The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the philanthropic arm of Heirs Holdings, The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) signed a memorandum of understanding today to empower 200 entrepreneurs from Nigeria’s North East and Niger Delta regions.
The partnership aims to holistically address, through innovative interventions, the economic plight of communities affected by armed conflict or violence.
“We have been looking for a reliable partner in Africa, where over 40% of our work is, to help us develop a sustainable programme that would help people affected by conflict or violence create income-generating activities. After analysis and discussion with affected communities, we decided to support start-ups with innovative ideas in the area of agriculture, healthcare, micro-finance, construction, commerce and fashion, generated by men and women of all walks of life, with or without prior education,” said Patrick Youssef, ICRC Deputy Director for Africa.
“This initiative is complementary to the existing $100 million TEF Entrepreneurship Programme, a tried and tested approach to creating sustainable impact that has seeded, mentored and trained 3 000 African entrepreneurs, generated revenue and created jobs across all 54 African countries. Out of this number, 1 593 entrepreneurs, over 50% are Nigerian citizens,” said Tony O Elumelu, TEF Founder.
Selected entrepreneurs from these two regions will each receive funding of up to $5000 from a separate endowment of $1000 000, as non-returnable seed capital to implement their business ideas, after undergoing business training and mentoring. The beneficiaries of this programme will be notified alongside the announcement of the successful 1000 entrepreneurs in the 4th cycle of the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme on 22 March 2018.
The ICRC and TEF partnership is based on the common principle of accountability and proximity to people, a desire to restore livelihoods affected by conflict or violence and the desire to see a positive change in Africa.