HARARE,– Twelve Zimbabwean entrepreneurs are among the first group of 1,000 young business people selected to benefit from the $100 million Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme (TEEP), Africa’s largest philanthropic fund to support start-ups.

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12 Zimbabweans selected for the inaugural Tony Elumelu entrepreneurship programme

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TEEP is an initiative to discover and support 10,000 African entrepreneurs over the next decade, with a target of creating one million new jobs and $10 billion in additional revenues. It was launched in December last year by Nigerian billionaire and businessman, Tony Elumelu, the chairman of Heirs Holdings.

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The winners will receive $5,000 non-returnable seed money after a 12-week business skills training course and an entrepreneurship ‘boot camp,’ and a further $5,000 structured as a loan.

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Over 20,000 African entrepreneurs from 52 countries applied for the programme where 12 Zimbabweans: Mcwilton Chikwenengere, Mehluli Dube, Ignatius Tichaona Dzingirai, Mellisa Mazingi, Senzeni Mpofu and Kevin Victor Mtutu were selected.

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Others are John Muketsi, Tawanda Musvaire, Ian Mutamiri, Tendayi Muwomo, Herbert Nderezina and Tinashe Nyoni.

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Their proposals were in education and training; energy and power generation, fashion, manufacturing, retail and information and communication technologies (ICT).

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Organisers said the initial winners were “a remarkable group of entrepreneurs who are a testament

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to the ability of Africa’s own entrepreneurs to drive Africa’s growth and development.”

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“The selection of these 1,000 entrepreneurs brings us closer to our ultimate goal to drive Africa’s economic and social transformation from within and to radically intensify job creation in Africa,” said Elumelu, who added that he will invest his experience, time, influence and resources to help them succeed.

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The list is dominated by start-ups from Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa. Other selected start-ups are from Mauritania, Sudan, Djibouti and Central African Republic.

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Organisers said the selected entrepreneurs will go through the programme cycle over the next nine months. The cycle includes an intensive online training curriculum, mentoring, and participation in a two-day entrepreneurship boot-camp and the Elumelu Entrepreneurship Forum. – The Source