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Paul Kagame to Join Tony Elumelu in Hosting the Largest Gathering of African Entrepreneurs in July in Abuja

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The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), Africa’s foremost champion of entrepreneurship, will host its 5th Annual Forum — the largest annual gathering of African entrepreneurs – on July 26 – 27, 2019. The two-day event will take place at the iconic Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja.

The Forum is the culmination of the annual Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme, which this year mentored, trained and seeded over 3,000 young Africans, selected from over [216,000] applicants.  The event provides a unique opportunity for young women and men, from all 54 African countries, to meet, learn and network with the broader African and global entrepreneurship ecosystem. It is also a critical opportunity for political leaders and policymakers to meet, face to face, a new generation of African business leaders, who are transforming Africa’s economic trajectory.

Keynote speakers at the highly anticipated Forum include His Excellency Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda, and His Excellency Macky Sall, President of Senegal, who will join Tony O. Elumelu, CON, TEF Founder and Chairman of Heirs Holdings and the United Bank for Africa (UBA) in an intimate open house discussion. The Presidential Convening is a highlight of the Forum,  allowing the African entrepreneurs in attendance to closely engage with political leaders, to give first-hand testimony of the important role government can play in catalysing growth and encouraging business ambition.

The Forum agenda includes masterclasses and panel discussions with leading speakers and sector experts, from Africa and globally, who will engage attendees in specialised training sessions to share insights, deepen their knowledge and refine their skills. The Forum will also feature a pitching event, where select entrepreneurs will deliver exciting presentations on the goods and services they provide to a distinguished judging panel.

For the first time, the Forum will be hosted in Abuja, the Federal Capital of Nigeria and will bring together leading policymakers, business leaders, development agencies and the entire entrepreneurship ecosystem including alumni of the Foundation’s Entrepreneurship Programme. Last year, a significant highlight was the launch of TEFConnect, the digital networking platform for African entrepreneurs, which provides a unique digital hub for the African entrepreneurship, facilitating networking, mentorship and most importantly business beyond borders. Previous Forums have been headlined by African leaders, including President of Ghana, HE Nana Akufo-Addo, President of Kenya, HE Uhuru Kenyatta, Former President of Nigeria, HE Olusegun Obasanjo, Former Prime Minister of Benin and TEF Advisory Board Member, HE Lionel Zinsou, Vice President of Nigeria, HE Prof. Yemi Osinbajo.

The Tony Elumelu Foundation’s determination to bring change in scale, across Africa and its relentless focus on entrepreneurship is rooted in the inclusive philosophy of Africapitalism, created by its Founder, which recognizes economically empowering Africa’s youth — the continent’s future wealth creators — and thereby creating sustainable economic and social wealth, as one of the most pressing issues of the 21st century. In 2015, the Foundation committed $100 million to empower 10,000 entrepreneurs from across the continent, over 10 years. Now in the 5th year, the Foundation has funded, mentored and provided business management training to over 7,500 start-ups and small businesses, from all 54 countries in Africa.

“The TEF Entrepreneurship Forum will not just convene the most important stakeholders in the African entrepreneurship ecosystem, it provides an opportunity for everyone to make a commitment to advance entrepreneurship and scale the impact of our entrepreneurs if we are to accelerate the development of the continent,” TEF CEO, Ifeyinwa Ugochukwu said.

She added: “We are constantly inspired by the stories we receive from our entrepreneurs who are creating jobs, employing people and impacting their local communities and ultimately, the continent. We believe that these entrepreneurs are our future. Invest in them now and reap the Africa of our dreams tomorrow. This is what we are committed to.”

For more information on the Forum, please visit www.tonyelumelufoundation.org.

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Funding and Raising Capital

100 Women To Win Funding of Up to $85,000 from Invest2Impact Competition

The competition is set to start on July 11 and end on November 13.

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100 women entrepreneurs from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Ethiopia are set to get funding to the tune of up to $85,000 from a funding competition dubbed Invest2Impact.

Invest2Impact, an initiative from Graça Machel Trust in partnership with FinDev Canada and other finance institutions from the U.K., will see women from each of the participating countries compete for the fund. Only 20 women will be selected from each country.

The initiative was launched on Thursday at an event in Nairobi, Kenya where Graça Machel has visited tghe country to amplify women-led businesses.

Speaking during the event, Graca noted that the decision to focus on women entrepreneurs was made because of the significant contribution that they make to their economies.

“Empower a woman and a whole community will thrive, empowering women benefits everyone and is essential for communities to thrive. Research shows that increasing women’s involvement leads to improved financial management and more sustainable, thriving communities,” she said.

When women-led enterprises are empowered to achieve their full growth potential, they contribute to more job creation, enhanced regional trade, and spur more activity among budding entrepreneurs.

“Through our numerous engagements with women across the continent at the GraçaMachel Trust, we have witnessed the rise of African women who are not content running businesses for subsistence purposes only.

“Some are venturing into sectors that are traditionally male-dominated where their numbers are still small; some are bent on improving their technical knowledge and capacity to tackle even greater challenges impacting the business landscape; and some are engaging in regional trade to maximise their growth potential. The female segment cannot be generalised as ‘niche’ or ‘predictable’,” Mrs. Machel said.

Businesses whose focus are aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals; seeking to reduce poverty, increase access to health and education services, reduce hunger and increase food security, promote gender equity, create decent working conditions for their employees and spur economic growth, have a greater chance of being considered for the funding.

Participating women will also benefit with business development services, mentorship programs, new networks and business visibility through partnerships.

To qualify, a business must be led by a woman or women owning at least half of the share-holding and have assets or revenues in excess of $50,000 (Sh5 million). The business must also have been in operation for at least three years and a minimum of five employees.

The Invest2Impact will categorize participants into four “tracks”: 2Xcelerate, 2Xcrowd, 2Xcapital and 2Xcatalyse.

25 finalists will compete for cash prizes of Ksh.8,749,900 ($85,000), recognition at a gala winner’s event and participation in the Invest2Impact funding readiness program.

For the 2Xcrowd track, 25 businesses will receive customized, tailored support and mentorship to implement an Africa or global crowdfunding strategy.

2Xcapital will see 25 applicants who are selected from the Invest2Impact participants benefit from access to funding programs. It is targeting smaller businesses that seek funding less than Ksh.308,700,000 ($3million).

In the final category, 2Xcatalyse, 25 female entrepreneurs will be selected to attend a major international expo, conference or event in their industry sector with sponsored travel, attendance fees and promotional material.

The Invest2Impact competition which will be on an online application portal will open to the public on Monday July 18 and will remain open to applicants for two months.

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International

20 Democrats Face Off on Wednesday and Thursday for the First Debate

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Democratic presidential candidate, Bernie Sanders

Kicking off the presidential race to 2020 in the United States, 20 candidates of the Democratic Party will descend on Miami on Wednesday and Thursday for the first Democratic presidential debate.

The debate will be held at Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami, Florida on Wednesday and Thursday night from 11pm Kenyan time.

The 20 candidates are expected to be grilled on all things policy, party and news of the day.

Due to the unusually high number of candidates, the DNC broke up the debate into two nights, and 10 candidates will participate on each night.

The face off serves as a microcosm for broader questions looming over the field, one chief among them: Should candidates attack each other more aggressively or focus their fire on President Donald Trump?

The two sets of debates provides the best opportunity for the candidates will to stand out from the rest and pick up some semblance of momentum headed into the summer and next round of debates next month.

After that, the Democratic National Committee will raise the threshold to qualify for the debates, making it even harder for candidates to make the cut.

To be among the 20 candidates appearing on the debate, one was to hit 1% support in three states or national polls approved by the DNC be among the most trusted and reliable. The other was to raise money from 65,000 unique donors, with a minimum of 200 in 20 different states.

On deciding who among the candidates was to appear on which night, candidates were split into two groups: those polling on average 2% or higher, and those with less support. The names were then picked randomly from each group to ensure a mix on both nights.

Several top contenders including former Vice President Joe Biden; Sens. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Kamala Harris of California; and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg — will debate Thursday night, with Biden and Sanders at center stage. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, another in the top tier, will be center stage Wednesday night, alongside former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke and New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker.

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International

Rwanda Hosts The 5th Annual Intellectual Property Week Event in Africa

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Rwanda Development Board (RDB) in collaboration with World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) have organised the 5th Intellectual Property Week in Africa that is scheduled to run from June 24-28, 2019 in Rwanda .

The event, which enters its third day on Wednesday, started by focusing on research and development in institutions of higher learning such as universities and IPRCs within the country.

On Wednesday and Thursday, the event will put emphasis on highlighting the relevancy of Intellectual Property awareness in increasing the competitiveness of Small and Medium Enterprises (SME’S).

Intellectual property contains two main categories; copy and related rights that cover artistic works, songs, literature, broadcasting rights. There is also industrial property, eg; logos, industrial designs.

The law that protects intellectual property was gazetted in 2019 in the country and it provides for protection and sanctions in case of infringement. However, that law is under review.

Speaking during the event, Richard Kayibanda, Registrar General at the Rwanda Development Board, cautioned individuals in the creative arts industry as well as innovators or researchers to always register their ideas or works quickly as failure to do so can easily allow fraudsters access their idea or information and register it first which would give them full ownership of the innovation.

News Source: The New Time 

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