UBA launches 2021 TEF Entrepreneurship Program
The United Bank of Africa (UBA), in collaboration with the Ministry of Youth Affairs wants over 500 young Sierra Leoneans to apply for the year's Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) Entrepreneurship Program.
The application process for the program started on January 1, 2021 and will run until March 31, 2021 and bank officials say the application portal for the submission of business proposals for the $5,000 grant is available on TEFConnect Digital Platform (www.tefconnect.com).
This year's intervention prioritizes the economic recovery of small and medium scale enterprises and young African Entrepreneurs, following the COVID-19 disruption to economic activities.
During a news conference on Friday January 22, 2021, UBA Sierra Leone Chief Executive Officer/Managing Director, Usman Isiaka stated that Sierra Leone has had a little over 100 applicants over the years with just a handful of those making it through to the final stage.
“This year the bank has decided to collaborate with the Ministry of Youth Affairs and the TEF Alumni to drive a higher participation level from Sierra Leone and have more Sierra Leonean youths benefit from this enormous opportunity," he said and furthered that they have put together several activities that will drive public awareness for this year's call to ensure that increased number of young entrepreneurs in Sierra Leone apply.
Youth Affairs Minister, Mohamed Orman Bangura commended the fact that the TEF program is meant to empower young people and added that it is a good advantage Sierra Leoneans should make use of. He called on young people to put in their talent and skills together to tap the opportunity provided by TEF. The minister admonished young Sierra Leoneans to be productive for their own benefit and that of the nation and assured that his Ministry will continue to provide the platform for youth development.
Established in 2010, the TEF is the leading champion of entrepreneurship in Africa through its $100 million Fund for the identification, training, mentoring and provision of $5,000 seed capital for 1,000 ypunng African Entrepreneurs annually over a period 10 year period that started from 2015. The objective of TEF is to empower women and men across the African continent, catalysing economic growth, driving poverty eradication and ensuring job creation.
A total of 9038 young African Entrepreneurs across 54 African countries have been empowered with access to training, mentoring, seed capital and business network through TEFConnect.
TEF Alumni who shared their experiences commended the program, which has contributed to their development. The remarked that they have been able to provide training to other young people on various skills to take to their communities. The skills include development communication that produces movies and documentaries; using local materials to build television antennas for local TV stations and installation of light produced through solar; modelling and designing etc.