To tackle climate change, biodiversity loss, resource scarcity…: Tony Elumelu Foundation, partners launch initiative to empower African youth.

Leading philanthropy empowering a new generation of African entrepreneurs, the Tony Elumelu Foundation, TEF, has joined forces with UNICEF’s Generation Unlimited, and IKEA Foundation to launch a pioneering Green Entrepreneurship Programme.

The dynamic initiative seeks to empower African youth and tackle the triple planetary crisis of climate change, biodiversity loss, and resource scarcity.

The initiative, the founding partners detailed, will not only make a significant impact on the environment but also provide sustainable job opportunities for the next generation of African entrepreneurs especially in a world where environmental challenges are becoming increasingly urgent. 

Building on successful initiatives like Generation Unlimited’s imaGen Ventures and Yoma solutions, and the Tony Elumelu Foundation’s entrepreneurship programme, the Green Entrepreneurship Programme, also called BeGreen Africa, is designed to provide young African entrepreneurs with the training, mentoring, and funding needed to develop innovative solutions for Africa’s sustainable future. 

Through a series of workshops, mentorship programmes and funding opportunities, participants of the Programme will be empowered to create green businesses that address pressing environmental issues.

“We know the critical role that green entrepreneurship and agripreneurship play in driving innovative solutions to environmental issues and are keen to empower our young ones across Africa, starting with Kenya, to deploy innovative solutions to the climate crisis,” said Tony O. Elumelu, CFR, Founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation. 

“This initiative will empower young Africans with the entrepreneurial skills that are needed to accelerate the shift towards green economy,” he added.

Tony O. Elumelu said working with great partners such as IKEA Foundation and UNICEF Generation Unlimited, “we will create new jobs, generate employment, improve livelihoods, help eradicate poverty and address climate issues in Africa”.

“Our collective goal is to see young entrepreneurs in Africa build sustainable businesses for themselves and generate viable green jobs, so that our young ones are not left behind in the inevitable green economy that the world will transitioning to,” Tony O. Elumelu added.

To the economist and philanthropist, climate change is not just a threat to future of all but “also a threat to our present and there is no time to wait for climate action in Africa”.

Echoing TEF boss, the Chief Executive Officer, CEO, of IKEA Foundation, Per Heggenes, said to transition to a green and circular economy needs urgent “partnerships and coalitions of the willing, who are ready to experiment and scale, and who aren’t afraid to take risks”.

To the Chief Executive Officer, CEO, of Generation Unlimited, Kevin Frey, young people in Africa with a spirit of enterprise and innovation are key to powering an agricultural boom.

“By equipping them with relevant skills and supporting their solutions through mentorship and seed funding, we can empower a generation of agripreneurs who go on to drive sustainable economic growth in the continent and beyond,” Frey said. 


Zoom on key objectives of BeGreen Africa

The initiative, it was detailed, aims to empower young African entrepreneurs, giving them the tools and skills necessary to take an active role in solving environmental challenges as well as support the development of environmentally conscious businesses, help create jobs that contribute positively to the planet.

The Programme will directly tackle climate change, biodiversity loss, and resource scarcity by fostering sustainable entrepreneurship and help foster innovation to drive positive change by encouraging young African entrepreneurs to think outside the box and develop groundbreaking solutions. 

The initiative will ultimately contribute to building a more sustainable and resilient future for communities and the planet as a whole.

The founding partners of BeGreen Africa will leverage their collective expertise, close relations with government, the private sector and youth networks, and extensive field presence across Africa, particularly in Kenya to develop a green-focused curricula that addresses the gaps and capacity needs of the identified target youth. 

They will also engage expert trainers to deliver the trainings via, facilitate mentor and alumni network connections, and provide seed capital funding that will empower the identified entrepreneurs to kickstart, develop, and scale their green businesses.


About the Tony Elumelu Foundation

The Tony Elumelu Foundation is the leading philanthropy empowering a new generation of African entrepreneurs, driving poverty eradication, catalysing job creation across all 54 African countries, and increasing women economic empowerment. 

Since the launch of the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme in 2015, the Foundation has provided over 1.5 million young Africans with access to training on its digital hub, TEFConnect, and disbursed nearly USD$100 million in direct funding to 18,000 African women and men, who have collectively created over 400,000 direct and indirect jobs. 

The Foundation’s mission is rooted in Africapitalism, which positions the private sector, and most importantly entrepreneurs, as the catalyst for the social and economic development of the African continent.


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