The Tony Elumelu Foundation since its inception in 2015 has driven the economy of the African continent by providing funds,mentoring and training startup entrepreneurs across nations. Mr Uwem Uwemakpan the project manager of the Tony Elumelu Foundation revealed this at an event organised by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry(LCCI).
In line with the theme of the program tagged Fourth Industrial Revolution: the Nigerian Story, he started out by outlining the massive benefits of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and how it is redefining human involvement today in areas like the Internet of things,data analysis etc. He said the Fourth Industrial Revolution is built on the 1st,2nd and 3rd revolution, and that it blurred the lines between the physical,digital and biological. According to him, “the 4IR is all about connectivity and interconnection”.
He stated that when juxtaposing the advancement in world technologies today with the Nigerian situation, the country was seriously lagging behind, being that the government is still focused on resource control which was reminiscence of the first industrial revolution.
On the role of entrepreneurship in advancing the 4IR,he said that Nigeria and the rest of Africa have to adopt innovations by growing on and funding SMEs especially tech innovations. In a bid to build ‘Africapitalism’ as his mentor Tony Elumelu named it,he said the Tony Elumelu Foundation have funded 7000 profit yielding startup businesses across Africa.
”Entrepreneurship has been in the fore to tech development in nations . In U.S.A which is the biggest world economy, 75% of 52 million businesses are run by sole owners. Likewise in India and Brazil, small and medium scale enterprises are responsible for driving the economy of the nations”.
He implored the government to imbibe the culture of entrepreneurship in young Nigerians so that in the future they would be independent thinkers and problem solvers who are less dependent on the government.