Nigerian entrepreneur Tony Elumelu will be giving away thousands of dollars to Africans starting new businesses. His mission is no less than improving the entire African continent and overhauling its image in the eyes of the rest of the world. He started providing assistance to various businesses across Africa in 2015 and plans to give away up to 100 million dollars by the time the project is done.
The application process is simple, and there are only a few criteria applicants much meet to be considered for assistance. A qualifying business must be less than three years old, based in Africa, for profit, and be staffed by people over 18 living in Africa. Once a business qualifies, it receives mentoring, training and ultimately financing from Tony Elumelu’s foundation. Applications are being accepted for the current phase of the project until March 1st, 2017.
Elumelu, who was educated at Harvard and has used his considerable talents as an economist and financier to amass a personal fortune, has long been an advocate of investing in businesses run by native Africans. He feels that once potential investors in rich countries like the United States and Germany see that locally run business enterprises can thrive in Africa, they’ll consider investing in native-African ventures. More importantly, he simply wants to show Africans that they can be successful in their own countries, and he’s already helped over 2,000 African businesses make a strong start.
With his foundation, Elumelu is putting his money where his mouth is, and I personally think that’s fantastic. Many wealthy people speak up about how they think the world should be improved but don’t contribute financially; it’s all just lip service. Elumelu, by contrast, is in the ranks of people like Bill Gates who are giving back to humanity in tangible ways.