That was the message at the recent Tony Elumelu entrepreneurship forum in Abuja, Nigeria - which brought together thousands of would-be entrepreneurs and potential investors.
"People now know that what happens in Africa doesn't stay in Africa,” Elumelu told the forum. “What happens in Africa can happen in other places. That is why I say that poverty anywhere is a threat to all of us everywhere. So the more we come together to provide solutions, to increase prosperity and make sure our young ones are engaged, the better for the world."
During exchanges with budding young CEOs, invited national leaders praised the initiative - and pledged to create the conditions for entrepreneurial success.
"We must have the capacity to feed our continent and that means developing agricultural entrepreneurship - especially with young people in mind,” said the President of Senegal Macky Sall in his address. “Because if agriculture is modernized, we’ll have hundreds of millions of young people who could be entrepreneurs in the agricultural sector, prospering and developing businesses."
Candidates can apply for non-refundable seed capital of €4500 from The Tony Elumelu Foundation, as well as access to mentors and training.
“My intention or initiative is to actually bring out the talent or the potential in every child that will make them become entrepreneurs and the world changers,” explains Korda Henry Kwame, the CEO of Financial Education at Basic Level. “So currently I am working on a centre, an education centre or a hub where I will recruit the children, or enroll them and then give them the training.
“I have on board mentors, trainers, entrepreneurs who are already successful in their various areas of life who will come and then motivate the children and inspire the potential out of them.”
“I found a trick to connect farmers to ready buyers who makes their grains more profitable, adding value to the chain and we reduce post harvest loss,” says the CEO of Farmatrix Nyifamu Ogechi Manzo.