Tony Elumelu at 60: How 60 young entrepreneurs, others gathered to honor an entrepreneur extraordinaire

by Ajuma Edwina Ameh
4 minutes read

Africa’s leading philanthropist, entrepreneur, Tony O. Elumelu, is celebrating his birthday today, March 22, 2023.

To mark the billionaire’s 60th birthday, business owners, family, friends, and business associates among others, on Wednesday convened at a symposium in Lagos to celebrate the business tycoon.

The symposium with the theme, ‘60 for 60’ with hashtag #TOEAt60, had over 60 young entrepreneurs who have benefited from the Tony Elumelu Foundation(TEF), in attendance to honour the accomplishments of the entrepreneur extraordinaire.

Persecondnews reports that Elumelu is the Chairman of the United Bank for Africa (UBA) which operates in 20 countries across Africa, the United Kingdom, France, and the UAE; and also the Chairman of Heir Holdings; Transcorp Plc, whose subsidiaries include Transcorp Power, one of the leading producers of electricity in Nigeria and Transcorp Hotels Plc as well as the founder of Tony Elumelu Foundation(TEF).

In 2020, Elumelu was ranked among the 100 most influential people in the world by Time Magazine.

In his goodwill message, former U.S. President Bill Clinton praised the renowned entrepreneur for his good works through his foundation.

“From your successful career in business to your Foundation, you’ve achieved a lot. On this milestone I want to say thank you for your good work and unwavering belief in a better tomorrow. Happy Birthday,” Clinton said.

I call you the lion of Africa’, Testimonies, pour in from TEF benefactors
At the symposium, some benefactors of the TEF from different African countries gave testimonies of how they have benefitted from the program and how his investment in young people across Africa has uplifted a lot of them.

One of the TEF Alumni, Temitayo Johnson Laleye, CEO of TJL Signature, a fashion accessory brand that creates bizzare fashion accessories for adventurous students said: “Through my business, 2000 young people have been up skilled; thanks to the Tony Elumelu Foundation training, my business has expanded to Ghana and USA, I was also the youngest winner of the 25 under 25 award.

“So clean is a home laundry service and I started this adventure in 2019, with a capital of 50,000 CFA. Then I had no machine and staff and I applied in 2019 and 2020 but was selected as a TEF Entreprneur in 2021.

“Thanks to the seed capital from the Foundation, I got more materials, a new space and could recruit more people. Because of the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme training, sales have tripled due to our change in strategy,” another TEF Alumni from Benin Republic, Gbadamassi said at the symposium.

Also, another benefactor of the TEF, Monica Temido from Zambia said: “I am a 2019 beneficiary, my business is employing 21 people who are breadwinners. Through the Tony Elumelu Foundation we have gained investor confidence. May the sun keep shining on you.”

On his part, CEO of Medina farmers, Michael Puyi from Liberia, said: “I call you the lion of Africa. I call you a mentor. When we started in 2016, we were not attracting any loans from banks.

“We applied and went through the TEF training where we learnt managing human resources and we have sold 60 megaton of rice and have established a huge oil palm. and supply to small scale farmers and the government of Liberia. On behalf of medina farmers, we say thank you.

“10 years ago, I was considered risky, my former company thought me too ambitious. I started my poultry with 200 chicken and 2,000 eggs weekly, now we produce 12,000 eggs weekly with six staff, 20 men and women along the value chain employed as casuals. Africa is shining because of your efforts,” Yaa Aduba Asare, from Ghana stated.

About Tony Elumelu Foundation
The Tony Elumelu Foundation, the leading champion of entrepreneurship in Africa, was founded in 2010 by Mr. Elumelu, to empower a new generation of African entrepreneurs, catalyse economic growth, drive poverty eradication and create jobs across all 54 African countries.

Persecondnews reports that the foundation has trained over 1.5 million entrepreneurs. The foundation has also disbursed close to one million dollars to over 18,000 beneficiaries, as part of its effort to grow the entrepreneurial spirit in Africa and encourage economic development.

The beneficiaries have in turn created over 400,000 jobs across Africa.

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