BY DAKARAI MASHAVA
SEVENTY-SEVEN Zimbabweans are among about 4 950 entrepreneurs from 54 African countries who recently received non-refundable US$5 000 seed capital each from the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) Entrepreneurship Programme.
The Tony Elumelu Foundation, a leading champion of entrepreneurship on the continent, selected the beneficiaries from a pool of over 400 000 applications based on, among other factors, growth potential to create jobs and eradicate poverty.
Apart from the non-refundable seed capital, the beneficiaries receive business management training, mentorship and global networking opportunities.
One of the Zimbabwean beneficiaries of the continental entrepreneurship programme, Lumbie Mlambo, the founder of a company called JB Dondolo, told the Daily News yesterday that she would use the US$5 000 seed capital to solarise one of the six boreholes her company drilled late last year to provide water for irrigation in the Matobo Hills area.
“I am thinking about clean water and food security, good health and sustainability. My company JB Dondolo has just provided some boreholes in Matobo Hills so women and girls don’t have to walk too far to collect water.
“So, I intend to use the grant to solarise one borehole to enable it to provide water for irrigation, farming, gardening, cattle silage, and composting,” said Mlambo.
Tony O Elumelu, the founder of the continental entrepreneurship programme, urged beneficiaries of the initiative to stay focused.
“To you young African entrepreneurs — work hard, dream dreams, and be very disciplined. You must continue to think of impact.
“The entrepreneurship journey is not linear — there are ups and downs, but by staying focused and resilient, ultimately success will come your way.
“The future of our continent is in your hands. What you do as entrepreneurs will go a long way in lifting Africa out of poverty.
“I am happy that our female entrepreneurs are doing very well, with 68 percent representation (of the beneficiaries) this year,” Elumelu said.
He added that the application for the 2022 Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) Entrepreneurship Programme was now open on www.tefconnect.com – Daily News.