, the company’s energy subsidiary, Elumelu has made significant contributions to Nigeria’s power sector. Transcorp Power has installed around 2,000 MW of capacity, enhancing the nation’s electrical grid.

Transcorp Power’s recent listing on the Nigeria Exchange (NGX) has highlighted Elumelu’s significance, putting approximately N2.87 trillion ($2.03 billion) into NGX’s market capitalization and providing significant returns to shareholders. Transcorp Power’s share price has increased by 45.1 percent since its debut, demonstrating Elumelu’s vision and leadership in fostering long-term growth and development across Africa.

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