[SPEECH] Tony Elumelu’s Speech in New York while Receiving the BCIU Dwight D. Eisenhower Global Entrepreneurship Award
Dwight D. Eisenhower Global Entrepreneurship Award by The Business Council for International Understanding (BCIU)
New York, USA
Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen,
- Thanks so much for honouring us with your esteemed presence
- This is wonderful and symbolic for a variety of reasons
- First as President Bush said, President Eisenhower is a man of many dimensions, most importantly his leadership and being honoured and recognised today as a recipient of President Eisenhower’s Global Entrepreneurship award is one that resonates with so many people in Africa.
- We have a lot of enterprising and entrepreneurial brains on the African continent, what they need is purposeful leadership.
- This award tonight further energises, encourages and motivates me to do more to support our enterprising Africans who seek opportunities, who need encouragement and hope, who are intelligent, hardworking, who want to succeed and help to transform Africa.
- I hope that this recognition and award will further inspire other endowed Africans and friends of Africa who want to give and support Africa in the 21st century to do so in a manner that helps to economically empower our young ones, encourage our women, make sure that we work together for an inclusive prosperity, one that touches everyone almost evenly.
- I want to dedicate this to my lovely wife, to our children, to the staff of UBA in 21 countries, over 20,000 of them, to the staff of Heirs Holdings, Transcorp and all the other companies in our group because they are the people who make it possible for me to continue to do what I do in supporting entrepreneurs in Africa.
- Their hard work, dedication, commitment and support have made it possible for this to happen so I want to say thank you to all of them.
- And finally, to BCIU, you have been amazing, on behalf of our entrepreneurs in Africa, over 3000 entrepreneurs who have benefitted from the Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme, I want to say thank you so much.
- From the bottom of our hearts, I want to commit that we will continue to support more entrepreneurs on the continent – it’s a 10 year commitment to support 10,000 entrepreneurs – the first cycle is just starting now, we will finish it and make sure that working with you and other friends of Africa and endowed Africans, it should go beyond the 10,000 entrepreneurs to even more because we do have over 600 million people who are under the age of 30 in Africa and they want to be economically empowered.
- Until we support these aspiring, hardworking young Africans, we should not sleep.
- So, to BCIU, thank you so much but for me and you also, the work has just begun.
Tony O. Elumelu, CON
Chairman, Heirs Holdings Group
Founder, The Tony Elumelu Foundation
Twitter: @TonyOElumelu; Facebook: Tony Elumelu, and Instagram @TonyOElumelu
Twitter: @Heirs_Holdings and Instagram: @HeirsHoldings
Twitter: @TonyElumeluFDN and Instagram: @TonyElumeluFoundation