Entrepreneurship, path to independence, sustainability – Elumelu

Continuing with its quest to create thousands of entrepreneurs on the African continent and create a path for sustainable development and independence, the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) recently hosted nearly 1,000 entrepreneurs from 54 African countries during the second TEF Entrepreneurship Forum – the largest annual gathering of African businessmen and women.

The forum celebrated the 2016 gathering of Elumelu entrepreneurs, selected from over 45,000 applicants. It was the highlight of the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme and brought together leading policy makers and business leaders in support of the Foundation’s $100 million commitment to empower 10,000 African entrepreneurs in 10 years.

Speaking at the event, the President of Sierra Leone, Mr. Ernest Bai Koroma, hailed the programme as a “genuinely innovative approach to philanthropy in Africa – an African offering African solutions”.

“Other philanthropists will be inspired to support and promote this philosophy. Even when we had Ebola in Sierra Leone, Tony (Elumelu) was there. His is an example which other successful Africans must follow,” he added.

In his keynote speech, TEF founder, Mr. Tony O. Elumelu, saluted those present, stating: “Our ambition is that you become ambassadors for entrepreneurship in Africa. You are a generation of wealth creators who share our commitment to the transformation of Africa.”

Speaking on one of the programme’s stellar participants, Elumelu informed his audience that Mr. Momar Mass-Taal had turned his first $5,000 seed capital from the Foundation into a $1.2 million revenue business. “We will have many more of these,” he added.

The two-day forum buzzed with energy as entrepreneurs shared and gained knowledge, built cross-border partnerships, and connected with investors and policymakers, fostering intra-African innovation and collaboration.

The first day featured master classes, sector specific workshops, and an in-depth session on Africapitalism, while the second day featured high-level panels to identify policies for strengthening the enabling environment for entrepreneurs.

Moderated by BBC News correspondent Lerato Mbele, the panel featured the Sierra Leonean president, former President Olusegun Obasanjo, former Prime Minister of Benin Republic, Mr. Lionel Zinsou, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, and Vice Chair of Famfa Oil, Mrs. Folorunsho Alakija.

Obasanjo congratulated Elumelu for the initiative, stating: “By every means, God has made His face to shine upon you. You are not the only one, but unlike you, others do not have the idea of empowering the next generation of Africans in the manner and scale that you are doing.”

In his remarks, Zinsou also reminded the participants that what Elumelu was doing to encourage and support entrepreneurship on the continent was the exception, not the norm.

BoI Launches N10bn Youths Entrepreneural Support Project

The Bank of Industry (BoI) on Thursday formally launched a N10 billion Youths Entrepreneurship Support (YES) project to empower youths with loans to start businesses.


Speaking at the launch of the project in Abuja, the Minister for Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr Okechukwu Enelamah, said that his ministry would partner all agencies of government to create new jobs.


He said that more than 40 per cent of Nigerian graduates had no jobs and that an average of eight million Nigerians entered the job market annually.


The minister said that the ‘YES’ project of BoI was part of the Federal Government’s youths employment scheme, stressing that about 36,000 jobs would be created annually through ‘YES’.


He appealed to prospective beneficiaries to repay the loans for the success and sustenance of the project.


Mr Waheed Olagunju, the acting Managing Director of BoI, said that a participant under the scheme could access up to N10 million loan with single digit interest rate and repayable over three to five years.


He said that an applicant must present NYSC or higher education certificate as collateral to qualify for the loan with two external guarantors.


Olagunju said that the bank was partnering 11 consultants across the country for the first phase of the project.


Mr Afolabi Imokhuede, a Special Assistant to the Vice President, said that job creation was at the heart of the current administration.


He said that government intended to create 3.5 million jobs in the next three years, adding that the ‘YES’ project was one of the programmes.


Imokhuede advised participants to take the ‘YES’ seriously as online courses were now popular means of job creation world wide.


Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, the Governor ok Kaduna State, said that the state was partnering with BoI on job creation.


He said that the state had been able to take controlling shares in Peugeot Automobile Nigeria with the assistance of BoI.



Tony Elumelu, Nigerian Billionaire Entrepreneur To Fund 1000 Budding African Entrepreneurs

Tony Elumelu, Nigerian Billionaire entrepreneur as part of a $100 million (67million pounds) initiative to boost Africa’s private sector has decided to fund 1000 budding African Entrepreneurs.

Mr. Elumelu explained that the 1000 were chosen from 20,000 applicants from 52 African states who applied .
Mr. Elumelu was listed by Forbes Magazine last year as the 26th richest African with networth of $1 billion.
Tony makes history with his donation being the largest by a businessman towards the development of small businesses in Africa according to reports from BBC’s Lerato Mbele from South Africa.
Tony’s ultimate goal is to drive Africa’s economic and social transformation from within and to radically intensify job creation in Africa.
Great work Tony!!!!!

#SmartStart #PursuitSeries (3): The dynamics of Pursuit: Do dreams really Change?

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This morning I woke up with a moody face, feeling like I woke up on the wrong side of the bed. I didn’t wake up too happy and I couldn’t just spot the reason why. I muttered some words of prayer then I remembered I had to speak to Adebola. I swung my left hand blindly to pick up my phone from the left side drawer of my bed and accidentally my left hand went hitting the glass cup with which I used in drinking myself to bed last night. With the frustration of a lazy me looking angrily at a broken glass cup and my precious phone in the midst of it and then my phone cried out ringing with the tune “Because I am Happy by Pharrel”

Good day, my name is Haastrup Steven Adeshope.

Sweetheart, don’t tell me you are still on the bed? Chai! You are a Lazy boy. How was sha your night? And then I replied “Adebola you know I am not lazy, it’s just that I have to sleep very well on my Saturdays, anyways, I had a good and cold night”. Sweetheart I called for a reason, Adebola continued… there is something I want to discuss with you and it has been bothering me. What’s that Adebola? It’s about the work I do; don’t be angry I would be talking very serious this early Saturday morning. It’s because I am so bothered… Steven, you know I am into fashion designing but of recent I have been getting a rich network of people and it has been fetching huge jobs for me.

Great! So what bothers you Adebola?

She stammered… it’s that it is requiring me to go the extra mile of cutting my designs to cloth myself and then sew them which I don’t do before, and this is one part of fashion you know that I don’t like but these recent jobs are huge and I don’t want to be doing this niche-thing and lose out of great jobs like this… Steven, you are my amazing coach aside being my sweetheart, and I would want your advice on what I can do in a fix like this.

“Steven are you still there?” I am Adebola… I was just listening to you and wanted you to finish speaking before I say anything about what you should do.

Adebola! It’s simple! Our dreams are like balls. In execution, we kick them towards the goal of full realization and if we can’t do that, we have failed. That’s why from the beginning, we should be so damn clear about what we want, who we are and who we eventually want to be. We don’t know everything, we don’t know the twists but one thing we know is ourselves.

Adebola! You remember the gist I told you? About when I had this meeting with a former minister of this country and I didn’t ask for a job even though I felt tempted to almost throw away my dreams because this former minister asked me to mention anything I wanted and you can remember what I told you? That I knew what I wanted before the meeting with the former minister, all I said was that I needed LEVERAGE and then I detailed it in our conversation.

Adebola! In your life pursuits, advancements are advisable but make sure they still lead to the same life goals or even an improved, aligned one. Make sure your advancement is not momentary; make sure it is an UPGRADE of your whole person. There are 4 heat signals that would let you know it is time to upgrade, they are:

  1. If recurrent opportunities don’t match your expertise for delivery, then skill up
  2. If it is in vogue and it’s the exceptional requirement of the day, then skill up
  3. If this advancement will bring speed to your pursuit, then skill up.
  4. If you are stagnant and you seem stuck, then skill up.

Steven, were you saying ZIP UP? Adebola, you are not listening, only God knows where your mind was, I said SKILL UP! Conclusively, dreams change, they twist, don’t be scared of losing that so called original dream. To skill up is the only way your idea can survive the speed of pursuit, it’s your maneuver in journeying along. If you don’t, you would be trampled upon. So, watch it, make sure you have probed yourself real good with those 4 questions and make sure you could answer at least 3 of those questions to make your twist right.

I am your StartUp Management Consultant – Haastrup Steven Adeshope.

Got questions or comments? You can send me a mail via haastrupsteven@gmail.com


If you missed the last week episode of the #PursuitSeries – “Kunle’s Story: It could have been your Story”, search it out on this platform and read it. It is an awesome building block to pursuing productively. Next week, I would be talking on “Clarity: The backbone of sustainable pursuits”. Don’t miss this for anything. Make it a date next Monday here exclusively on Omojuwa.com.

Tell your friends and partners, share it among your followers and mutual friends, it might be all they need to get up and stand tall.

Have a great week ahead.