Having attended the last Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Forum, and looking at the successes that have been recorded since the inception of the programme I dare say that Africa is definitely on the rise.
I recall the first day I was drafted into the Tony Elumelu Foundation, the Founder, Tony Elumelu recognized my passion for entrepreneurship and my ability to deliver as an IT consultant (let’s just say I’m not called The Fixer for nothing). He thought it best that I join the pioneer team as my impact will be valuable to the team.
The Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme was founded based on his Africapitalism philosophy which now guides my philosophy as an entrepreneur. We believe that Africans are responsible for Africa’s development and that was our driving force. We wanted to create a chain reaction where we developed Africans who in turn will develop other Africans, until Africa lives up to her potential.
We had a thousand meetings (exaggeration) going through what we thought the programme should be and how best to structure it, under the leadership of the CEO, Parminder Vir.
From the IT perspective, we had to decide if we had the infrastructure and know-how to pull off a feat of this magnitude as no one we know had done it. The audacity!!! Bring 1000 entrepreneurs on a platform, pair them with mentors and take them through a 12 week programme.
As Tony Elumelu will say “Get it done!”
We finally settled with collecting applications through f6s.com while using chronus.com as the mentor and learning platform for the 12 week programme, a fragmented structure.
Applications began on January the 1st of 2015, and our wildest fears began to unfold, our web server could not handle the amount of people checking our website for more information on the programme. At 4am, it was decided that we needed to upgrade our servers and change our providers entirely! Phew!
Even f6s were not spared the fury of African entrepreneurs. On March 1st, the final day of application, there were so many hits on the f6s platform that had to pull in additional resources to keep their platform stable.
The applications closed with a whooping 20,127 applications from across Africa.
You would think that we would rest on their laurels but no we didn’t. We immediately started designing our application portal to fix some of the issues we couldn’t address with f6s which we launched in 2016. And in 2017, we launched our Mentor and Learning platform wholly built by Nigerian developers.
It is worthy of note that in 2017 alone, we received 90000+ applications for the Programme and we did not experience a single downtime.