Fifty-five Kenyan entrepreneurs are scheduled to attend the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) forum from Thursday in Lagos, Nigeria.
The individuals are among the 1,000 entrepreneurs selected this year from 93,000 applications received from across Africa for the TEF forum, an exclusive gathering of SMEs.
Kenya ranks third in the number of entrepreneurs selected for third edition of the TEF, after Uganda with 74 and Nigeria with 509 candidates.
Agriculture topped other sectors in applications at 29 per cent followed by ICT at 11 per cent and manufacturing at nine per cent — an indication of the industries of interest for African start-ups.
The entrepreneurs will have an opportunity to interact with business leaders and policymakers from across the continent at the two-day event.
Criteria for judging applicants was based on feasibility of their business, marketability, scalability, financial understanding and leadership potential of entrepreneurs.
TEF founder Tony Elumelu said in just three years, TEF had selected 3,000 entrepreneurs who have created tens of thousands of jobs and generated considerable wealth.
“Since launching the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme — and committing Sh10 billion ($100 million) to empowering 10,000 African entrepreneurs in a decade — we’ve unleashed our continent’s most potent development force – its entrepreneurs,” he said.