The CEO of The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) Ifeyinwa Ugochukwu, featured on BBC World News’ Talking Business Weekly with host Aaron Heslehurst. On the show, Ifeyinwa shared her thoughts on the sudden growth in start-ups and how the pandemic is leading more people away from employed roles, to becoming entrepreneurs.
“I think it’s because people realise that it is up to them,” said Ifeyinwa. “One thing the pandemic did in Nigeria and a large part of Africa is that once the lockdown happened last year, we realised just how unprepared we are to cater to our own needs because we are so dependent on imports and so, of course, people realised that the problems you have in your community and country are businesses waiting to be made by entrepreneurs.”
She also highlighted the work of the Tony Elumelu Foundation in empowering entrepreneurs at the bottom of the entrepreneurship pyramid and the need to focus, to enable more African entrepreneurs come through.
“At the Tony Elumelu Foundation we have always preached that young people should focus on having a job-creating mentality as opposed to a job-seeking mentality. Young people should create jobs not just for themselves but for the people around them and that’s the only way Africa can move forward in terms of reaching the SDGs.
We are helping everyone who has a business idea that makes it through our programme to prove their concept, get their foot through the door and start their entrepreneurial journey.”
Ifeyinwa didn’t leave the show without a word of advice for entrepreneurs. In her words, “I believe there is no such thing as failure if you never stop trying. Never ever stop trying.”
The Tony Elumelu Foundation is currently accepting applications to the 2021 Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme. All young African men and women with brilliant business ideas or start-ups are invited to apply on tefconnect.com