Our beneficiaries lead trailblazing businesses in their various communities, creating jobs and exporting local African produce to a global market.
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After several years in the banking sector, it was easier for Nigerian-born Chinedu Emenalo to identify the challenges around financial service faced by customers. With this, Chinedu and his colleague – who would become his co-founder – decided to launch a startup. Kobopay, to offer a more seamless platform for affordable financial services at a micro-scale.
In 2016, Chinedu became a Tony Elumelu Entrepreneur, taking among many things, the importance of excellent customer service. Till today, the philosophy that customer is king remains the mindset and driving force at Kobopay. The duality is to this enterprise is that they provide customer-centric services while also ensuring customer satisfaction.
This determination has led to the organic growth of the organization, with about 20,000 users and over $2M in transaction volume through bootstrapping. Currently, their focus is on rural and semi-rural communities with little to no formal banking presence. In these communities, Kobopay is partnering with local businesses such as market women and neighbourhood convenience stores to serve as Kobopay agents. In return, they are providing an extra source of income to these local businesses and employment to the community at large.
For Chinedu, the goal is to be the universal provider of Financial services to all and sundry in Nigeria in a customer-centric manner. The most important impact Koboypay has is that it allows underserved people to conduct their financial activities with less stress and exertion and more ease, all at a lower cost.
In addition, people in these communities get to access formal financial services and obtain formal, government identity through the Bank Verification Number (BVN) for the first time. Access to government programmes and services such as micro-insurance, Micro-credit, micro-pensions over time are also added value provided by Kobopay.
In the next two years, Kobopay aims to secure a microfinance banking license to improve the list of services they can offer to their customers and thereafter transition over time into a full-scale digital bank focusing on democratizing financial services in sub-Saharan Africa.
After several years in the banking sector, it was easier...
Kgomotso Tlhokwane’s dream was to change the world in the little ways she could and make a difference in her industry and Bostwana. She was able to do that through the Tony Elumelu Foundation. Her selection as a Tony Elumelu entrepreneur significantly influenced her ability to increase staff strength and achieve more. The Business Management training also provided her with sufficient insights and necessary guidance for drafting and implementing the growth of her company.
Through the programme, she learnt new and valuable things and became more equipped to run a business. The Alumni Network platform has also allowed her to amazing entrepreneurs with whom she continues to learn and network.
As a Tony Elumelu Entrepreneur, Kgomotso has been exposed to insightful partnerships that have, in turn, motivated her to stay on course and never give up in the face of challenges.
Kgomotso Tlhokwane’s dream was to change the world in the...
While he was at the ideation stage for his business, Hoda Kouakou Steve applied for the Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme. Being a part of the programme enlightened him to better understand his idea; structure it and to formalize the company. The seed capital enabled him to launch business activities and conduct various tests on their solutions.
His enterprise, Afririce, enables producers who are frustrated and stressed by the difficulty of threshing-winnowing an easier solution with their thresher-winnower. Originally intended for rice, the machine is now suitable for threshing and winnowing soybeans, which is most suitable as in recent years, Benin has seen a rise in soybean production.
In 2018, the solution was presented at the Innovation Symposium in Rome at FAO headquarters, where Steve and his team were ranked among FAO’s 20 Success Stories in hunger-reduction. The team has been selected by the American Government through the USADF to benefit from the funding of approximately $100,000 to mechanize agricultural operations in 3 large rice and soybean production zones in Benin. The project, planned for 2 years, will also make it possible to digitize the Agricultural Council in the cereal sectors.
From a Tony Elumelu Entrepreneur, straight to global domination!
While he was at the ideation stage for his business,...
With a business team composed mainly of female locals, Angola’s Tidiane Rangel is securing Angola’s economic growth and empowering women through its direct and indirect contribution to the development of other local businesses. Her vision was inspired by a challenge she wanted to address, which is that the difficulty in local sourcing for needed resources in the braiding industry in Angola has led to the importation of a large part of production resources. To close this gap, UABILUKA invested in the purchase and distribution of the other needed resources in the industry.
Before becoming a Tony Elumelu Entrepreneur, Tidiane found it difficult to position her business in the market. In addition to not knowing what the most appropriate business strategy was, she also had a very limited product stock. However, the programme empowered her and her team to validate and ensure the sustainability of the business idea, prepared and provided guidance to the design of a suitable business plan and allowed them to increase their offerings. This expansion further allowed Uabiluka to strengthen the customer relationships and attract women specialists to work with them.
With a business team composed mainly of female locals, Angola’s...
For some entrepreneurs, the impact they make in their communities is as important as the revenue they generate from the enterprise.
After becoming a Tony Elumelu Entrepreneur, Algeria’s Belhadj was able to create job opportunities for people within her community; contributing to the local development by ensuring more people have access to a means of livelihood.
The training from the Tony Elumelu Foundation programme enriched her knowledge of entrepreneurship as she was able to network with other entrepreneurs and share valued experiences. The seed capital solved her biggest challenge in launching her business.
PV Cell is a manufacturing enterprise for Photovoltaics panels and cells. It is the only company in Africa that manufactures silicon-based solar cells, and directly contributes to environmental protection and the fight against climate change.
For some entrepreneurs, the impact they make in their communities...
Coming from a family of entrepreneurs, Lawrence Mmari has always been passionate about someday becoming an entrepreneur. However, although he was a graduate, he had no prior knowledge of business management until he encountered the Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme. Through the programme, he was better equipped with the necessary skills to successfully run his business, Flow Farm.
Flow Farm has impacted its community by making life and the environment more sustainable with its products. They have integrated technology with common commercial activities like farming which has made farming easier and used game-changing technology to drive economic growth. They have also trained and empowered youths within their community and empowered them to start their horticulture business.
During the programme, he was appropriately guided by world-class mentors and industry experts on how to be innovative, competitive and take hold of opportunities in the market. Since then, he has been able to expand his business, increase the size of his employees and sustain his family’s livelihood.
Coming from a family of entrepreneurs, Lawrence Mmari has always...
By leveraging the Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme, platforms and tools, Sudanese Ahmed Hamdain’s was motivated by the stories of other entrepreneurs. He received guidance on his most preferred business options, leading to a thorough understanding of his business model and operations.
Since becoming a Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneur, his business, Rabah International Co LTD, has created direct job opportunities for five people within his community in Sudan. In addition, his enterprise engages an average of six vendors and suppliers on a monthly basis, thereby contributing to the continued operation of their businesses: altogether serving as a direct and indirect means of livelihood for several other people within their local communities.
By leveraging the Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme, platforms and...
Having completed his graduate studies in Technology, Akapko-Lado Gbagbode found that there was a lack of processing machinery in African countries, and often the purchase of these machines from outside was expensive and required costly external expertise in the event of breakdowns.
After his selection as one of the beneficiaries of the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme, he received several training sessions that focused on diverse business management topics. The technical and financial support enabled him to turn his ideas into reality, embarking on research towards the manufacturing of Agro-food. Since then, he has been able to meet the needs of his communities, while preserving the economy and creating jobs.
Having completed his graduate studies in Technology, Akapko-Lado Gbagbode found...
In July 2020, Madagascar born Stannie Avotriniaina launched a little factory named Mahatsara, with the aim of producing dried fruits and vegetables, but have more products like arranged rhum with dried fruits.
Through the Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme, Stannie has been able to sharpen her entrepreneurial skills to the benefit of herself and her community. The knowledge received during the training has significantly contributed to the sustainable development of her community, and she continues in her quest to create more jobs for rural women.
Since the programme, Stannie has empowered young entrepreneurs around her to contribute effectively and create positive impacts in among their communities. Her ambition is to have the biggest dried fruit processing factory in Africa, giving access to nutrients to everyone who needs it, especially in the southern part of Madagascar and in Africa too.
In July 2020, Madagascar born Stannie Avotriniaina launched a little...
A graduate from Lagos State University, Taiwo Sagbo Awusinu is an entrepreneur whose passion for entrepreneurship has enabled him to run a pig production and pork processing industry and Agro consultant film. His deep interest in agriculture and its value chains was inspired by his family’s affiliation with the sector.
At the Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme, Taiwo learnt how to set goals and developed his human resources management skills. These principles have enabled him to increase his horizons in several aspects of his life and enhanced my entrepreneurial passion.
Since becoming an entrepreneur, he has committed to the growth and development of his community. Currently, 90% of the workforce at Sirgbo Greengold Farms & Food is from his local community and most resources are also sourced locally. His hope is for his enterprise to be among the best suppliers of pig, pork and piglet
A graduate from Lagos State University, Taiwo Sagbo Awusinu is...
With a background in Computer Engineer oriented Artificial Intelligence, Networks and Telecommunications, Abdoulaye Cisse is improving the ways in which humans and goods move around in his country, Mali.
This innovation was inspired by an occurrence in which he found himself unable to find any means of transport to get to his house which was in the suburb. He realised that many people within his community find themselves in similar situations and became overcome by the need to provide a solution to this challenge. His enterprise, TAMA, operates in the field of transport by combining new technologies. To do this, they set up an application that allows people to seamlessly link up with carriers, positioning them in similar operations like Uber from the international market.
Fascinated by the field of entrepreneurship, he was able to acquire the necessary skills to face and realize his dream through the Tony Elumelu Foundation. To him, the impact of the programme was beyond the financial aspect.
Although there are few challenges – such as the fact that many places do not have an address which makes geolocation difficult; internet access is not readily accessible to the average-income citizen – by creating this company, Abdoulaye has reduced unemployment and continues to facilitate the displacement of the population.
With a background in Computer Engineer oriented Artificial Intelligence, Networks...
From the first day he came across the Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme application in February 2019, Nigerian Timothy Williams, a teacher, agri-business enthusiast, business plan writer and Agric-business consultant, knew it was the right fit for his vision. He read everything about the foundation and the programme; the criteria and requirements for application and made himself available to take advantage of all the benefits.
The first business that came to his mind was poultry farming. He had tried his hands on this in the past, however, he was determined to succeed this time around with his vision. He learnt a lot from his failure as a Poultry farmer and knew to avoid the mistakes he made at the beginning of his entrepreneurship journey.
Having never once dreamt of owning a business, Timothy’s greatest challenge was the ‘fear to start’. On receiving the seed capital, he was anxious with several thoughts, but having a business plan – which he learnt through the programme – and the different masterclasses organized by the Tony Elumelu Foundation further encouraged him and provided a mental balance to proceed with his plans.
Timothy credits everything he knows about running a business to the entrepreneurship programme. Before the programme, he had never been as keen to acquire knowledge. The programme taught and trained him on how to write a winning business plan and other aspects of business and entrepreneurship. Today he is equipped to guide, coach and mentor people.
Timothy’s business started with an idea; launched and financed with the seed capital from the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme and in less than a year, the business has scaled and employed 2 people. His business, Shangkinan Poultry Farm, is meeting the nutritional needs of the people within and outside the community. He hopes to expand the business and launch a second business location.
From the first day he came across the Tony Elumelu...
Olayinka Bello’s entrepreneurial mission was to change the mindset and impression of Nigerians towards Nigerian-made products by using chemistry as a yardstick. His dream of having a footwear brand first occurred at his primary school graduation, when his father bought him a pair of oversized moccasin shoes. As a result of this, he wore the shoes for years but eventually outgrew the value and asked his father for a new pair. However, he was shocked to hear that it was no longer available. He vowed to start a shoe brand in Nigeria that would create all kinds of designs for customers.
The 2019 Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme taught him how to write a business plan and track his financials which positioned him to successfully launch his business website and seek investors. As a footwear designer with a Bachelor and Master’s degree in Chemistry, and demonstrated work experience in the Nigerian apparel and fashion industry, he designs and produces footwear that has a perfect mix of style and comfort.
His business, UOB, is focused on custom-made products with an international quality standard that complements the satiable taste of youth and young adults (male and female) at affordable prices. He believes in giving customers the freedom to creatively express themselves through footwear.
In addition, for every five pairs of footwear sold by UOB, a pair of school sandal is provided for a less privileged schoolchild in Nigeria.
Olayinka Bello’s entrepreneurial mission was to change the mindset and...
On the completion of her undergraduate studies, Risikat Temidayo realized that there was no white-collar job that interested her and as a result, ventured into the business of producing soaps and cosmetics. Her business, Composite Ventures 66 Nig ENT, is a passion project she was able to refine through the Tony Elumelu Foundation Programme in 2015.
For her, the most valuable lesson she received was the 12-week online training which helped her expand her business management horizon, technological and administration expertise, and sales, marketing and managerial expertise.
Today, Risikat is creating employment opportunities, direct/indirect wholesaling, and ensuring a clean environment for her community. She is also improving the standard of living in her locality by giving credit facilities to SMEs for them to pay back after-sales. Her dream is to have her brand in local and international markets in the next 3 years.
On the completion of her undergraduate studies, Risikat Temidayo realized...
As a seasoned Brand Strategist and Multimedia Designer professional with over 8 years of experience, James Strauss decided to launch a 360 Media company in Namibia in 2019 to assist companies with their digital marketing needs.
The Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme gave him the much-needed support he required to make a commitment of such magnitude. He knew Nasmalust was a viable business opportunity when digital marketing and media began to trend in Africa. Most brands were adopting the US and Europe-based approach to marketing to Africans, and his vision was to change that and make it more authentic by adding Afrocentric elements.
During the 2020 State of Emergency in Namibia as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, Nasmalust was registered as an essential service company, making it among the very few companies that could assist public organizations with the distribution of information relating to Covid-19.
For James, his greatest challenge has been his desire to scale the business and become the digital media giant he plans for it to be. He is constantly contracting jobs to young videographers, photographers, and marketing professionals and providing Namibians with local content through their work with local brands.
As a seasoned Brand Strategist and Multimedia Designer professional with...
With a scientific academic background, Saint Eudes followed the world of architecture and then found himself in the field of ICT where he served as an incubator, managing teams for projects and building his leadership skills. However, it was in 2019, through the Tony Elumelu Foundation programme, that he received the training and validation he needed as an entrepreneur to enable him to run a business.
Since its creation, his technological company, “KOSUNGA” has offered solutions in the field of information and communication technologies with services deployed across Africa through its platforms. The company is evolving from two perspectives: the first is the heart, which is the development of technological platforms and many others, having a continental influence by their research & development. The second perspective is in providing a development solution: websites, web and mobile applications, software, social media management (with social networks, digital marketing), and ISO Certified Training (Partner of PECB American & Canadian company).
Saint Eudes believes in the realization of projects (awareness-raising, workshops, conferences) that are concerned with internet governance affecting young people and Congolese citizens living in Congo. His passion is to develop his country, and the continent of Africa in terms of economy and technology.
In addition to being an entrepreneur, he has several commitments to voluntary service in the Republic of Congo, including the All Humanity Network, Youthlead, YouthPower, CGNOG, ELONGA, KOTLIN (new Google language in Congo Brazzaville), GDG (Google Developer Group), and YOUTHCOM.
With a scientific academic background, Saint Eudes followed the world...
From the 2017 Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship programme, Rwandan Justin Niyigena learned how to cultivate valuable network and business leadership skills through the series of training to grow his poultry farming enterprise, Breeding Hens LTD. With only 2 years of experience in his agri-business, the seed capital also helped him run his business professionally.
His aspiration is to become the preferable Poultry farming enterprise in Rwanda. So far, his business has created jobs and continue to contribute to national development through taxes. He is also a role model in his community for the young generation.
From the 2017 Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship programme, Rwandan Justin...
For Botswana’s Tuduetso Tebape, her passion for skincare and nature was a seamless pathway to setting up of a green beauty company. Nubian Seed (Pty) became the act of turning a passion into a business. From a cottage industry-based enterprise that sold only Shea Butter and later African Black Soap in 2014, to a registered business in 2017, every milestone in the business has been an important one. Nubian Seed has won several awards that includes the Global Expo Pride Mark Exhibitor Bronze Award in 2017; Top 4 National Winners of the FemBioBiz Acceleration Programme in 2018.
Through the Tony Elumelu Foundation entrepreneurship programme, Tuduesto was able to boost her confidence as an entrepreneur. She learnt the importance of setting goals, calculating milestones and being flexible – a thing she would have a closer encounter with in 2020. Being an entrepreneur in COVID-19 times has been challenging but maintaining a willingness to adapt quickly to change has kept her busines moving. These unprecedented times, which is characterized by varying life stress factors, requires that one maintains a work life balance, for mental and emotional wellbeing.
Recently, Nubian Seed moved operations to a manufacturing facility in what is a significant symbol of the business’ growth phase, contributing to its local community through employment, training, skills sharing and capacity building. Amongst several aspirations, Nubian Seed intends to grow and be able to source products in Botswana, increase distribution and market share and have a significant and positive impact on natural cosmetics industry.
For Botswana’s Tuduetso Tebape, her passion for skincare and nature...
One of the many ways small businesses can grow is through cross-continental trade, and Senegal’s Racine Sarr is at the forefront of Africa’s growing e-commerce sector. His enterprise, Shop Me Away is a home-grown platform for people to import and export from other continents.
For Racine, connecting products to users is a way to support local businesses and encourage diversity across supply chains. With products from the USA, Europe, China, Africa and Latin America, Shop Me Away provides users with several options to suit their unique and individual needs. While it makes shopping easier, it also provides cheaper shipping rates to further support cross-continental e-commerce. Every day, Racine’s mission is to give Africans the opportunity to buy whatever they need from anywhere in the world at a fair price and with a decent shipment cost.
One of the many ways small businesses can grow is...
Nana Amoako-Anin is the Founder of Bliss Yoga Accra, one of the few full-service yoga studios credited with popularising yoga in Ghana.
Nana Amoako-Anin is the Founder of Bliss Yoga Accra, one...
South African entrepreneur Palesa Moloi, is the founder of ParkUpp,...
Mark Danbaba Jacob is an entrepreneur in printing and embroidery...
Chimezie Nicholas Chukwunta is the founder of 4Figure, a company working on the prototype of the first cross-cultural communications-and-learning app in Nigeria. He has been able to catalogue about 30 basic phrases from 10 Nigerian languages including but not limited to Igbo, Hausa, Yoruba. They are also cataloguing more than 30 Nigerian delicacies and trivia questions on the culture of the diversity of the Nigerian people from all tribes.
Chimezie Nicholas Chukwunta is the founder of 4Figure, a company...
In 2019, Uchenna Agbo got admitted into the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme with Nollywood Insider, a business idea he decided to explore as an offshoot of his main company Okike Media.
After going through the Programme, Uchenna pivoted into an application that provides a digital village where creatives can meet with hiring companies and get hired without the rigorous processes of auditioning and talent scouting. In 2019, Okike Media hired over 100 contract crew and cast for different film production services.
In 2019, Uchenna Agbo got admitted into the TEF Entrepreneurship...
Shadrach Akpan is the founder of Wheatstone Gates, a company...
Harun Abubakar Ibrahim is the founder of Haigha Tech, a company that provides a one-stop automated solution for trade and industry. The company caters to various sizes and fields of organizations with different products and services to meet their preferred requirements.
Haigha Tech began its business operation as a hardware and software solutions providing company in January 2017. It focuses exclusively in high quality and cost-effective software development and implementation of services.
Harun Abubakar Ibrahim is an ICRC-sponsored entrepreneur.
Harun Abubakar Ibrahim is the founder of Haigha Tech, a...
David Gaaniko Daniel is the founder of Gaani Study Abroad,...
Goitsemang Majaga is a young entrepreneur with a great desire and passion to excel in ICT and Software Development in Botswana and the rest of Africa.
Majaga started his business, Francistown College of Programming when he realized that there were not many colleges owned by Botswana, especially young people, and took it upon himself to change that.
So far, Majaga has developed software for government ministries and private companies in Bostwana one of which is a records management software that tracks file transfers and another for the Ministry of Youth Sport and Culture of Bostwana.
Goitsemang Majaga is a young entrepreneur with a great desire...
Nganga Felix is a computer engineer skilled at developing software for PCs and mobile phones. His business, Ngangalix commercial, is specialized in training centre (ITs courses) and selling ITs accessories software and hardware in one of the communities in Angola Capital (Luanda).
After deeply analysing the worst situation of his community which ranged from poor quality of education and information technology, he started out with purchasing a photocopying machine to provide copy service to my community. Soon, people his community started requesting that he also typed documents for them.
This ignited their interest to learn how to type documents and handle computers. Felix then proceeded to acquire an additional 10 PCs and opened his first training center. In space of 7 months, Felix had enrolled more than 600 students in various courses and hired 4 young people.
So far, his business has trained more than 2,400 students in various IT courses.
Nganga Felix is a computer engineer skilled at developing software...
Melissa Bime is the founder of Infiuss — an online blood bank Bime started in December 2017. In the year since its launch, Infiuss’ motorbikes have delivered more than 2,300 bags of blood to patients at 23 hospitals in Yaoundé and Douala. Before Infiuss, access to blood was a dilemma for both physicians and patients in Cameroon. But now with her innovative model, Melissa been able to cut the average time it takes for a patient to receive a transfusion from about a week, to one hour.
With a staff of 13 and revenue of over $26,000, she has been able to open up a clinic and create an online bilingual app for her clients.
Melissa Bime is the founder of Infiuss — an online...