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Uganda nets record sh2.35b in 2018 TEF entrepreneurship grants

By Samuel Sanya

Added 30th October 2018 09:26 AM

He says that he intends to use his $5,000 grant to acquire mobile health equipment, recruit a chief marketing officer, proper office space and partner with more doctors.

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Kalungi (extreme left) and other Ugandan entrepreneurs in Lagos. Photo by Samuel Sanya

He says that he intends to use his $5,000 grant to acquire mobile health equipment, recruit a chief marketing officer, proper office space and partner with more doctors.

Standing at about six feet, Richard Kalungi has an imposing stature. The middle aged man has dreams of becoming Uganda’s number one home doctor services provider in the next five years.

Kalungi is one of 125 Ugandans who have dreams of improving the social wellbeing of Uganda with their entrepreneurial ideas. Each of the entrepreneurs is set to receive $5,000 (about sh18.8m) in grants from the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) entrepreneurship programme. 

He says that he intends to use his $5,000 grant to acquire mobile health equipment, recruit a chief marketing officer, proper office space and partner with more doctors.

“We hope to grow our customer base to at least 4,000 paying customers by year four. We hope to expand outside Kampala to other areas in Uganda through doctor networks,” Kalungi, the proprietor of Home Doctors Uganda said.

Collectively, the 2018 entrepreneurs will receive a record sh2.35b.

Last year, 67 Ugandan entrepreneurs, mostly in agribusiness, education and training and manufacturing received business start-up grants of sh1.22b and 63 recipients in the 2016 cohort received sh1.15b bringing total disbursements to sh4.72b.

The entrepreneurs are eligible for top up convertible loans of $5,000 (about sh18.8m) each through UBA bank. Launched in 2015, by Nigerian billionaire and United Bank for Africa Chairman, Tony Onyemaechi Elumelu, the TEF entrepreneurship programme is the largest African philanthropic initiative devoted to entrepreneurship.

It represents a 10-year, $100m( about sh37b) commitment, to identify and empower 10,000 African entrepreneurs, create a million jobs and add $10b in revenues to Africa’s economy. Speaking about

More than 150,000 Africans from 114 countries worldwide applied to join the 4th ‎cycle of the Tony Elumelu Foundation’s (TEF) 10-year, $100 million TEF Entrepreneurship Programme. Today, the Foundation announced the African entrepreneurs with the most innovative, high-potential business ideas.

The 2018 cohort includes an additional 250 entrepreneurs to the standard selection of 1,000 – thanks to: a $1,000,000 ( about sh3.7b) partnership with the international committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to support 200 entrepreneurs in conflict and fragile zones of Nigeria ( the North East where the Boko Haram scourge is felt and the Niger Delta region which suffers environmental degradation from oil spillage); the $200,000 agreement with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to support 40 pan-African entrepreneurs; and a $50,000 partnership with Indorama to support 10 Nigerians.

TEF Founder, Tony O. Elumelu, CON, commented : “The number and quality of applicants, 151,000 ‎ in total, was outstanding – it illustrates the strength and depth of entrepreneurial promise and commitment on our continent.” 

He noted that there was a near 50-50 split between male and female applications, ‎reflecting the entrepreneurial ambition of Africa’s women. Agriculture was the leading sector among selected entrepreneurs at 30.5%, followed by technology (10.5%) and Education & Training (9%).

TEF CEO, Parminder Vir OBE, said: “Over the next nine months, the entrepreneurs will receive online training and mentoring, and will use the skills acquired to develop business plans prior to receiving $5,000 in seed capital. This will bring TEF’s total Programme investment so far to $15 million in direct funding to entrepreneurs and $5.8 million in Programme and technology development and operations.”

She said that the porgramme beneficiaries have created more than 55,000 jobs and counting so far.

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