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Tony Elumelu Foundation And UBA Empowers Young African Entrepreneurs With Funds And Business Knowledge

By Stephen Ubanna                                                                                                                 .

Those who think that with the devastating effect of the Asian country of China, emerged  coronavirus, popular, COVID 19, on the global economy, it would affect Tony Elumelu Foundation in the disbursement of  loansto o African Entrepreneurs  or The United Bank For Africa, plc, popular, Pan African Bank, holding its quarterly business Workshop series, would be disappointed. This is because both TEF and UBA, had continued their business plans to fund and assist the AFRican  young Entrepreneurs in their various ways.

It  instructive to note that that Elumelu,  a Leading African Philanthropist and Investor, who sits atop as Chairman , of some notable blue chip Companies Board of Directors  in the country including serving as the Group Chairman, United Bank For Africa, popular, who had launched a $100 million Foundation for empowering, 10,00 African young  Entrepreneurs, on the average of 1000 Entrepreneurs per year over a ten year period had not ceased from doing so.

Ever since the Foundation was launched in 2015, the Management had never defaulted in disbursing the $5,000 Non-Refundable loan to the young African Entrepreneurs.  It is on record that for the six years that the Foundation had operated uninterruptedly in disbursing the Loan, over  9,000  young African Entrepreneurs from the 54 African countries have benefited from it.

Many had expected the Foundation to stop giving other  the loans to other Entrepreneurs and  start-ups following the devastating effect of  the COVID 19,  pandemic, on the global economy,  TEF. They got it wrong. The pandemic may have emboldened TE officials at the instance of Elumelu, the founder in his efforts in empowering emerging  young   Entrepreneurs   across the African Continent  were said to resumed in doing what it knew best: giving out a Non-Refundable  soft loans to the young African Entrepreneurs as a way to grow their respective countries economy and thus, reduce their unemployment level .

As a prelude to disbursing the Non-Refundable  loan this 2021, , to the successful Applicants, the Foundation was said to have opened up  Its digital Platform,  www.tefconnect.com  for Applications by  prospective Small and Medium Scale Enterprises, SMEs, within the African Continent. A Statement by the Foundation said the Application would be closed on March 31, 2021

Given an insider information to the Foundation 2021 , disbursement of the soft  loan to the young African Entrepreneurs, Somachi Chris-Asoluka, Director of Partnership and Communications in the Foundation, appealed to the ‘’African growing and active youth population to take advantage of the unique  opportunity for such a loan  and apply before the expiration of the March 31,2021, deadline.

He had said that the young African  Entrepreneurs full participation in applying for the TEF Loan would lead ‘’to the economic prosperity of the many African countries’’ insisting that ‘’it is time  for the young African Entrepreneurs  ‘’to embrace  this much-needed financial support system  to sustain the African economic activity’’. 

The TEF, Director, may have gladdened the heart of the young African Entrepreneurs when he disclosed that ‘’the Foundation will continue to see exponential change  in all sectors of the economy across the Continent’’.

 Recall that the Foundation had rolled out the drums to Celebrate its ten years of impact  in empowering a new generation  of young African Entrepreneurs in 2020, who were said to have  received  a world-Class business training  from experts engaged by it and mentorship. The young African Entrepreneurs who were said to have scaled the Foundation stringent hurdles to obtain the Non-Refundable loan were said to have  been received $5,000 each to start up their own SMEs.

This year, which marks the disbursement of  the 7th tranche of the Non –Refundable $5,000 loan, , the Foundation plans to empower no fewer than 3,500  young African ntrepreneurs in Collaboration with its global partners. One of such global Partners is the African Development Bank, AfDB, which has Akinwumi, Adesina, a former minister of  Agriculture  and  Rural  Development, as  its President.

The bank , which had shown its Commitment  to sponsoring young African Entrepreneurs  by partnering with TEF, was said to have supported the Foundation disbursement of the $5,000 Non-Refundable loan with the release of $2.5 million in 2019 . It was said to have also released $2.5million in 2020 and an additional$42.5 million could have been released to the Foundation in the last quarter of 2020, which could have  made the  total  release to be $7.5million to TEF in two years.  

Another of such global Partners to the TEF, was the  United Nations  Development Programme, UNDP, which was said to have disbursed $8.5million   to 2, 684, Entrepreneurs in the Sub-saharan African region  to further Celebrate the economic empowerment  generated  by TEF ,in 2019.

Investigations by The Magazine shows that ever since 2019, that the ADB and the UNDP,  began to Collaborate with TEF in the empowerment of the young African Entrepreneurs, the annual number of beneficiaries have  increased astronomically  from  the usual 100 to 5,150.

Uzoka: GMD, UBA plc

 On the part of UBAplc, Nigerian’s leading  Money Deposit Bank ,MDB,   in its continuous support  to catalyse  the growth  and Sustainability of SMEs in Nigeria and the  African  Continent in general,  the bank has concluded arrangement  to hold its  next  business Workshop on Wednesday, March 17, 2021.

The event which is held on a quarterly basis  is part of ‘’the bank’s capacity building initiative  for Professional business Leaders’’, with an insight on business practices on how the Entrepreneurs could build sustainable  business empire in a Challenging  environment like Africa., and which had been aggravated by  the COVID 10.

An insider had confirmed that the  Kennedy Uzoka led bank , will host  the founder, Accounting Hub, Chioma Ifeany-Eze, described as  a seasoned Accountant, with several years of experience across various  Multinational Companies   including PWC, via a Microsoft Team. This is because the Workshop had been planned to hold via Microsoft Teams because of the COVID 19 pandemics.

Given his Accounting background, Ifenyi-Eze, according to a Statement by the bank will be speaking on ‘’budgeting and forecasting for business growth’’. He is also expected to give tips   to the young African Entrepreneurs and intending start- ups   ‘’on  practical  ways  to ensure   that their Enterprises survive and thrive’’ . This in addition to giving them the essential strategies on how ‘’ to recover and mitigate loses  especially  in these difficult  operating environments in Africa. And beyond.

Aneke: Group Head, UBA, customer And Retatil Banking

 Samson Aneke, UBA, Group Head  Customer and Retail Banking  , was said to have  assured the young African  Entrepreneurs that UBA is interested  in ensuring  that its Customers   run  businesses  that could stand  the test of time, stating  that the business series Workshop would assist to run and arm the  business Leaders with all the knowledge  and experience required  to take their Enterprise to the next level. He haad opined that ’’even in this period of the COVID 19, Pandemic , businesses are still making it big , promising to give more insight to it, on Wednesday, March 17,  2021, during the Workshop proper.

Indeed, not may many are surprised that UBA , could hold such an all-important Workshop which is helping many SMEs to grow in the African Continent. The bank, described as the leading MDB, in Africa,   currently has its footprint in 20 African countries and presence in the International scene , particular, the North American country of the United States, US, United Kingdom, UK, France,  and Germany, and thus, connecting  people  and businesses across Africa through retail, Commercial and Corporate banking. This in addition to being Innovative across border payments and remittances, Trade Finance  and  ancillary services.

Stephen Ubanna

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