Tony Elumelu Foundation holds bootcamp for entreprenuers in Covenant University

Entrepreneurs travelled from across the continent – from as far as Madagascar and Morocco – and convened at the Covenant University, Ota, Nigeria for an entrepreneurship bootcamp.

L-R: Vice President, Professor Yemi Osibajo, Founder, The Tony Elumelu Foundation, Mr. Tony O. Elumelu, and Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai.

As part of Tony Elumelu’s $100 million commitment to empowering African entrepreneurs, 1,000 Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurs, representing 51 African countries from the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme (TEEP) Class of 2015, converged near Lagos, Nigeria for an intensive two-day bootcamp session, an unprecedented gathering of emerging African entrepreneurs, from 10-12 July, 2015, sources reveal.

According to numerous reports, the entrepreneurs travelled from across the continent – from as far as Madagascar and Morocco – and convened at the CovenantUniversity, Ota, Nigeria for an entrepreneurship bootcamp made up of interactive sessions with successful entrepreneurs, political and business leaders, and an open mic session with Tony O. Elumelu, founder of the programme.

A Gambian, Badje Modou Lamin and one of the African entrepreneurs who attended the bootcamp, said, “The bootcamp has been a great experience. I have been able to exchange ideas with a number of entrepreneurs. This has really changed my perspective on Africa.”

Maalainine Mohamed Bouya, from Morocco,  also said: “The bootcamp has been a blast! Right from our journey from the airport down to the bootcamp, we have been discussing and sharing ideas among ourselves. Africa has huge potential.”

From Nigeria, Obinna Chukwu, said: “The bootcamp has been a wonderful experience – I have met people from all over Africa. It makes me proud of being a Nigerian. I thank Tony Elumelu and the Tony Elumelu Foundation for making this happen.”

Mr. Elumelu, chairman of Heirs Holdings and United Bank for Africa, spoke on his life experiences and the principles that he learned from mentors, such as Chief Ebitimi Banigo, that he applied towards his own successful entrepreneurship journey.  He answered an array of questions during a two-hour question-and-answer session, offering perspective on innovation, strategy, governance, financial management and decision-making.

He said: “Entrepreneurship is not a short-term journey and I am pleased that we can help these emerging leaders, as they seek to join me in transforming Africa. My commitment towards creating a thousand new entrepreneurs who can change Africa forever, has now become a reality.  This is only the beginning.”

Vice President of Nigeria Professor Yemi Osinbajo was also present at the event and welcomed the entrepreneurs from across Africa and called on them to take advantage of the networks built in Ota to develop pan-African investment and trade networks.

Speaking at the event, Vice President Osinbajo said, “This programme deserves all the commendation it is getting. Tony Elumelu has courageously put his money where his mouth is. Societies can’t develop without social entrepreneurs. I charge you to be little Elumelus and create opportunities for others.”

The Vice President was joined by other senior political leaders from across the continent and within the country including Kaduna State Governor Nasiru El Rufai, and Lionel Zinsou, the Prime Minister of Benin Republic.

Other speakers at the event included Parminder Vir, OBE, CEO of the Tony Elumelu Foundation; Mo Abudu, Founder/CEO of Ebony Life TV;  Nollywood screen icon Omotola Jalade-EkeindeNimi Akinkugbe, CEO, Bestman Games; Rasheed Olaoluwa, CEO of the Bank of Industry; former SEC DG Arunma Oteh; inspirational coach Lanre Olusola; Martin Eigbike, Accenture Development Partnerships;  governance expert Angela Aneke; playwright and producer Adewale Ajadi; Sam Nwanze, the Heirs Holdings Director of Finance and Investments; and David Rice, Director of the Africapitalism Institute.

The Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurs of the TEEP Class of 2015 represent 51 African countries and territories.  They cover all of Africa’s geopolitical regions - North, East, Southern, Central and West Africa – and major language blocs – Anglophone, Francophone, Lusophone, and Arabic Africa - as well as every state in Nigeria.

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