Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) and UNDP Announce Recovery Programme for Mali. Opens Applications to Empower 10,000 Young Malian Entrepreneurs
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- The TEF-UNDP Mali Entrepreneurship Programme leverages the Pan-African Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme knowhow and process to identify, train and fund young entrepreneurs
- A critical economic intervention to restore peace and economic stability in Mali
November 1, 2020, Bamako, Mali – The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the global development network of the United Nations, and the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) — the leading champion of entrepreneurship in Africa — have opened applications for the TEF-UNDP Mali Entrepreneurship Programme to train, mentor and fund 10,000 young Malian entrepreneurs over a 3-year period, as part of significant economic recovery intervention in Mali.
This youth empowerment initiative is part of the broader Tony Elumelu Foundation-UNDP Entrepreneurship Program, launched in 2019 to support 100,000 entrepreneurs across Africa.
The United Nations estimates that over 1.7 million people have been displaced by violence in Mali since 2012, further exacerbating an already volatile Sahel region. The TEF-UNDP Mali Entrepreneurship Programme directly addresses the economic roots of the crisis, helping to create a basis for sustainable peace in the long term.
The Tony Elumelu Foundation’s Entrepreneurship Programme demonstrates that entrepreneurship is the single most effective tool to create jobs, opportunity, economic hope, sustained growth, and poverty alleviation.
Commenting on this development, the Founder of The Tony Elumelu Foundation, Tony Elumelu said “under the global leadership of Achim Steiner, the UNDP has shown a long-lasting commitment to vulnerable and at-risk populations throughout Africa and shares our belief at TEF in the power of entrepreneurship and youth empowerment”.
Achim Steiner, UNDP Administrator, said: “COVID 19 recovery strategies must offer new opportunities for SMEs and the Informal economy. The United Nations Development Programme is proud of our partnership with the Tony Elumelu Foundation, now expanded to Mali – to invest in 10,000 Malian young entrepreneurs over 3 years. This will counter multidimensional crises by creating jobs, boosting innovation and promoting greener economic growth”.
The programme follows the recently concluded TEF-UNDP Sahel Pilot Programme in 2019 which identified, trained, mentored, and funded 2,004 young entrepreneurs across seven Sahel countries, including Mali, where close to 300 young Malian entrepreneurs benefited from this initiative.
The applications for the TEF-UNDP Mali Entrepreneurship Programme will be hosted on TEFConnect, the largest digital networking platform for African entrepreneurs from November 1st to 14th, developed by The Tony Elumelu Foundation. Following the application period, applicants will receive business training and mentorship, before participating in a pitching competition. The final list of beneficiaries to receive funding will be announced shortly after.
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About UNDP: UNDP is the leading United Nations organization fighting to end the injustice of poverty, inequality, and climate change. Working with our broad network of experts and partners in 170 countries, we help nations to build integrated, lasting solutions for people and planet. Learn more at undp.org or follow at @UNDP.
About the Tony Elumelu Foundation: The Tony Elumelu Foundation is the leading champion of entrepreneurship in Africa. Our objective is to empower women and men across our continent, catalyzing economic growth, driving poverty eradication and ensuring job creation.
The Foundation’s flagship Entrepreneurship Programme is a $100 million commitment to champion entrepreneurship development in Africa. Beyond its directly funded annual commitment, the Foundation has begun to partner with global development organizations and governments to scale its robust and proven approach, with the goal of creating economic prosperity and breaking the cycle of poverty on the continent. For more information, visit: www.tonyelumelufoundation.org
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