The CEO of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, Ifeyinwa Ugochukwu, was live on Channels TV on Wednesday, January 6, to discuss the role entrepreneurship in driving the economic recovery of small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) across the continent.
Here are a few salient quotes from her briefing:
- At the Tony Elumelu Foundation, we believe that Entrepreneurship is the most inclusive – and most transformative – approach to catalysing economic development, creating jobs, alleviating poverty and spurring innovation across the African continent.
- In Africa, significant inequalities exist for women-owned businesses, particularly in the area of access to finance and resources. It is on average far more difficult for women entrepreneurs to access capital to grow their small businesses. TEF prioritises the support that we give to women to help bridge this gap and ensure inclusivity. The outcome has been a consistent rise in female participation since the inception of our TEF Entrepreneurship Programme.
- To build sustainable and competitive communities, we must invest in more women-owned businesses. The old saying “when you empower a woman, you empower a nation” has never been truer. When a woman is empowered, it has a large multiplier effect uplifting not only her family but the wider community. To create more prosperous African communities, we must identify, support, train and fund more women-led enterprises.
- African women continue to face peculiar challenges in comparison to counterparts across the world. At TEF, we want to break down these barriers and ensure that an enabling environment that supports women to run and grow their businesses is put in place. As we engage with stakeholders including governments and policymakers in Africa, we continue to advocate for more youth and women-focused policies that will unlock and help to realise the potential of young women in particular.
- We are calling on governments, development organisations as well as private sector to focus on and begin to prioritise SMEs. We must collectively focus on capacitising them with the resources, tools, training and networks needed to create success. At TEF, we empower across the entire entrepreneurship value chain to ensure that entrepreneurs on our programme are equipped with the skills and ability to run successful businesses in Africa.
The Tony Elumelu Foundation is currently accepting applications to the 2021 Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme. We are inviting all young African men and women with business ideas or start-ups to apply on tefconnect.com