The beneficiaries pose for a picture. Photo by Samuel Sanya
Sixty seven Ugandan entrepreneurs, mostly in agribusiness, education and training and manufacturing have each received business start-up grants of $5,000 (about sh18.3m) each from the 2017 cohort of the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) Entrepreneurship Programme.
Collectively, the non-refundable grants amount to $335,000 (about sh1.22b). This is an addition to a total 63 recipients in the previous 2016 cohort who received $315,000 (about sh1.15b).
According to documents from the TEF, the entrepreneurs are also eligible for a further top up, convertible loan facility worth $5,000 which would double total disbursements over the last two cohorts from sh2.37b to sh4.74b.
Launched in 2015, by Nigerian billionaire and United Bank for Africa Chairman, Tony Onyemaechi Elumelu, the TEF entrepreneurship program is the largest African philanthropic initiative devoted to entrepreneurship and represents a 10-year, $100 million commitment, to identify and empower 10,000 African entrepreneurs, create a million jobs and add $10 billion in revenues to Africa’s economy.
The programme is part of Elumelu’s Africapitalism movement which is a call-to-action for businesses to make decisions that will increase economic and social wealth, and promote development in the communities and nations in which they operate.
“Such a decision will ultimately help businesses become more profitable as the communities they serve become well-off consumers, healthy and better educated employees, and even entrepreneurs who go on to become suppliers and service providers,” a statement from the TEF says.
“Africapitalism means we cannot leave the business of development up to our governments, donor countries and philanthropic organizations alone. The private sector must be involved in the business of development,” it adds.