WASHINGTON D.C. —
Twelve young Zimbabwean entrepreneurs, who concluded three months of training under the Tony Elumelu entrepreneurship program at the weekend in Nigeria, say they have gained a wealth of experience and knowledge that will enable them to take their business acumen to a whole new level.
The 12 entrepreneurs are among a contingent of 1,000 young businesspeople drawn from various African countries, who took part in the inaugural edition of the Tony Elumelu entrepreneurship program.
After undergoing a rigorous three months of training online in Zimbabwe, the entrepreneurs flew to Nigeria on Friday to cap their program with a two-day boot camp.
One of them is Tawanda Musvaire, founder of Goshen International Private Limited, a company that specializes in recycling.
Musvaire says his Tony Elumelu experience has been invaluable.
“We have been taught to be able to operate properly and be able to market our products across borders, that makes us have a bigger market in terms of exposure,” he said.
Another beneficiary, Mellisa Muzingi, who runs an online store called Zedlabel which sells Zimbabwe clothing designs and accessories, says she learnt a lot from the Tony Elumelu program.
Muzingi adds that besides the capital she is walking away with, she was able to establish a lot of critical contacts.
“Aside from the funding, one of the best things about the program was just making contact, kind of exposing me in order to expand your business regionally and globally as well,” she said.
All the 1,000 Elumelu program participants will each receive $5,000 non-returnable seed money and a further $5,000 as a loan.
The Tony Elumelu entrepreneurship program was founded last year by Nigerian billionaire, Tony Elumelu, with the objective of uplifting young African business persons.
Other Zimbabwean Elumelu fellows include Mcwilton Chikwenengere, Mehluli Dube, Ignatius Tichaona Dzingirai, Senzeni Mpofu, Kevin Victor Mtutu, John Muketsi, Ian Mutamiri, Tendayi Muwomo, Herbert Nderezina and Tinashe Nyoni.