Rapper MI, others to speak at GenesysIGNITE tech convergence

The organizers of GenesysIGNITE, a major annual tech convergence, have announced this year’s edition which among others will feature the award of a seed fund of up to $30,000 to top innovative ventures that will be pitched at this year’s edition.

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Organized by Genesys Tech hub, this year’s edition will explore latest technology trends and its role in building national economy and also to proffer professional insight particularly for participating startups, as a strategic imperative to realize growth opportunities.

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The event is expected to be attended by young Entrepreneurs/Startups, Industry Leaders, Visionaries, Innovators, CTOs, CIOs, Engineers, Developers, Designers, and Tech Enthusiasts, with a main objective to explore latest technology trends and its role in building national economy and to proffer professional insights particularly for the participating startups.

“In addition to this, the event will promote and display the stellar achievements of the country’s young entrepreneurs, with outstanding business solutions, leveraging innovative technologies and digital initiatives. GenesysIGNITE will expose participating startups to potential mentors and investors during the event; ultimately seeking to become a catalyst for more innovative solutions,” organizers said in a statement.

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Partners for the 2018 edition include the Office of the Vice President- responsible for Innovation and Entrepreneurship; Federal Minister of Science and Technology; Tech giants- Huawei, Google, HP, Dell/EMC, Microsoft & IBM; the International Community- the German Consulate, delegates of New Economy and Startups, German Industry and Commerce and other government functionaries.

The event will hold on 16th November 2018 at 10:00am prompt. Venue is Office Complex, Tenece Group, Enugu Lifestyle and Golf City (The Centenary city), Enugu State.

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Genesys Ignite 2018 will be chaired by Chief Ken Nnamani, Former President of the Senate.

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Speakers include: Mac Atasie – Chief Executive Officer Nextzon Business Services Limited; Jude Abaga (MI) – Chief Executive Officer Chocolate City; Chief Osita Chidoka – Former Honourable Minister of Aviation; Patrick Okigbo – Principal Partner at Nextier Advisory and Kingsley Eze – Managing Director/CEO, Tenece Professional Services Limited.

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The chief host of the event is Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, Executive Governor of Enugu State.


5 Sure Ways To Transform Your Business Idea Into Reality

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Many of us have awesome and novel business ideas that never see the light of day. The truth is anyone can come up with an idea for a business, but it takes a lot of work to implement a plan of action. So, if you have an idea that you want to put into action in the near future, here are tips to ensure that it becomes reality.

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1.Research the market

You don’t want to dive into any market until you have a clear idea of the competition, where you fit in, and the steps you will have to take to become a major player. Hence, you need not ignore market research.

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2. Be patient

As excited as you may be about taking your business from idea to action, you need to exercise some patience during the process. There will be times when you need to take a step back for one reason or another. There will be times when you need to adjust your approach to ensure that you are on the right track.

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3. Create a business plan

Regardless of your idea, timeline, or how much money you plan on spending, it’s imperative to create a business plan that can provide a guide now and in the future. It can take some time to create a business plan. But in the long run, it has its advantages.

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4. Set a budget

Once you have a budget in mind, you will find it easier to make the right financial decisions as you take your business from idea to the real thing.

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5. Set a start date

Without a start date, you may find yourself facing one unnecessary delay after the next. If you truly want to reach the next level, you need to set a start date and then do whatever it takes to reach this goal.

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6. Get a mentor

Some people have the perception that they do not need help in starting off. This is not true. It is essential to find a mentor who can show you the way and can put you on the right track to success.

7 Bootstrapping Tricks For First-time Entrepreneurs

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Not all startups have the luxury of getting investors from the very beginning. So, you have to fund your business out of your own pocket. This is what is called bootstrapping.

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While this is a good way to start a business, bootstrapping is more difficult than it might seem especially for first-time entrepreneurs.

Here are 7 bootstrapping tricks to make funding your own business easier.

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1.Carefully pick your co-founder

When bootstrapping, the majority of the work is done internally, so co-founders need to complement each other’s skill sets. If you’re good at different things, you have a better shot at being able to do everything between the two of you thus keeping expenses low.

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2. Have a business model that generates cash ASAP

The most successful bootstrapped companies have a business model that generates cash as quickly as possible. Without any cash inflow, you will exhaust your cash pool before gaining any serious traction.

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3. Reduce personal expenses

Without a salary, you won’t have money to spend–so don’t expect to live a luxury life when first starting your company. Consider every purchase and only spend what’s necessary.

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4. Do not outsource jobs you can do yourself

When bootstrapping, hiring someone for a job you could do yourself is a foolhardy expense. So, whether you are very busy or not, you should never outsource jobs you can do yourself.

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5. Watch out for intending investors

Bootstrapping does not mean you should not watch out for prospective investors. So, keep an eye out for people who may be willing and able to invest in your business. Build relationships with them, but don’t ask for money until the time is right.

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6. Start marketing before you think you’re ready

Many entrepreneurs wait until their product is ready before they start marketing. This is not advisable especially if you are offering a product that people are interested in. Therefore, find good, cheap, effective ways to reach your potential customer in the early stages of your business. And whatever profits you do make, put as much back into marketing as you can.

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7. Invest instead of spending

Don’t spend money on anything that doesn’t have the ability to put money directly back into your business. View the expense of these items as an investment, but be sure the investment has the ability to provide you with a positive Return On Investment.

Welcome to the new Green World of Farmcrowdy

The Nigerian agricultural sector is gradually becoming a focal point of discussions as the economy continues to recover from recession.

On today’s edition of Office Tours, we visit the headquarters of Farmcrowdy, a digital agricultural platform that is simplifying the level of involvement of corporate and non-corporate Nigerians in the agricultural sector.

Farmcrowdy matches indigenous farmers with sponsors and at the end of the farm cycle, the proceeds are shared between farmers and sponsors.

So far, Farmcrowdy has sponsored 6,170 farm units with the help of 996 sponsors. The platform has engaged 3,088 farmers across eight Nigerian states through the company’s outreaches.

 Join me as we see the new space where the humans of Farmcrowdy work out of!

On arrival, you are greeted by a map of Africa artwork

The faces on the map are those of farmers, field specialists and individuals impacted by the platform.

A walk through the entrance reveals the comfy reception area

The carpet grass on the wall is a deliberate choice because Farmcrowdy is about agriculture. Early spoiler: There’s green in almost all parts of the office.

We move on to the ‘Engine Room’

The Engine Room is an open space that is void of cubicles or dividers. Every table represents a department.

The empty seats are those of field specialists who are barely in the office

The field specialists engage farmers and help them in various capacities for optimum farm production.

A screen on the wall shows realtime updates on milestones reached

The company’s motto is clearly visible on the wall to remind everyone of the collective goal of ’empowering farmers’.

There’s an indoor event space that doubles as an interview area

And here is the Community Wall, which represents the 23 early team members of Farmcrowdy

Each member has been promised a bottle of champagne in their name if the company reaches the desired valuation as a business in 2018

Green Room / Meeting Room

For every busy office there’s need for some privacy and that is what the green room is meant for. Cozy furniture surrounded by tree imagery on both sides of the wall.

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Sleeping Pod

Most tech companies are known for long extended work hours. To cater to the need for a nap, there’s a room designated for that purpose.

Meeting Area/Private Workspace

Working in an open space can be distracting sometimes. Employees who require less distraction can use the private workspace.

The Yellow Room

Eating takes place here. There’s an in-house cook that uses a menu created by the staff to provide lunch meals.

Staff Lounge

The staff lounge is a display of Farmcrowdy’s flexible work structure.

Employees are encouraged to ‘play hard and also work hard’. The space is a large room with bean bags, a couch, snooker table, console games and everything fun. It’s a relaxation centre or, rather, a cool off zone.

Conference Room

Balcony/Outdoor Events Space

Outdoor company events happen here. Employees who need some fresh air while working with limited level of disturbance can also use this space.

Our tour through Farmcrowdy’s office shows a company culture that embraces openness and a lot of employee interaction. The interior design of the office space is based on input from various members of the team. Big thumbs up to Farmcrowdy.

CREDITS: Office Tours is a production of techpoint.ng


Ugochi Obidiegwu is also known as The Safety Chic

Nigerian safety entrepreneur, Ugochi Obidiegwu, popularly known as The Safety Chic, has been shortlisted for the Rising Star of the year category in the Safety and Health Excellence Awards 2018.

She made the shortlist of 75 entries across nine categories from more than 150 entries.


Ugochi, a cabin crew and safety officer for Nigerian airline, Aero Contractors,  is passionate about increasing safety consciousness in Africans, providing a one-stop solution for all things child safety.
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Through her Train Them Young Initiative (2TYI), she provides a one-stop solution for all things child safety – an annual School Safety Summit which happens in May, Movie Day with The Safety Chic; child safety story book series – The Adventures of Muna 1 & 2; creating innovative safety products – poster packs which serves as a visible reminder of safety precautions, and social media advocacy via @TheSafetyChic where she shares tips, articles and videos that help people become safety aware.

Rising Star of the year

The awards will be held at the prestigious VOX Conference Centre on 11th April 2018 at the NEC, Birmingham.


The Safety and Excellence Awards, an initiative of the Western Business Exhibitions, will encompass the long-established British Safety Industry Federation (BSIF) Awards that promote the importance of innovation and underline the highest standards of excellence within occupational safety and health.





Meet the mathematician teaching maths in Igbo and Nigerian pidgin

In June 2017, Nigeria’s Minister for Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, reportedly said plans were being made to teach Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects in indigenous languages.

There was an opinion as to why this was not a good idea. Even though this opinion had its own strong points, maybe there is more to consider.

Considering the low level of adoption of STEM subjects and career paths in Nigeria, teaching them in indigenous languages may not be a bad idea after all.

Even before the government made this announcement, a mathematics teacher in the Port Harcourt, Rivers State had already adopted the local language medium. Cynthia Onwuchuruba Bryte-Chinule has been teaching her students mathematics in Igbo and Nigerian pidgin for a while now.

Cynthia is a mathematics graduate of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University in Anambra State. She is the founder of PEEL Initiative, a non-profit organisation particularly interested in improving education in Africa especially mathematics and impacting the lives of underprivileged kids through education.

I chatted with Cynthia and she shared insights on STEM adoption in Nigeria, mathematics as a feared subject, marriage and revamping education in Africa.

Victor Ekwealor of Techpoint (VE)Where did the idea of teaching in indigenous languages come from?.

Cynthia Bryte-Chinule (CBC):  I run free tutoring programmes. Every Saturday I teach over 40 kids, on Thursdays at the Port Harcourt Remand Home. Most of them are school dropouts who do not understand the English language.

Apart from the fact that I studied Mathematics in school, I personally love the subject so I thought to spice things up a bit. I felt English language shouldn’t be a hindrance to learning mathematics. So I tried a different method.

I gave them the maths questions in Nigerian pidgin and concepts they could relate with. For example, trying to find the sum of 5+7 became;  ‘If you carry 5 yam join am with another seven yam, how many yam you go get?’ in Pidgin.

VEWhere did the Igbo language enter the picture?

CBC: I am Igbo so that was a no-brainer. Even though I could not teach all my students in Igbo because of their diverse ethnic backgrounds, I still made short video tutorials on Facebook and YouTube in Igbo and Nigerian pidgin.

VEHow did you compress whole mathematics topics into short videos?

CBC: The thing about the videos is I don’t teach regular classroom maths in them, they’re more like maths tricks and hacks to make the subject more interesting and relatable. Like showing you how to multiply 9999 by 89 in a few seconds.

VEHave you been able to measure the impact of these videos?

CBC: The comments and feedback I get on my Facebook and WhatsApp groups and the community on Instagram show that people love them. I see a lot of interest is being stimulated and that is the sole essence of the exercise; to show people maths is not that difficult.

I made Igbo and Pidgin versions of videos and tutorials on mathematics but I discovered the Igbo ones got wider acceptance. This generation of ‘slay kings and queens’ do not really know how to speak their language, so most want to learn. In my very first Igbo video, I used some English words to gauge engagement and people commented and gave feedback on the Igbo equivalents of the words.

VEThere’s a problem with STEM subjects and fields in Nigeria. Do you think using local languages as an instructional medium will change anything?

CBC: I think local languages have a great role to play in teaching STEM subjects in Nigeria, especially mathematics. I remember the first time I made a video in Igbo language, it was trending within my community and outside, people shared it and were excited.

For instance, the kids I teach are from different ethnic backgrounds, and most do not understand English. I discovered teaching in English was a waste of time. Most do not know what “addition” means so you have to tell them “join am together”. To make STEM subjects widely accepted and understood in Nigeria, language mediums that are easily understood by the students have to be employed.

VEEven though they naturally thrive in STEM courses, there is an even lower level of participation for the girl child in STEM careers in Nigeria. What do you think is the reason for this and how can this be remedied?

CBC: The Nigerian system, culture and parents do not really encourage girls in STEM. They mostly always say things like, “You’re a girl, do a ‘soft’ course”. When I was in the University, we were only four girls in my class studying mathematics. We always got weird looks and jokes, but I knew mathematics was just like any other course.

Guess what, I graduated as the best in my department with a First Class. Even though this isn’t really a gender thing, it shows that girls can be even be better in STEM. Women are usually better than men with details and this gives us an even better disposition to STEM courses.

We need to continually encourage the Nigerian girl child.

Being a long-term mentor to these girls is also very important as a one-day seminar cannot change this mindset. They have to be continually guided and disabused of these toxic notions. I authored a book, “Academic Without Tears”, and I have my contact details behind it. I give this book out during my programmes too. I create a platform for effective communication with these students as mentoring cannot be overemphasised. Academic and career mentoring is key.

At the PEEL Initiative, we have annual leadership conferences where we are intentional about this. Also there are motivational rounds in secondary schools where we tell girls they can be all they want to be, STEM or not. Just help them be bold enough to do what they want.

VE: What exactly does the PEEL initiative do?

CBC: We empower and provide quality education, develop leadership potential and meet the human needs of the youth. For education, we want to revamp Africa’s educational system especially in mathematics and make sure underprivileged kids get an education. We have an annual scholarship scheme for the kids.

VEHow do you know what kids qualify for these aids?

CBC: It is very hard determining eligibility but we stick with kids that are still in school, showing signs of seriousness and unable to keep up with their fees. It is very important they are still in school; I tried to help kids that were out of school but I had lots of challenges. One is that with them, you might not be able to determine seriousness when the person is already out of school so it was hard for me because of all the wasted money, effort, and time. So now, we go as far as paying the fees ourselves and verifying at the schools and homes of these students.

To qualify for the scholarship, we have a summit and over 600 students write an exam. The exam consists of basic maths and an essay on why they need the scholarships. For the essay, we are grading their reasoning over grammar and English correctness.

After the exams, some people get academic scholarships while others get skill scholarships in bead making, web design, blogging and others.

VEThis scholarship and support scheme is restricted to Rivers State and until the students leave secondary school. Any plans to expand its geographical and class scope in the future?

CBC: Even though I have been volunteering and doing social services for more than 7 years, I have been concentrated on this niche for 4 years now. PEEL was registered in August 2016 so, we are still young.

There are definite plans to expand this programme in every way in the nearest future. We tell our students on scholarships they can renew it by maintaining good grades.

VEYou are away Thursdays, Saturdays and some other days of the week. As a married woman, has your choice of career ever caused any sort of friction with your husband?

CBC: It has not in any way whatsoever. My husband has actually been very instrumental to my journey so far. Apart from being a very understanding person, he is luckily a public servant in terms of volunteers. He understands my schedule and even offers to help with my free tutoring classes sometimes.

VEWhat have been the challenges been so far?

CBC: Funding. We are bootstrapping and most of the monies that go into these projects are from my own pocket, there has not been any external funding so far. When I had a full-time job, I put all my earnings back into the project.

We have currently reached out to organisations to help and are waiting for them to respond. But I believe I don’t have to wait for funds to do what has to be done. I’ll keep on at the level I can. Now we have a maths tutoring programme, Maths Afrique, that is going to be a sustainability model for the whole structure. Maths Afrique offers paid mathematics tutors for students.

Even with Maths Afrique, there is still the challenge of clients not fully understanding the services on offer and trying to underpay. But we will overcome with time.

CREDITS: This article is written by Victor Ekwealor. It was first published on https://techpoint.ng/2018/01/18/cynthia-bryte-chinule-maths-teacher-igbo-pidgin/

7 Things Entrepreneurs Can Do To Stay Motivated

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Making the decision to become an entrepreneur is a fearless step from being an employee of a business to the leader of your own business. One of the first challenges they are likely to face is that they no longer have line managers to set goals and deadlines for them. Therefore, the responsibility of inspiration and motivation becomes their personal task. This is where some entrepreneurs fall short. As such, these insights will help them stay motivated.

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1.Set goals and values

Entrepreneurs must have personal goals and core values. They must write them down, read them daily and even memorize them. These should serve as a regular reminder about their purpose for becoming entrepreneurs.

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2.Have a plan

Running a business without a plan can easily make them lose focus. They should evolve both short-term and long-term plans. This will help them have a clear understanding of what they want to accomplish and how they want to achieve it.

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3.Have a ‘me’ time

Entrepreneurs are very busy people. As such, it is possible that they will be consumed by work.  So, they should endeavour to set personal time during which they get out of the rut.

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4.Think of themselves as captains

Entrepreneurs are the captains of their ships and nobody will navigate that ship for them except they do. So, they should take solace in the fact that they own the business and they have to make painstaking efforts to run it.

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5.Connect with other entrepreneurs

This is not to say that you need to copy what others are doing. Instead, share ideas and get to know what keeps them motivated. This will definitely make them feel like they are on the right track with the support of other like minded entrepreneurs.

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6.Reward themselves

Being a business owner does not mean they should not reward themselves. As such, they should be prepared to reward themselves for accomplishing their set goals.

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They should never underestimate the value of a good night sleep for personal motivation. A night of sound rest will re-energize them and significantly boost performance.

Meet Malik Ado-Ibrahim – He is set to Introduce Electric cars into Nigerian market by 2018

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Malik Ado-Ibrahim is the chairman of Nigus Enfinity, an indigenous firm which is set to introduce electric vehicles into the Nigerian automobile market in 2018 and a local assembly plant for electric vehicles in 2020.

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Ado-Ibrahim said several countries across the world have set targets for the ban of petrol-fuelled vehicles with India targeting 2030, and the United Kingdom, 2040.

He said Nigeria and Africa need to look inward to be at the fore of the automotive revolution or risk becoming waste bin for banned vehicles from other countries.

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Ado-Ibrahim, who was the first African to lead the Formula 1 Team global race car competition in 1999, said his firm is already building a 100 megawatts (mw) solar power plant in Katsina and another in Adamawa state.

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According to him, the company has also partnered with Build Your Dreams, a Chinese firm, to import electric vehicles at affordable costs from 2018.

“We are also working with BYD to get a local brand and start an electric vehicle assembly plant for Nigeria from 2020. Gradually we will move to an EV with the African DNA starting in Nigeria,” he said.

In June, Elon Musk had unveiled the world’s cheapest electric car, which was priced at N11 million.

5 Key Things Investors Are Looking For In A Startup

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It is a known fact that entrepreneurs bootstrap when starting out because of limited finance. This is one of the main reasons why less than 50% of them survive the first five years in the market. To take your startup to the next level, entrepreneurs are regularly searching for venture capitalist and investors to invest in their businesses. Of course, startup investors desire innovative companies to invest their monies. However, they won’t drop a dime if they do not see the following things highlighted in your startup.

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1.Strong leadership teams

To secure startup investor funding, show that you have smart, strategic, and successful leaders. You must show the competency of both your company founders and leadership team. So, endeavour to leverage your leadership team’s professional experience for increased investor interest in your startup.

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2.Clear ROI

Return on investment (ROI) is the time needed to recoup the initial expenses invested in a business. Most startups aim to achieve this within the first one year of operations, but in certain sectors, it takes considerably longer due to high entry costs and low-profit margins. Would-be investors are aware that quite a number of startups that receive venture funding are unable to immediately make returns. As such, they want to see some real evidence that within a particular period, they will begin to get these returns.

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3.Consumer interest in your product

Investors want to know that your product has a future in the marketplace. So, the onus is on you to show them proof that it has a market niche of its own and consumers are interested in your product.

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Transparency is important to increase investor trust in your business. No startup investor wants to enter a deal when they do not feel like they have all the facts. Be open and honest about the state of your business, the challenges you are facing and how you plan to surmount them.

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5.Growth potentials

Investors do not want a company that will be stagnant. They want to invest in startups that will thrive and eventually provide a return on their investment. Therefore, your business should be built with scalability and growth in mind.

Meet the 1,000 Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurs for 2017 whose ideas will transform Africa


On Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017 the 3rd Annual Tony Elumelu Foundation selection announcement took place at Heirs Place, Ikoyi. This announcement, which was done to name the selected 1000 people, takes place every 22nd of March, the founder’s birthday.

“We believe that the road to economic development would come from entrepreneurship. We need to work together as Africans and support these entrepreneurs,” Tony Elumelu said.

According to the foundation, 93,246 African Entrepreneurs applied from 55 African countries, which more than doubled the number of applications received in 2016 and nearly quadruple of the 2015 application numbers. The selection process went through three stages. In the first stage the Tony Elumelu Foundation screened 93,246 applications, in the second stage Accenture Development Partners evaluated 10,135 applications, in the third stage, Tony Elumelu Foundation Selection Committee evaluated 1,100 applications and then finally 1,000 applications were selected.

The selections prove that African youth are indeed interested in Agriculture as the sector led the pack with nearly 1 in 3 successful applicants active in this sector. The next most popular sector was ICT, 11 percent, and then manufacturing, 9 percent. As usual, Nigeria, is home to 50 percent of the 2017 cohort, with regional powerhouses Kenya, Ghana, Uganda and Cameroon following respectively.

According to a statement from the foundation, successful entrepreneurs will benefit from the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme’s 7 Pillars – a toolkit of support including business training, active mentoring, access to networks and funding of up to $10,000 – as they develop their business concepts to support the transformation of the continent. As founder Tony Elumelu CON is often quoted as stating, “No one but us Africans will develop Africa.”

The 2017 Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurs will be trained and mentored in the next nine months. They will use the skills acquired to develop a business plan; after which they become eligible to receive up to $10,000 in seed capital to develop their business concepts.

Meet the new 1,000 entrepreneurs whose ideas will transform Africa




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CREDITS: http://venturesafrica.com/meet-the-1000-tony-elumelu-entrepreneurs-for-2017-whose-ideas-will-transform-africa/