Tony Elumelu Foundation partners with Kenyan NGO on youth Enterprise

By (Blogger) Abdulkareem Haruna

The Tony Elumelu Foundation, on Friday, signed a partnership agreement with a Kenyan non-profit organisation, Youth Enterprise Development Fund (YEDF). 

The partnership is to help youth in Kenya to build capacity for successful entrepreneurship through mentorship. 

Tony Elumelu is the Chairman of United Bank for Africa (UBA), and founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation. 

Kareem's Pick Blog is among selected media outfits invited to monitor the collaboration signing event that was streamed live on Facebook at one of the business branches of  United Bank for Africa in Maiduguri. 

The Representative of UBA kenya, Timothy Kihiko, who spoke on behalf of the Tony Elumelu Foundation said the Youth Enterprise Development Fund (YEDF) and the UBA collaboration seeks to provide not only financial support to the youth "but also training, mentorship, incubation and counselling to help them turn big ideas into reality". 

According to him Kenya's entrepreneurship sector has witnessed tremendous growth and development, and the sector still has untapped potentials and which the new collaboration gives an opportunity to impact very positively. 

"We have chosen to partner with the YEDF for we share the same vision for promoting youth entrepreneurship in Kenya. One of our focus areas under UBA Foundation is economic empowerment. And through this partnership we will see youth get empowered and become better entrepreneurs . 

"The entrepreneurs would get additional funding through this collaboration which would be administered through UBA, and funded by the YEDF. The entrepreneurs that have completed their Tony Elumelu Foundation Programme will be the first beneficiaries of this collaboration. We see more entrepreneurs gaining from this collaboration too. 

"The economic growth and development of Kenya is hidden in the untapped potentials from emerging youth entrepreneurs . UBA Kenya will continue to work tireless towards developing innovative to assist and catalyse business growth for youth entrepreneurs. 

The Chairman of YEDF, Ronnie Osumba, said  the collaboration will boost entrepreneurship in Kenya even as he observed that  "most start-up businesses die within the first 3 years of business; 67% of all new businesses fail", due to lack of basic skills in entrepreneurship. 

He said the only way out of avoiding budding businesses from failing is "by mentorship". 

"He said the collaboration will "put in place mentorship and coaching as well as support to access markets", 

He added that YEDF is also working on setting up market aggregation to guide young entrepreneurs on how to go about sustainability of businesses

"Majority of young people don't need money but mentorship on how to run a successful business. And this partnership will go a long way in helping us to achieve that", he said. 

High point of the partnership was signing of the collaboration papers by the representatives of the two organisations. 

Branch manager of UBA Plc in Maiduguri, Muhammed Umar, said the idea of bringing local media in Borno state to witness the live programme is to create awareness of the public in the state and the northeast region on how to access the opportunity provided by the Tony Elumelu Foundation. 

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