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Tony Elumelu Foundation to Host the Largest Gathering of African Entrepreneurs at 5th Annual Entrepreneurship Forum in July in Abuja

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The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), Africa’s foremost champion of entrepreneurship, will host its 5th Annual Forum — the largest annual gathering of African entrepreneurs – on July 26 – 27, 2019. The two-day event will take place at the iconic Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja.

The Forum is the culmination of the annual Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme, which this year mentored, trained and seeded over 3,000 young Africans, selected from over [216,000] applicants.  The event provides a unique opportunity for young women and men, from all 54 African countries, to meet, learn and network with the broader African and global entrepreneurship ecosystem. It is also a critical opportunity for political leaders and policymakers to meet, face to face, a new generation of African business leaders, who are transforming Africa’s economic trajectory.

Keynote speakers at the highly anticipated Forum include His Excellency Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda, and His Excellency Macky Sall, President of Senegal, who will join Tony O. Elumelu, CON, TEF Founder and Chairman of Heirs Holdings and the United Bank for Africa (UBA) in an intimate open house discussion. The Presidential Convening is a highlight of the Forum,  allowing the African entrepreneurs in attendance to closely engage with political leaders, to give first-hand testimony of the important role government can play in catalysing growth and encouraging business ambition.

The Forum agenda includes masterclasses and panel discussions with leading speakers and sector experts, from Africa and globally, who will engage attendees in specialised training sessions to share insights, deepen their knowledge and refine their skills. The Forum will also feature a pitching event, where select entrepreneurs will deliver exciting presentations on the goods and services they provide to a distinguished judging panel.

For the first time, the Forum will be hosted in Abuja, the Federal Capital of Nigeria and will bring together leading policymakers, business leaders, development agencies and the entire entrepreneurship ecosystem including alumni of the Foundation’s Entrepreneurship Programme. Last year, a significant highlight was the launch of TEFConnect, the digital networking platform for African entrepreneurs, which provides a unique digital hub for the African entrepreneurship, facilitating networking, mentorship and most importantly business beyond borders. Previous Forums have been headlined by African leaders, including President of Ghana, HE Nana Akufo-Addo, President of Kenya, HE Uhuru Kenyatta, Former President of Nigeria, HE Olusegun Obasanjo, Former Prime Minister of Benin and TEF Advisory Board Member, HE Lionel Zinsou, Vice President of Nigeria, HE Prof. Yemi Osinbajo.

The Tony Elumelu Foundation’s determination to bring change in scale, across Africa and its relentless focus on entrepreneurship is rooted in the inclusive philosophy of Africapitalism, created by its Founder, which recognizes economically empowering Africa’s youth — the continent’s future wealth creators — and thereby creating sustainable economic and social wealth, as one of the most pressing issues of the 21st century. In 2015, the Foundation committed $100 million to empower 10,000 entrepreneurs from across the continent, over 10 years. Now in the 5th year, the Foundation has funded, mentored and provided business management training to over 7,500 start-ups and small businesses, from all 54 countries in Africa.

“The TEF Entrepreneurship Forum will not just convene the most important stakeholders in the African entrepreneurship ecosystem, it provides an opportunity for everyone to make a commitment to advance entrepreneurship and scale the impact of our entrepreneurs if we are to accelerate the development of the continent,” TEF CEO, Ifeyinwa Ugochukwu said.

She added: “We are constantly inspired by the stories we receive from our entrepreneurs who are creating jobs, employing people and impacting their local communities and ultimately, the continent. We believe that these entrepreneurs are our future. Invest in them now and reap the Africa of our dreams tomorrow. This is what we are committed to.”

The Tony Elumelu Foundation

For more information on the Forum, please visit www.tonyelumelufoundation.org.

Press Release

InnoPower Launches Digital Impact Network to Elevate Minority Business Success in Indiana

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Innopower, powered by Metaimpact’s multi-stakeholder platform, is proud to announce the public launch of Indy Biz Pass, an innovative digital ecosystem designed to spur economic growth and wealth creation within Indiana’s minority business community. This cutting-edge initiative marks a significant milestone in providing underrepresented entrepreneurs enhanced access to essential resources for business success.

Indy Biz Pass is built on Metaimpact’s robust digital infrastructure. Metaimpact enables organizations to design, build, and deploy digital impact networks where multiple stakeholders can act on shared goals to create collective impact. 

Indy Biz Pass is the first network of its kind to focus specifically on empowering Black, Brown, and other minority-owned businesses in Indiana. Funded with philanthropic support from JPMorgan Chase through a grant to Sagamore Institute and operated in coordination with Innopower, Indy Biz Pass is a new resource to help connect minority business owners with a comprehensive network of support, including funding partners, industry experts, educational institutions, and talent development resources. 

For the past year, the focus has been on building a strong network of supporting organizations. Current contributors include the Indy Urban League, Business Equity Indy, Local Initiatives Support Corporation, Sagamore Institute, and many more. By joining Indy Biz Pass, these organizations can make their services widely discoverable to all entrepreneurs, actively contribute to pivotal initiatives, and gain a comprehensive understanding of the work being done across the state. This collaborative environment is crucial in driving forward the collective mission of empowering minority business ownership and success. 

Today’s public launch of the impact network marks a crucial next step by providing access to the entrepreneurs the network aims to support. Understanding the dynamic needs of modern business owners, the impact network is accessible via a specially designed web app. This ensures that resources and collaboration opportunities are just a tap away, facilitating real-time business development and networking. 

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“With Indy Biz Pass, we are setting a new standard for how we support and elevate minority businesses,” said Emil Ekiyor, Founder and CEO of Innopower. “This network is more than just a platform; it’s a community dedicated to fostering success and growth for Black and Brown entrepreneurs across Indiana.

Scott McCorkle, CEO of Metaimpact, added, “Our digital infrastructure is uniquely poised to unite diverse stakeholders and resources in a holistic, impactful manner. We’re excited to see how this network transforms the landscape of minority entrepreneurship in the Hoosier state.”

JPMorgan Chase’s commitment to this initiative underscores its dedication to fostering inclusive economic growth and supporting diverse communities. “One of our top priorities at JPMorgan Chase is ensuring communities and businesses have the resources needed to break down barriers and access economic opportunities,” said Phylicia Manley, Vice President and Program Officer in Global Philanthropy, JPMorgan Chase. “Through Sagamore Institute, in coordination with Metaimpact and Innopower, we’ve been able to assist in strengthening an ecosystem dedicated to helping diverse business owners find access to capital and network support.” 

Entrepreneurs can access Indy Biz Pass at network.indybizpass.com. Organizations seeking to make their services discoverable on Indy Biz Pass can request to join the network at www.metaimpact.com/impact-network/indy-biz-pass/

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Press Release

Beta Glass Partners Wecyclers to Launch Cullet Trucks, Enhancing Recycling and Sustainability Efforts

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Beta Glass PLC, a member of the Frigoglass Group and the leading manufacturer of glass packaging, crowns and crates in West and Central Africa, has partnered with Wecyclers, an innovative waste management company, to launch a fleet of cullet trucks. This strategic initiative aims to enhance recycling efforts, promote sustainability, and reinforce environmental responsibility across Nigeria.

The official launch event took place on Wednesday, 22nd May 2024, at the Beta Glass headquarters in Lagos, marking a significant milestone and commitment by both parties towards a more sustainable future for Nigerians.

The new trucks will be instrumental in collecting and transporting cullet, the term for bottles and jars for recycling, from various collection points to the local production facilities of Beta Glass. By integrating these specialised trucks into the supply chain, both companies aim to increase the volume of recycled glass used in manufacturing, thereby reducing the quantity of virgin raw materials and minimising the environmental footprint.

Key Benefits of the Partnership:

  • Enhanced Recycling Efficiency: The cullet trucks will streamline the collection process, making it easier to gather larger quantities of glass for recycling,
  • Environmental Impact: By using more recycled glass in production, Beta Glass will reduce its carbon footprint.
  • Economic Opportunities: This initiative will create new job opportunities in the recycling sector, supporting local communities.
  • Public Awareness: The partnership aims to raise awareness about the importance of recycling and environmental stewardship among the Nigerian populace.

Commenting on this new partnership, Darren Bennett-Voci, CEO of Beta Glass, stated: “Our partnership with Wecyclers represents a significant step forward in our commitment to sustainability and environmental responsibility. The launch of the cullet trucks will not only enhance our recycling capabilities but also set a benchmark for the industry. We are excited to see the positive impact this initiative will have on our environment and our community.”

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Olawale Adebiyi, CEO of Wecyclers, further added: “Wecyclers is dedicated to providing innovative recycling solutions that empower communities and protect our environment. Partnering with Beta Glass to launch the cullet trucks is a testament to our shared vision of a sustainable future. We look forward to working together to foster a recycling and environmental awareness culture across Nigeria.”

The launch event featured a demonstration of the cullet trucks in operation, along with presentations from key stakeholders about the anticipated benefits of the initiative.

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Press Release

The Gender Mainstreaming for Climate Entrepreneurship

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The Gender Mainstreaming Programme 2024 organized by the Nigeria Climate Innovation Centre aimed to close the gender gap in climate entrepreneurship. NCIC achieves this objective by collaborating with industry players, and stakeholders to drive and gain support for women in the industry, across Nigeria and the world at large. WeClimeEquallyWorkshop and the G-FIVE Business Accelerator by NCIC are the two instruments the organization uses to foster gender equality and climate-focused entrepreneurship. 

The Gender and Climate Workshop Event 

This Year’s WeClimeEquallyWorkshop 2024 with the theme: Equity and Sustainability Towards a Prosperous Future was held on Thursday 21, March 2024 at Four Points by Sheraton. The welcome address was led by Mr. Adamu, the Chief Operating Officer who represented Bankole Oloruntoba, the Chief Executive Officer, of NCIC. He emphasized the work of NCIC in championing projects that drive gender equality and entrepreneurship.

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 Mrs. Titi Oshodi, Special Adviser to the Lagos State Governor on Climate Change and Circular Economy rendered the Goodwill Message and raised the need for effective communication to spur the needed change as there are many communication nuances in the Nigerian landscape. Rendering the speech of His Excellency Babajide Sanwolu, Governor of Lagos state, Mrs. Oshodi plauded that the WeClimEqualityWorkshop provides a pivotal platform to exchange knowledge and amplify women’s voices and ensure their meaningful participation in climate and circular economy because there is a link between gender, women, and marginalization is essential.

The workshop also featured 4 expert paper presentations delivered by industry experts from KPMG, FC4SLagos, Fate Foundation, and academia. In addition, attendees were treated to an intriguing panel session on applying a gender lens to the triple Es of Employment, Environment, and Entrepreneurship. Following hours of interactions, attendees were allowed an opportunity to co-create practical strategies to infuse gender lens in organizational programming, policies, and framework. 

Green Females in Venture Enterprise Business Accelerator 

Building on some key outcomes of the #WeClimeEqually Workshop, 50 climate-focused women entrepreneurs entered a 4-day hybrid business accelerator program delivered in partnership with the Lagos Business School Sustainability Center. Core modules of the accelerator centered around sustainability, innovation, legal regulatory frameworks, business management, and grant writing amongst others. 

Additional program support included a nursery for mothers, accommodation, a virtual learning platform for long-distance learners, and bonding activities. Participants were also certified at the end of the program. The Gender Mainstreaming for Climate Entrepreneurship is sponsored by Climate KIC; Europe’s leading Climate Innovation and Irish Aid. To learn more about the Nigeria Climate Innovation Center Visit the website here https://nigeriacic.org/about-us/

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