Tony Elumelu Receives International Recognition For Entrepreneurship, Support For Arts, Creative Industry

Chairman, UBA Plc, Tony Elumelu,’s passion for promoting entrepreneurship on the continent as well as providing support for the creative Arts industry received global commendation last week when he was honoured in New York and South Africa.

Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme TEEP

Tony Elumelu (Photo: TEEP)

In New York, Elumelu was named as the Africa Business Leader of the Year at the 8th annual Ai CEO Investment Summit and awards that took place at Thomson Reuters on the eve of the UN General Assembly.

On the other side of the globe in South Africa, he was given a special award as the Honorary counsel for the African Movie Academy in recognition of his support for the African creative industry, at the African Movie Academy Awards (AMAA) held at Mandela Bay, Port Elizabeth, South Africa on Saturday, September 26.

This is the second time Elumelu is winning the Africa Business Leader of the Year award, which he first won in 2006 as the Group Managing Director/CEO of UBA Plc.

He emerged winner this year from a strong nominee list of notable business leaders in the continent including James Mwangi, CEO Equity Bank, Kenya; Aliko Dangote, Chairman, Dangote Group; Brian Joffe, CEO, Bidvest Group, South Africa; Strive Masiyiwa, Chairman and Founder Econet; Patrice Motsepe, Founder and Chairman of African Rainbow Minerals, South Africa; Christo Wiese, South Africa’s retail tycoon and owner of Shoprite; Chris Kirubi, Chairman of Centum Investment Company Limited, Kenya; Reginald Mengi, Executive Chairman and owner IPP Limited, Tanzania and Sudhir Ruparelia, Chairman, Ruparelia Group, Uganda.

Heirs Holdings, a proprietary investment firm also chaired by Elumelu was also honoured for Best Initiative in Support of SMEs and the Millennium Development Goals at the Ai awards ceremony.

On both counts, Elumelu was honoured for his drive to tackle poverty on the continent by promoting entrepreneurship through the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme (TEEP). TEEP is a $100 million initiative that seeks to create 10,000 African entrepreneurs over a 10-year period.

TEEP, currently in its first year, supports 1,000 entrepreneurs from 51 different countries in Africa. The Tony Elumelu entrepreneurs benefit from a customised 12-week Start-up Enterprise Toolkit training course, a vast curated library of online business resources and one-on-one mentoring, hosted on an online mentoring and learning platform (MLP), participation in TEEP Bootcamp, $10,000 Seed Capital investment and lifelong membership of the TEEP Alumni network.

He called for investments by the private sector in critical sectors of the African economy noting that African governments alone cannot provide the jobs needed by Africans.

The private sector, Elumelu said, must step up with long-term investments in strategic sectors that deliver both economic and social dividends. I call this Africapitalism, he said.

He identified agriculture, health and financial services as the obvious strategic sectors, but said that “the entertainment industry is in fact a strategic sector that has and will grow and create jobs at an exponential rate and help to transform our continent.”


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Francis Nwokike

Francis is a Passionate Social Entrepreneur. Love discussing new trends in Business and Marketing. A Startup consultant. A good listener. Love to help that your business grow.

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