The Tony Elumelu Foundation has partnered the European Union to identify, train, mentor and fund 2,500 young women entrepreneurs from 54 African countries in 2021.
This was contained in a statement released Thursday by the Foundation, titled, ‘The Tony Elumelu Foundation and European Union Partner to Transform Economic Empowerment of African Women’.
“The partnership will disburse €20 million in financial and technical support for women-owned businesses, across all 54 African countries, in addition to providing increased access to market linkages, supply chains and venture capital investments.
“The joint initiative will significantly strengthen and deepen the EU-Africa partnership, builds on the platform and experience of the US$100m TEF Entrepreneurship Programme, and forms part of the EU External Investment Plan to support women economic empowerment within the EU Gender Action Plan,” the statement partly read.
Commenting on the partnership, Founder of the foundation, Tony Elumelu, said, “This joint effort will prioritise and provide economic opportunities for African women, whom for too long have endured systemic obstacles to starting, growing and sustaining their businesses.
“Our partnership will alleviate the funding, knowledge and market constraints threatening the livelihoods of women entrepreneurs on the continent, to create more income, jobs, growth and scale for women-owned businesses.”
The EU Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen, also said, “This partnership with the Tony Elumelu Foundation will help women participants in economic development, realise their full potential and accelerate economic inclusion.
“Empowering women entrepreneurs is a key driver for sustainable jobs and growth, especially in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and in line with the objectives of our African Strategy. Women and girls represent half of the world’s population and they deserve equal opportunities.”
The Tony Elumelu Foundation, which marks ten years of impact this year, is empowering a new generation of African entrepreneurs, catalysing economic growth, driving poverty eradication and ensuring job creation across all 54 African countries.