Tony Elumelu Foundation invites application for 2021 Entrepreneurship Programme, targets over 3,000 SMEs

By December 30, 2020 January 4th, 2021 NEWS

Nigeria’s Bank of Industry has concluded a $1 billion three-year syndicated loan to support businesses and revitalize the industrial sector in the country.

“The deal demonstrates the capacity of financial institutions to continue their vital activities during the pandemic and their positive attitude to African risks”, Afreximbank, which served as facility agent and security trustee, said in an emailed statement late Tuesday. It is the largest international syndicated loan raised by a local financial institution since coronavirus outbreak, it said.

The transaction, initially launched at $750 million, closed at $1 billion due to over-subscription with the participation of 28 financial institutions, BOI said in a release on its website. The strong credit ratings of the bank contributed to the success of the deal despite challenges posed by Covid-19, it said.

Nigeria’s central bank has provided a full guaranty on the facility and a 100% currency swap to cover foreign exchange risks, according to the development bank. The credit will be disbursed in naira at single interest rates to borrowers.

Afreximbank and Credit Suisse served as joint mandated lead arrangers, underwriters and bookrunners of the transaction, while the Africa Finance Corporation, Rand Merchant Bank, SMBC, and the Export Import Bank of China also joined as mandated lead arrangers and Bookrunners.

The facility is the third major international debt syndication deal closed by BOI, the lender said. A similar loan of 1 billion Euros was raised by the development ban

The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), Africa’s leading philanthropy dedicated to empowering African entrepreneurs, has opened applications on its TEFConnect digital platform (www.tefconnect.com) today, January 1, 2021.

This year’s intervention prioritises the economic recovery of small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) and young African entrepreneurs, following the Covid-19 disruption to economic activities.

To address the unique challenges arising from the pandemic, lift millions out of poverty and create sustainable employment across the continent, the Foundation’s Entrepreneurship Programme will empower 1,000 young African entrepreneurs, selected from the 2020 cohort. The Foundation will also open applications to an additional 2,400 young entrepreneurs in 2021, in collaboration with global partners.

The Tony Elumelu Foundation, which celebrated ten years of impact in 2020, is empowering a new generation of African entrepreneurs, through the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme. Successful applicants receive a world-class business training, mentorship, non-refundable seed capital up to $5,000, and global networking opportunities. The Programme is open to entrepreneurs across Africa, both new start-ups and existing young businesses, operating in any sector.

CEO of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, Ifeyinwa Ugochukwu, stated: “The Tony Elumelu Foundation now more than ever is demonstrating our commitment to unleashing the potential of young African entrepreneurs, the key to Africa’s long-term economic transformation. The pandemic has created challenges across the continent, but we know that with the Tony Elumelu Foundation’s tried and tested Programme, we can execute the largest Covid-19 economic recovery plan for African SMEs and break the cycle of poverty in Africa.”

The Tony Elumelu Foundation’s $100 million Entrepreneurship Programme, launched in 2015 to empower 10,000 entrepreneurs over 10 years, is now entering its 7th year and has empowered to date, over 9,000 young African entrepreneurs from 54 African countries.

Prospective applicants should apply on the digital networking hub for African entrepreneurs, www.tefconnect.com.

Source: Newsexpressngr