On Monday, September 26, 2022, TEF Founder, Mr. Tony O. Elumelu and the TEF delegates rounded their trip to New York with a visit to the Chazen Institute in Columbia Business School, where Mr. Elumelu joined a specially-convened fireside chat anchored by Ijeoma Ejimadu; a Columbia Business School student, Co-Founder of Kareerday, Investment Fellow at Dream VC, and Founder of Ivery Arie Inc.
The hall was filled with students and alumni of the Business School who were excited to hear Mr. Elumelu share his thoughts on entrepreneurship, youth empowerment and the role of the private and public sectors in fostering development.
“For you all, in the African diaspora, I’d like for everyone to be successful in what they do. Because the development of Africa is not just material, it goes as far as even in terms of characterisation, mindset, and perception.
Perception has brand equity. If people see that a continent is good, has industrious people, people who are succeeding; the propensity to invest in that kind of environment will be high.”
Also in attendance was a 2015 Alumni of the Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme; Ayoade Oyedotun.
Ayo was one of the first cohort of beneficiaries of the Foundation’s US$100million programme, and he was excited to share the impact of the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme on his startup called Afrimash.
“I run an Agri-tech company for farmers. We run an e-commerce site like Amazon. Our products are agricultural products like planters, harvesters, and pesticides and chemicals. We deliver them to farmers across all of Nigeria.
I can proudly say that the US $ 5,000 that the Tony Elumelu Foundation gave to us in 2015, is less than our monthly salary today. We’ve just been multiplying what was given to us by the Tony Elumelu Foundation over 5 years ago.
Right now, we have and pay about 50 staff, and we serve tens of thousands of farmers across Nigeria. I am just really very grateful to you and the Foundation. Thank you very much for your support. I am very excited to see you”
Ayoade’s story is just one from thousands of Africans who can testify about the transformative impact of the Foundation in their lives, and Mr. Elumelu was happy to share tips on the best approach for African entrepreneurs to expand their brand from the domestic market to the global stage.
“Start small, make mistakes, apply the expertise, and move on. It takes time to make effective and lasting change”
Watch the full session here!
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