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January 25-27

TEF Entrepreneurship Forum – Day 1 Highlights


“We are witnessing the transformative power of the private sector in changing the lives of individuals and the face of communities across Africa”

…and with these prophetic words by Dr. Awele Elumelu, Trustee, Tony Elumelu Foundation, Chairperson, Avon HMO, and CEO, Avon Medical, the 2017 TEF Entrepreneurship Forum was declared open today.

Day One of the Forum was an unravelling of ideas as we successfully hosted over 1,000 entrepreneurs, as well as knowledgeable speakers, generous enough to share their wealth of experience.

Three common themes that ran through the speeches, masterclasses and plenaries were the following:

  1. The role entrepreneurship and Africapitalism in the transformation of the African content;
  2. the need for technology in driving the success of today’s businesses; and
  3. the importance of the representation of more women in the business and political environments.

Dr. Awele Elumelu’s speech was a passionate reflection of TEF’s journey as she challenged the entrepreneurs present to reach for success. Her challenge to entrepreneurs went thus: “I am a woman, a Medical Doctor and a mother of 7 children. If I could do it, you can”.

CEO, Tony Elumelu Foundation, Parminder Vir, took the stage next to fire up the entrepreneurs on the impact TEF has made since its launch in 2015. She summarised the mission and vision of the Foundation as “having a positive impact across Africa”.

Afterwards, there was a panel on “Africapitalism 360” moderated by Somachi Chris-Asoluka, Head, Policy and External Relations, The Tony Elumelu Foundation. Participants included Sam Nwanze, Chief Investment Officer, Heirs Holdings; Kola Karim, GMD, Shoreline Energy; Edward Kallon, United Nations Resident Coordinator; and David Rice, Associate Professor of Economics, New York University.

The next session was presented by Professor Ndubuisi Ekekwe who shared thoughts on what it means to “Extend the frontier”.

Following that, there was a breakout masterclass on finance with these speakers:

  • “Seed to scale: Sourcing finance” with Dapo Okubadejo, KPMG
  • “Are you investor ready?” with Bunmi Akinremi, United Capital
  • “Managing Tax” with Moshood Olajide, PWC

The next panel was on branding and marketing with Angie Nwandu, CEO, Shade Room and Zinat  Mittou, CEO, Carre Design, where we learnt tips on positioning a business for success.

We broke out for another masterclass session centred on digital marketing with these speakers: Adebola Wiliams, Red Media; Kathleen Ndongmo, co-Founder, voKKall; and Tope Adubi, Digital Marketing Manager, Tony Elumelu Foundation.

Finally, we rounded up the day with a panel on “From potential to profit: growing your business into an idea” with Funke Opeke, MainOne; Shola Akinlade, CEO, Paystack; Jason Njoku, CEO, Iroko; Tara Fela Durotoye, CEO, House of Tara; Omoni Oboli, Nollywood Producer/Actress; and Peter Ashade, CEO Africa Prudential.


On this note, here are a few of the most powerful quotes from today’s sessions:

  • We are witnessing the transformative power of the private sector in changing the lives of individuals and the face of communities across Africa – Awele Elumelu
  • We want to take the African entrepreneurship spirit out of Africa to the international community – Parminder Vir, CEO, Tony Elumelu Foundation
  • Your brand should be so unique that it can sell itself – Angie Nwandu – CEO, Shade Room
  • Build a team that loves your brand, do not hire people that want to get paid – Angie Nwandu – CEO, Shade Room
  • My audacity comes from the opportunity to make a difference Funke Opeke – CEO, MainOne
  • If I didn’t demystify stardom it would have been a different story – Omoni Oboli – Film Producer/Actor
  • We are not satisfied with the profitably because we also want to transform Africa – Peter Ashade – CEO, Africa Prudential

To view photos from today’s event, click HERE.

Click HERE to proceed to Day Two events.

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