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1,000 Entrepreneurs Listed For Elumelu Boot Camp

The Tony Elumelu Foundation has announced that it will conduct a Pan-African entrepreneurship training that would be attended by 1,000 beneficiaries from virtually all the African countries

Sam Diala

One thousand entrepreneurs selected from different countries of Africa and Nigeria’s 36 states, will attend the Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme Boot Camp holding in Nigeria next month. The two-day event will hold on July 10-12 in Ota Ogun State.

In a media briefing in Lagos yesterday, The Tony Elumelu Foundation disclosed that the 1000 entrepreneurs chosen for the maiden edition of the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme (TEEP) Boot Camp were selected from over 20,000 applicants from all over Africa. It said the entrepreneurs would converge in Nigeria for a two-day boot camp session that will have experts drawn from within and outside Nigeria to speak on various subjects aimed at achieving the entrepreneurial leadership skill of the attendees.

The Foundation said the July 12-12 event which is the maiden boot camp of the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme (TEEP), a $100 million Pan-African entrepreneurship initiative, is billed to be the largest ever gathering of emerging entrepreneurs on the continent.

“In what is billed to be the largest ever gathering of emerging entrepreneurs on the continent, the boot camp – which is a major milestone of the flagship programme of the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEEF) – will see an interaction between established entrepreneurs from different sectors of industry, and the 1000 selectees of TEEP,” the Foundation hinted in its remarks.

The organization noted that Mr Tony Elumelu who had been vocal about entrepreneurship- led development and the push for a private sector-driven turnaround of Africa, was committed to his pet-dream of empowering African entrepreneurs as a way of leading the continent out of poverty, disease and ignorance. The Foundation said, “In empowering these emerging entrepreneurs, we are providing the capital, the networks, the training and support for them to drive economic and social transformation throughout Africa, providing solutions to its problems as well as securing their future and that of generations to come.”

The organization said that in preparing the intrepreneurs for the big event in July,TEEP had engaged the emerging entrepreneurs in a 12-week online training programme that culminated in the forthcoming thrilling two-day session. Explaining the format of the event, the Foundation said, “The boot camp format will be predominately plenary style sessions from speakers with proven track record in business and leadership.

The entrepreneurs will participate in sessions including an open mic with Founder Tony O. Elumelu CON and other captains of industry.” In his remarks, Mr Tony Elumelu, the TEEP founder, disclosed that the project was the outcome of his dream, with his family, to play a key role in the economic development of Africa, bearing in mind that Africa can only be developed by Africans. He said TEEP is a project he and his family decided to embark upon as a way of contributing their quota to the development of the continent. He disclosed that his exposure to the advanced parts of the world showed that Africa is in dire need of urgent development which only African entrepreneurs can offer. According to him, he did not embark on the project because he had enough, but because he and his family were convinced that they should play a prominent role in the economic development of Africa, adding that the best way to approach it is by entrepreneurship which is private sectordriven.

“We believe that the best way to go about it is to ensure the entrenchment of private sector-driven economy; we realize that in entrepreneurship, private partnership is key to achieving the desired level of economic development”, Elumelu said. He said the project would create 10,000 entrepreneurs in the first instance, with an investment of $100 million in ten years, after which the programme would be reviewed and further decision taken. Speaking on the ideals of the programme and the need for the training, Parminder Vir, Chief Executive Officer of the Foundation said, “We are excited to be pushing the envelope and providing a springboard for this set of emerging African entrepreneurs to take over the world with their innovative ideas, beginning from their local communities.

“At the end of this boot camp, we want them to have come, seen and be transformed into full-fledged entrepreneurs and ambassadors for Africapitalism.” The Foundation said the winners represent 51 African countries and territories, as well as a multitude of value adding sectors ranging from agriculture to education to fashion and ICT. It said, “All five African regions – North, East, Southern, Central and West Africa are represented, as well as every state in Nigeria. “Additionally, all major language blocs – Anglophone, Francophone, Lusophone, and Arabic Africa. More than anything else, they epitomize the opportunity and promise of Africa.”

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