Leading Ivestment Company in Africa

It has been a truly memorable day.


I have just returned from Abuja where I delivered a comprehensive commitment to support Nigerian women entrepreneurs at the ‘Women in Export Stakeholders Forum and Exhibition’ hosted by the Nigerian Export Promotion Council and the International Trade Centre (ITC), and supported by the Nigerian First Lady, Mrs Aisha Buhari and the wife of the Vice President, Mrs. Dolapo Osinbajo.

The International Trade Centre (ITC) has partnered with Nigeria’s National Export Promotion Council (NEPC) to engage Nigerian women in the SheTrades Initiative which seeks to connect 1 million women to the global marketplace by 2020.

Our First Lady’s presence and support of this wonderful initiative no doubt encourages more female entrepreneurs to embrace this opportunity to connect to the global marketplace, given to them by the NEPC and ITC.
Today’s event marks an important step towards women’s empowerment. While women make up more than 50% of the world’s population and do a lot of the work it takes to keep families and communities running, their labours are hardly counted, much less valued in currency – Naira, kobo, dollars and cents.

Correcting this problem and advancing women’s equality could add $28 trillion to global GDP by 2025. We know that when a woman does well, her family eventually does well. And we know that women put everyone else first. So if we put them first, we are actually putting everyone first.
Alongside my team at the Tony Elumelu Foundation, we are working towards this goal of gender equity through the Foundation’s entrepreneurship program through which we invested $100 million to identify, mentor and seed 10,000 African businesses over the next 10 years. We strongly believe that the future of our continent lies in supporting our entrepreneurs and in association, our women. When women succeed, the entire continent succeeds.

Full and equal participation of women is an important objective of our entrepreneurship program.
To that end, I made the following commitments on behalf of the Tony Elumelu Foundation to support what ITC, NEPC, our Nigerian President and the Federal Government are doing.

• On behalf of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, I committed that we shall create and promote awareness to make sure we change the statistic of women participation in our programme from 30% to 50%. We believe that if women succeed, the entire continent succeeds;

• Our second commitment is to commission the production of in-depth research publications and case studies focused on solutions to challenges unique to women entrepreneurs in Africa.

Through these commitments, we hope to inspire and motivate more women to take the critical step to bring their ideas to fruition as we actively support SheTrades initiative to connect 1million women to the global marketplace by 2020.