African entrepreneurship-focused philanthropy, Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), has signed a N400million partnership with the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), through the Export Expansion Facility Programme (EEFP) to accelerate the performance of 50 TEF Entrepreneurs in Nigeria within the non-oil export sector.
The strategic objective of the N400 million grants is to promote export inclusion, market access, and minimise logistical and export trade facilitation challenges, according to a statement on the TEF website.
The Foundation explained that selected beneficiaries are from the TEF Alumni network of over 10,000 African entrepreneurs who have been trained, mentored, and funded to enable their businesses to grow. Beneficiaries will receive one-on-one coaching, advisory services on product development, market information under the NEPC’s Youth Export Development Programme and other values.
It added that the support will enable them to produce exportable products. “The partnership will also leverage TEF’s proprietary digital platform TEFConnect which currently supports over 1.5 million Africans. The partnership will address the liquidity crisis faced by entrepreneurs within the continent because of the economic effect of the COVID 19 pandemic.”
At the signing ceremony, the Executive Director/CEO, NEPC, Olusegun Awolowo, was quoted: “NEPC is delighted to embark on this journey with The Tony Elumelu Foundation as we jointly create an army of exporters to drive non-oil exports and promote the diversification of Nigeria’s export portfolio for inclusive and sustainable economic growth. We have keenly admired the work that The Tony Elumelu Foundation has been doing with entrepreneurs across Africa and took a cue from President Muhammad Buhari to support these efforts on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria, through the EEFP under the Nigeria Economic Sustainability Plan (NESP).”
Our partnership with the Nigerian government presents a unique opportunity to showcase the quality minds and products that we have in Nigeria to the rest of the world, and we look forward to replicating this novel partnership with other governments across Africa.
The EEFP, established under the Federal Government’s N2.3trillion NESP, is designed to protect export businesses from the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic, safeguard jobs and de-risk the economy from future shocks by focusing on driving economic growth through exports.
“We hope that this grant of N400million targeted specifically to the Tony Elumelu Foundation’s Nigerian entrepreneurs will spur other governments in Africa to support the Foundation in its audacious drive to create tens of thousands of entrepreneurs across the continent of Africa,” Awolowo added.
Also commenting, CEO, TEF, Ifeyinwa Ugochukwu, said: “At the Foundation we are catalysing economic growth, driving poverty eradication and ensuring job creation by empowering African entrepreneurs. Since the launch of the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme in 2015, we have empowered over 10,000 entrepreneurs across all 54 African countries with funding, mentorship, business management training, and access to key networks.
“We commend and are pleased to partner with the NEPC to further empower 50 young TEF Nigerian entrepreneurs with additional funding support especially post covid-19. Our partnership with the Nigerian government presents a unique opportunity to showcase the quality minds and products that we have in Nigeria to the rest of the world, and we look forward to replicating this novel partnership with other governments across Africa.”
The signing ceremony which was held at the Export House, in Abuja, had Alumni from the TEF network of over 4,000 Nigerian entrepreneurs present to share their business success stories with Awolowo.
The TEF’s $100 million Entrepreneurship Programme which was launched in 2015, is open to entrepreneurs across all countries in Africa, both new start-ups and existing young businesses, operating in all major economic sectors. Successful applicants receive world-class business training, mentorship, non-refundable seed capital of $5,000, and global networking opportunities.