By Angela Wills
Tony Elumelu, an attributed philanthropist and African billionaire, is a stellar businessman with specialized training in economics, seeking to change the economic standing of those in the African-American community. Elumelu chairs Heirs Holdings and Transcorp, and is also the founder of the esteemed Toney Elumelu Foundation.
In 2014, Elumelu, along with other prominent American and African business moguls, partnered to form a summit in Washington DC that consisted of more than 45 African and American business heads, along with 50 African business leaders. The common theme of the platform was to see to the improvement in the economic stance of Africans, as well as African-Americans, and to create advancement opportunities for all who interacted.
Elumelu’s statements to the media explained that the summit presented a promising opportunity for individuals to make positive returns on contributions made to valuable incentives around the Atlantic. He expressed that this was not mere chatter, but an outlet to expose those involved to greater opportunities in business growth.
The vision set forth by Tony Elumelu is one that he believes merges more than simple aid; it creates a solid partnership between Africa and the U.S. It’s the beginning of a business journey that takes a different, but more rewarding, path for all of those invested. The trip to Africa taken by President Obama was another key indicator that steps are being taken in the right directions to strengthen business ventures between Africa and America.
These attempts coexist with The Tony Elumelu Foundation as it extends its principles for growth to businesses owned or started by women and minorities. The most significant move, by far, is the entrepreneurship program that The Tony Elumelu Foundation will spearhead. It is designed on a financial standing of $100,000,000 to be disbursed among entrepreneurs throughout the U.S and Africa.
This newly formed relationship between Africa and the U.S is one that can create a positive mode of growth for African American entrepreneurs who stay the course and take the route the foundation has designed. The overwhelming occurrences of negativity surrounding African Americans in the press makes it necessary for many to find outlets that help them reach their full business potential. The summit created the opportunity and the foundation’s program provides the means to capitalize on the opportunity.