Tony Elumelu Entreprenuership Programme (TEEP) is coined out of a $100 million Tony Elumelu Foundation Programme with the mission to identify and grow 10,000 African entrepreneurs, create 1 million jobs, and add $10 billion in annual revenue across Africa over the next decade.
As Africa’s economy is growing the foundation identified there are serious underlying problems, particularly for small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs), which drive any sustainable economy. A critical gap is the lack of business leadership. Some studies show a need for over a million middle managers across all sectors in Africa. Successful African entrepreneurs also need recognition and access to global networks to unlock capital and new markets.
The foundation aspire to help grow 1000 leading African SMEs into pan-African and global business that employ significant numbers, pay taxes and create prosperity and wealth.
Temmy Balogun’s blog was privileged to interview one of the 1000 entrepreneur that benefited a cash sum of $10,000 from the programme and he was delighted to shared his experience at the programme. He explained how the programme serves as an eye opener.
1. Good to have you here, lets start with a brief biography..
My name is Somide Olaoye Anthony, graduate of Geoinformatics & Surveying from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. I hail from Ogun State, Abeokuta precisely. I am a Tech-Entrepreneur with optimum passion to change the world via technology.
2. What is Entrepreneurship to you? What inspired you to become an Entrepreneur?
To me entrepreneurship entails conceptualizing a business venture, assuming the risk and being ready to go for it at all cost. Entrepreneurs are risk bearers, they are always seeking for gaps in the society and how to fill those gaps with something innovating called Idea.
As a Tech-Entrepreneur, I have seen how great minds like Steve Jobs (Apple), Larry Page (Google), Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook) dared to change the world with little but great ideas,and they were able to see through success. Success stories like this inspired me to venture into entrepreneurship with a motive to change the world starting from my country, Nigeria!
3. Who is a Tech-Entrepreneur?
A Tech-Entrepreneur or ‘Technopreneur’ as Tech Entreprenuers call it, is an Entrepreneur who ventures into a business that is absolutely powered by technology. The three guys I mentioned to you earlier are perfect examples of Technopreneurs. A Technoprenuer does not necessarily need to be a hard-core programmer or geek but someone who is able to see how technology can solve an existing problem with much more efficiency.
4. Tell me about your start ups? What is the niche of each?
* Bazar Ng
Bazar is an Online Virtual Marketplace dedicated to helping retail businesses reach out to more customers online. We do this by creating a platform that serves as a nexus between the business and her customers. Businesses can make use of our platform as an online inventory for managing and selling their in-stock products.
Skyepath as a geographical information software helps geographic experts and community users to create and deploy WebMaps with ease and convenience.
5. Now let’s hit the bone of contention, tell us about Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Program (TEEP) and your experience in the programme, because i am sure some entrepreneurs out there will be eager to read a participant comment
Late 2014, Mr. Tony Elumelu announced his desire to support 10,000 entrepreneurs with $10,000 each, across Africa by kicking off the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Program (TEEP) which he intends to catty on with for 10 years.According to him, he sees entrepreneurship as a key factor to improving Africa’s economy.
The application portal was opened 1st of January until 28 of February, 2015 with over 20,000 applicants across Africa that submitted great business ideas that are currently into existence with few at the idea stage.
On 24th of March, the foundation announced the selection of 1,000 business ideas among the 20,000 applicants for the year 2015 and luckily my startup, Bazar NG was selected. The 1,000 selected entrepreneurs were from the 52 African countries with Nigeria having the highest percentage followed by other developing African countries like Kenya, South-Africa, Ghana etc.
The programme began with a 12 weeks online entrepreneurship and mentorship training in business development, value proposition, market analysis, competition analysis, branding, company formation and registration and so on. The entrepreneurs all have weekly activities to undergo as pertaining to their businesses, to be reviewed by the mentors and submitted to the foundation.
Over 300 mentors who are highly experienced in their field of expertise were employed by the foundation to give the entrepreneurs a guide on how to develop their businesses. My mentor was Mr. Adebola Adeola (Founder & CEO of Topup Genie). With his help I was able to have a better understanding of my value propositions and a better transformation of my business idea.
At the end of the 12 weeks program, all participating entrepreneurs were hosted in Nigeria at Covenant University, Otta for a 2-days bootcamp, which was a very wonderful experience. I had the opportunity to meet entrepreneurs from different countries.
6. How has the program changed your ideology about entrepreneurship?
Initially I saw entrepreneurship as having an idea and immediately start working on the idea. But truly entrepreneurship is not just about the idea but also about putting together a great team, making a good research about the idea and the market the idea occupies, resources need and possible factors to success.
With my participation in the program, I was reformed from just being tech-entrepreneur into being a business developer with great insights on how to make a business work.
7. Have you got excellent recommendations from clients so far?
Yes. We launched just last month after the bootcamp in Otta and now have over 100 clients on our platform spread across 12 states of the federation.
8.What are the three ethics you work with? How have you coped with managing your start ups?
My ethics; Commitment, Hardwork and Perseverance.
I currently founded two startups personally and co-founded a couple with other great like minds of people that I can trust their capabilities. Managing startups is not an easy task, infact it is one of the most difficult thing to do. As an entrepreneur, you need to give it all your best in terms of time, resources and prayers.
9. How many days of the week are you available to clients? Do you have time to relax?
We run an Online Virtual Marketplace and this demands that we should be available to our clients 24/7. Few time to rest though, most times I work all nights except on Sundays. I believe this is a sacrifice that the business demands at this present stage.
10. Words to inspire aspiring Tech Entrepreneurs…
The only one that can stop you is you. Believe in yourself and in the dreams you’ve got and never let anyone tell you can’t achieve it. Most especially follow your heart.
Many thanks for sharing with us Somide.
You can connect with Somide Anthony;
Email: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Telephone: 08060151398, 08159277035