Heirs Holdings Chairman and founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), Tony Elumelu, says his foundation will increase the number of annual grants made available to start-ups who develop local content applications, which solve Africa’s challenges, from 20 to 50.
TEF provides a seed funding of $5000 to each qualified start-up to support their ventures at a very early stage.
Elumelu said the grant is a great opportunity to identify businesses that can play a role in developing the continent.
“I strongly believe that we can do well in business whilst doing good for Africa. This is the essence of Africapitalism and these are the next generation of Africapitalists who will move Africa forward,” he said.
Africapitalism is an economic philosophy that calls to action – the private sector’s commitment to Africa’s development – through long-term investment in strategic sectors of the economy that creates economic prosperity and social wealth.
Local startups that benefitted from the grant include: BudgIT, Traclist and Efiko. The three joined Naijateenz.com, JobsinNigeria.com and VarsoftMediaLibrary.com who had already received grants from the foundation.
Elumelu said the foundation is targeting those who have the ideas but not the means to build a business.
“We want to move them to a stage where investors can seriously consider them,” he said.
The foundation and the Co-Creation Hub (CcHub), a social innovation centre dedicated to accelerating the application of social capital and technology for economic prosperity, believes that there is no reason why the next Bill Gates or Steve Jobs cannot come out of Africa.
“With the level of talent I see at the CCHub, there is no reason why the next Bill Gates or Steve Jobs cannot come out of Africa,” Elumelu said.