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Tony Elumelu Foundation gets Harvard University’s recognition

The Harvard Business School, the graduate business school of Harvard University, will be casting the spotlight on the Tony Elumelu Foundation in what was described as a “ground-breaking case study”, in recognition of it philanthropic achievement

According to a statement made available to The PUNCH on Wednesday, the case study, said to be the first of its kind on any philanthropic organisation in Africa, will be launched on Thursday, before a class of graduate students in Boston, Massachusetts.

It stated that the case study would explore the foundation’s “unique approaches and transformative initiatives, showcasing how strategic philanthropy offered by TEF is driving positive change and elevating countries and communities”.

It stated that the move by Harvard underscored the foundation’s pivotal role in empowering young African entrepreneurs across all 54 African countries and placed the foundation at the forefront of global discussions on transformative and catalytic philanthropy, acknowledging its significant contributions towards fostering entrepreneurship in Africa.

“In addition to delving into the foundation’s innovative approaches and the resultant impact it has garnered over the years, the event will also feature an exclusive acknowledgement of the founder of TEF, Tony Elumelu’s economic philosophy of Africapitalism, which positions the private sector, and most importantly entrepreneurs, as the catalyst for the social and economic development of the African continent,” the statement read.

The Tony Elumelu Foundation has over the years been empowering a new generation of African entrepreneurs, driving poverty eradication, catalysing job creation across all 54 African countries, and increasing inclusive economic empowerment.

Since the launch of the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme in 2015, the Foundation has trained over 1.5 million young Africans on its digital hub, TEFConnect, and disbursed over $100m in direct funding to 20,000 young African women and men, who have collectively created over 400,000 direct and indirect jobs.

Elumelu, while speaking on the impact of TEF on the African youth, said, “TEF is creating economic hope and opportunity for African Entrepreneurs. We know that entrepreneurship is the antidote to poverty, youth unemployment and insecurity.

“Through the intervention of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, we are encouraging our young people, giving them hope through the seed capital we provide, capacitating them through the training and mentoring we provide and setting them up to create businesses that will succeed and create even more jobs. Collectively we are fixing the challenges that we have on the continent.”

 The business mogul added that the foundation was set up to create more successful African business leaders.

“We want to replicate our own success and create entrepreneurs who will build more prosperity on the continent and for the continent. It’s all about transforming our society and making sure that we leave society better than we met it. It is not about the money that we have in our bank accounts, it is about the legacy that we make and the impact we create. Prosperity for all is what will create the security, harmony and peace that we need,” he said.

The Harvard Business School session will provide a platform for thought leaders, scholars, and business enthusiasts to engage in a meaningful discussion on the role of philanthropy in shaping sustainable and inclusive economies.

“As the world grapples with complex challenges, the Tony Elumelu Foundation stands as a beacon of hope, showcasing how strategic philanthropy can be a driving force for positive change,” the statement read partly.

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