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Entrepreneurs all over the world do not hesitate to jump at schemes and opportunities meant to bolster their trade and widen their scope on how to build their brands to a global standard. Nigeria is fortunate to have a crop of youth willing to establish their own enterprise in a country with a high unemployment rate. Every sector of the Nigerian economy constitutes entrepreneurs who put in a great deal of work to carve a niche for themselves.

In a bid to promote entrepreneurship, the Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Forum was established in 2015.


From the 26th – 27th of July, 2019, Africa will witness the largest gathering of entrepreneurs, world leaders, policymakers, and business leaders in one location – the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja, Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory. The Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Forum is an annual event hosted by the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), an organization at the fore of campaigns championing entrepreneurship in the black continent, to promote efforts towards empowering the African entrepreneur. This year marks the fifth edition of the program which was inaugurated in 2015.

The interactive session was very rich, productive and impactful young entrepreneurs who believe in Africa. Just 2000 entrepreneurs were selected to attend, but by sharing over the social network, millions benefited from the session.  As Mentor at the Foundation, I believe more than ever that we are in.

Rollin F

With the theme “Empowering African Entrepreneurs”, features of this year’s meeting include masterclasses, a dynamic pitching competition, high profile panel debates, and the Presidential Dialogue. The much-anticipated program is expected to convene a total of 5,000 audiences comprised of emerging entrepreneurs, institutions, and influential personalities. Some of the dignitaries and keynote speakers for the event include Nigerian businessman and founder of TEF, Tony Elumelu, Professor Yemi Osibanjo (Nigeria’s Vice President), Nigeria’s First Lady, Aisha Buhari, Paul Kagame (President of Rwanda), Senegalese President- Macky Sall, Felix Tshisekedi- President of the Democratic Republic of Congo and a host of others.

Founded in the year 2010, the Tony Elumelu Foundation is built on Elumelu’s Africapitalism philosophy. The Nigerian businessman strongly believes that African entrepreneurs can make significant contributions towards the socio-economic growth and development of the continent with the right assistance and support. Transforming the African economy through encouraging competition in the private sector with efforts all geared towards entrepreneurship forms Elumelu’s motivation for the non-profit organization. Since inception, the foundation has made investments worth $25 million and has empowered 7,520 entrepreneurs. This year alone, the establishment headquartered in Lagos State, Nigeria (Africa’s largest city) has received 216,025 applications from African entrepreneurs hoping to be beneficiaries of the philanthropy that has gained TEF global recognition.

As an entrepreneur myself, I understand what it feels like to yearn for a lifeline, to hope for a ‘big break,’ to look forward to enjoying some luck.

Tony Elumelu


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This article was first published on 23rd July 2019 and updated on July 24th, 2019 at 1:28 pm


I am a Lion, I love to hit heights that seem impossible so I can motivate others and prove doubters wrong. For me, impossible is nothing. I'm open to learning and I love to read, travel and meet new faces.

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