Kenyan entrepreneurs to tap into Sh725m African seed capital

This is under the Tony Elumelu Foundation programme for 2024.

In Summary

•At least 35 Kenyans have made the cut in the 2024 programme.

•The 2024 beneficiaries will be the 10th cohort of the 10-year-long Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) Entrepreneurship Programme, with each receiving a $5,000 (Sh6.6 million) seed capital from the foundation.

UBA Bank Kenya CEO Mary Mulili/HANDOUT
UBA Bank Kenya CEO Mary Mulili/HANDOUT

Kenyan entrepreneurs are set to benefit from part of the $5.5 million (Sh725.4 million)seed capital funding from the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF).

This is under the 2024 TEF Entrepreneurship Programme, where 37 Kenyans are among the 1,104 African entrepreneurs across 54 countries set to benefit.

Each entrepreneur will get a $5,000 (Sh659,496) seed capital for investment.

The 2024 beneficiaries will be the 10th cohort of the 10-year-long initiative.

Access to funding especially for SMEs starting up has been a challenge over the years due to tight requirements and high repayment rates.

In 2023 for instance, the State-backed credit guarantee scheme, which seeks to enhance loan access to credit by micro, small and medium enterprises registered sluggish growth, to disburse a cumulative Sh6.2 billion by December 2023 since its launch three years ago.

Speaking at the unveiling of the 2024 cohort, UBA Bank Kenya CEO Mary Mulili said that in Kenya, a total of 782 entrepreneurs have been beneficiaries over the ten years, with a seed capital of $5,000 each.

"The entrepreneurs represent sectors from agriculture, waste management, ICT and manufacturing. This reflects our commitment to nurturing the entrepreneurship ecosystem in Kenya and Africa as a whole,"Mulili said.

The Tony Elumelu Foundation has disbursed $100 million (Sh13.2 billion) of direct entrepreneurship funding into the hands of young African entrepreneurs, who have, in turn, created over 400,000 direct and indirect jobs.

The startups, whom 46 per cent of total beneficiaries are women, have contributed significantly to Africa's economic growth and development, Mulili said, reiterating their commitment to gender inclusion and equity.

United Bank for Africa Group Chairman and Founder of the program, Tony Elumelu, emphasised belief in spreading luck, democratizing luck, spreading prosperity, and investing in identifying the best talent.

"We think the easiest way to spread prosperity in Africa is to identify the best talent and invest in them,” said 

Launched in 2015, the programme, which is funded by United Bank for Africa Group Chairman Tony Elumelu, seeks to identify and empower 10,000 African entrepreneurs, create a million jobs and add $10 billion (Sh1 trillion) in revenue to Africa.

The Tony Elumelu Foundation is keen on empowering a new generation of African entrepreneurs, driving poverty eradication, catalysing job creation across all 54 African countries, and increasing women economic empowerment.

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