The Business Council for International Understanding, a non-profit United States business association dedicated to forging relationships and promoting dialogue between business and government communities across the globe, has presented the Founder, Tony O. Elumelu, CON and Chairman, Marriott International Inc, Bill Marriott, with the prestigious Dwight D. Eisenhower Global Entrepreneurship Award.
The award was conferred in recognition of his outstanding work in promoting entrepreneurship on the continent of Africa and across the globe, according to a statement.
“Elumelu, a serial entrepreneur, through his Tony Elumelu Foundation, has funded over 3,000 African entrepreneurs to date with his $100m commitment to 10,000 entrepreneurs over a period of 10 years. These entrepreneurs are expected to create a million new jobs and over $10bn in revenue as a result of the initiative of the foundation,” the statement added.
At the award gala, former US President, George W. Bush, acknowledged the efforts of the African entrepreneur saying, “I am impressed with Tony’s philanthropic initiatives, which are powering job creation and entrepreneurship in a region (Africa) that is very dear to Laura and me.
“To receive an award founded by President Eisenhower has added meaning. Eisenhower provided example in leadership, which we can all learn from. Additionally, his belief in promoting international understanding is a vitally important responsibility.”
Speaking on the reason why he was selected as the recipient of the award, Peter Tichansky, the CEO of BCIU said, “Tony Elumelu’s bold approach and can-do mind-set are exemplary characteristics of a visionary entrepreneur. He embodies the idea that companies must take the lead in bringing business and society together.
“His advocacy is proving that businesses, acting as businesses and not charitable donors, are the most powerful force for addressing social challenges and economic development.”
In his acceptance speech Tony Elumelu stated, “President Eisenhower was a man of many dimensions and most important is his leadership. Being recognised today as a recipient of the inaugural global entrepreneurship award is an honour that resonates with so many people in Africa. What our entrepreneurs in Africa need is powerful leadership to further energise, encourage and motivate them to transform the continent. I hope this will further spur on other Africans and friends of Africa to make sure we work together for an inclusive prosperity.”