By Alieu Ceesay
Two Gambian entrepreneurs, Gabriel A. Gomez and Yorro Cham, who are into agro-business and healthcare, are part of the 1000 African entrepreneurs selected for the 2017 Tony Elumelu Foundation programme.
The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) is an African founded and funded 21st century philanthropic organization committed to entrepreneurship development.
Applications were received from over 93,000 entrepreneurs across 55 African countries – over 100% increases from 2016, and nearly quadruple of the 2015 application numbers.
Proving that African youth are indeed interested in feeding the continent, Agriculture leads the pack with nearly 1 in 3 successful applicants. The next most popular sector was ICT (11%) and then manufacturing (9%), evidence of a paradigm shift away from extractives to a more sustainable mindset that embraces industrialization and
Africa’s largest economy, Nigeria, is home to 50% of the 2017 cohort, with regional powerhouses Kenya, Ghana, Uganda and Cameroon following respectively.
The successful entrepreneurs will benefit from the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme’s 7 Pillars – a toolkit of support including business training, mentoring, access to networks and funding of up to $10,000 – as they develop their business concepts to contribute to the transformation of the continent.
The 1000 selected entrepreneurs will be in Lagos from the 12-15th October for the 2017 Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Forum. The Forum – which is the largest gathering of African entrepreneurs, mentors, investors, media and policy makers on the continent – is the hallmark of the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme.
The TEF Entrepreneurship Forum is a unique physical gathering bringing the 1000 entrepreneurs, investors, business leaders and policy makers to share knowledge, build networks and showcase the entrepreneurial spirit in Africa.
“I am really thrilled and proud to be among the 1000 selected from Africa and 2 from The Gambia. I hope to meet and share ideas and good practices with fellow entrepreneur during the forum,” Gabriel A Gomez shared.
For Yerro Cham, it is exciting for him to benefit from the TEF Programme. He is hoping that the start-up capital from the TEF will greatly help boost his business.