Influential African businessman and philanthropist Tony Elumelu says the time has come for African entrepreneurs to conquer the world by creating large multinational corporations.
Mr Elumelu who is Chairman of United Bank for Africa and Founder the Tony Elumelu Foundation said African SMEs should strive to become future multinational corporations.
He said time has now come for a new entrepreneur-led development model for Africa.
Mr Elumelu whose net worth is estimated at 1 billion US dollars according to Forbes is also Chairman of the United Bank of Africa was speaking last evening during a cocktail party organised by UBA Zambia in Lusaka.
Mr Elumelu’s foundation recently launched the $100 million Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme, which aims to assist in growing 10,000 start-up companies across the African continent over the next 10 years, demonstrating a commitment to empowering entrepreneurs to drive Africa’s social and economic transformation.
Elumelu said. “As a successful entrepreneur, I will continue to communicate to the world the need for supporting and empowering African entrepreneurs as the most impactful and sustainable approach to Africa’s development. My mission is to share this message on a global scale, and inspire more African business leaders and global investors with an interest in Africa to take action.”
The Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme, also known as TEEP is identifying and providing mentoring, training, networking, and funding for 1,000 African start-ups per year for the next 10 years.
Through the programme, he said he has committed $100 million to support the next generation of African entrepreneurs.
He said with support from Accenture and a pan-African selection committee, 1,000 entrepreneurs were selected from 52 African countries, adding that these entrepreneurs are currently undergoing an intensive 12-week online training programme with the support of over 400 mentors from around the world.
Mr Elumelu plan is to create 10,000 African-owned businesses, generating 1,000,000 new jobs and contributing $10 billion to revenues across Africa over the next 10 years.