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Tony Elumelu: Inside His $3.5 Million Green Entrepreneurship Programme

With an opinion that Africans who bear the harshest effects of the climate crisis are those least responsible for creating the crisis in the first place, Nigerian Investor and Entrepreneur, Tony Elumelu recently launched a $3.5 million green entrepreneurship programme.

The green entrepreneurship programme which seeks to mitigate the effects of the climate crisis in Africa will begin from East Africa and scale to the rest of Africa. Earlier, Elumelu hinted, “Africa, as one of the most climate-affected parts of the world, requires immediate action from the international community.” But, rather than wait endlessly for help, the Nigerian Entrepreneur has taken up a new role highlighting the need for Africa to act now. Let’s examine the crucial factors you need to know about the programme.

The $3.5 million programme targets 120 young Africans

Speaking about the programme, Elumelu said, “We have just launched an inaugural Green Entrepreneurship Programme with an initial sum of$3.5 million, to empower, train, fund, mentor, coach and capacitise 120 young African entrepreneurs in this pilot phase.” The pilot phase of this programme begins with 120 young Africans.

Elumelu’s green entrepreneurship programme will begin in East Africa

According to Elumelu, the impending famine in East Africa is a devastating example of the level of havoc climate change could wreak on the continent. He said, “Thousands of people have already died. As many as 36 million lives are affected, across Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia.” 

As a result of this, Elumelu’s green entrepreneurship programme will begin in East Africa, with Kenya taking the lead. Speaking about the objectives of the intervention, Elumelu said, “We know the critical role that green entrepreneurship and agripreneurship play in driving innovative solutions to environmental issues and are keen to empower our young ones across Africa, starting with Kenya, to deploy innovative solutions to the climate crisis.”  

50% of women will be empowered by the programme

Described as the leading champion of entrepreneurship in Africa, TEF’s objective is to empower women and men across the continent. Their objective is also reflected in the recently launched intervention as Elumelu announced that 50% of entrepreneurs in this pilot phase will be women. These women alongside others will be empowered with entrepreneurial skills that are needed to accelerate the shift towards a green economy. 

They will be privileged to participate in creating new jobs, improving livelihoods, eradicating poverty and addressing climate issues in Africa.

Building sustainable businesses: A collective goal

The Nigerian business magnate alongside his partners noted that their collective goal is “to see young entrepreneurs in Africa build sustainable businesses for themselves and generate viable green jobs so that our young ones are not left behind in the inevitable green economy that the world will be transitioning to.” 

According to Elumelu, “Climate change is not just a threat to our future, it is also a threat to our present and there is no time to wait for climate action in Africa.”

Elumelu partners with UNICEF, Generation Unlimited and IKEA Foundation

Elumelu launched the green entrepreneurship programme through his foundation, the Tony Elumelu Foundation, TEF in partnership with the United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF, Generation Unlimited and IKEA Foundation. Elumelu will work with these great partners to address climate issues in Africa. This is in line with TEF’s mission of eradicating poverty, ensuring job creation, and increasing women’s economic empowerment. 

While UNICEF works in more than 190 countries and territories to reach the most disadvantaged children and adolescents, Generation Unlimited are on a mission to skill the world’s 1.8 billion young people and connect them to opportunities for employment, entrepreneurship and social impact. Elumelu in his statement appreciated UNICEF, Generation Unlimited and IKEA Foundation for believing in the future of young Africans.

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