Seventy-four Kenyan entrepreneurs have been selected as individuals with the most innovative and high-potential business ideas in the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) Entrepreneurship Programme.
The individuals are among 1,000 entrepreneurs selected from 151,000 Africans from 114 countries worldwide.
Kenya ranks third in the number of entrepreneurs selected for the fourth edition of the TEF, after Nigeria and Uganda. This reflects last year’s ranking where a total of 55 Kenyan enterpreneurs made it to the list.
Business ideas on agriculture topped other sectors in applications at 30.3 per cent followed by fashion at 12.7 per cent and commercial/retail at 8.1 per cent. This indicates the industries of interest for African start-ups.
“The number and quality of applicants, 151,000 in total, was outstanding – it illustrates the strength and depth of entrepreneurial promise and commitment on our continent,” said TEF Founder Tony Elumelu during the announcement of the winners.
Other leading sectors among selected entrepreneurs include ICT, manufacturing, education, healthcare, tourism/hospitality and financial services.
There was a near 50-50 split between male and female applications, reflecting the entrepreneurial ambition of Africa’s women.
This year, there was a 2 per cent increase in the number of female entrepreneurs that took part in the application process.
Female applicants also accounted for 41.2 per cent of applicants compared to 39.1 in 2017.
The Tony Elumelu Foundation was started in 2010 by Nigerian billionaire and philanthropist Tony Elumelu, to spur African economic growth through empowering entrepreneurship.