The Business council for International Understanding (BCIU), a non-profit U.S Business association dedicated to forging relationships and promoting dialogue between business and government communities across the globe, presented the prestigious Dwight D. Eisenhower Global Entrepreneurship Award to both Tony O. Elumelu and Bill Marriott, Chairman, Marriott International Inc.
The award ceremony and gala took place at the historic venue, the Cipriani on Wall street in New York.
The award was conferred on Elumelu in recognition of his outstanding work in promoting Entrepreneurship on the continent of Africa and across the globe.
Elumelu, himself a serial entrepreneur, through his Tony Elumelu Foundation, has funded over 3,000 African entrepreneurs to date with his $100m ccommitment to 10,000 entrepreneurs over a period of 10 years.
These entrepreneurs are expected to create a million new jobs and over $10bn in revenue as a result of the initiative of Elumelu’s Foundation.
At the award’s gala, former American President Tony Elumelu, acknowledged the efforts of the African entrepreneur. He said he is impressed with Tony’s philanthropic initiatives which are powering job creation and entrepreneurship in a region(Africa), that is very dear to Laura and me.
He further said, to receive an award founded by President Eisenhower, has added meaning. Eisenhower provided example in leadership, which we can all learn from. Additionally, his belief in promoting international understanding is a vitally important responsibility.
Speaking on the reason why Elumelu was selected as the recipient of this prestigious award, Peter Tichansky, the CEO of BCIU said ‘Mr Elumelu’s bold approach and can-do mindset are exemplary characteristics of a visionary entrepreneur. He embodies the idea that companies must take the lead in bringing business and society together. His advocacy is proving that businesses, acting as businesses and not charitable donors, are the most powerful force for addressing social challenges and economic development’
Elumelu dedicated his award to his wife and children as well as the staff of UBA, Transcorp, Heirs Holdings, the Tony Elumelu Foundation and all the other companies within his group of companies. He thanked BCIU on behalf of entrepreneurs in Africa: ‘On behalf of the over 3000 entrepreneurs who have benefitted from the Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship programme, I say thank you very much.
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