June 7, 2023


Moving Forward

Celebrating Tony Elumelu: The visionary African entrepreneur at 60

In an interview, he once said, “I started my career as a salesman, a copier salesman to be specific, young, hungry, and hardworking, but the reality was that I was just one of the thousands of young Nigerian graduates, all eager to succeed.”

Tony Elumelu’s career in the business world is marked by several notable achievements. In 1997, he led a small group of investors to take over a struggling Crystal Bank (later renamed Standard Trust Bank). Elumelu’s leadership and business acumen quickly turned the bank’s fortunes around, making it profitable within just a few years. In 2005, he spearheaded one of the largest mergers in the banking sector in Sub-Saharan Africa by acquiring United Bank for Africa (UBA), which further solidified his position as a leader in the African business community.

He then founded Heirs Holdings, an investment company that focuses on driving economic growth and development in Africa. Under his leadership, Heirs Holdings has invested in sectors such as energy, healthcare, hospitality, and real estate, to name a few. He is also the founder of The Tony Elumelu Foundation, a non-profit organisation that empowers African entrepreneurs with training, funding, and mentorship opportunities.

Tony Elumelu’s impact on African entrepreneurship cannot be overstated. He has been a champion for African entrepreneurs, recognising that they hold the key to unlocking the continent’s economic potential. Through The Tony Elumelu Foundation, he has provided funding and mentorship opportunities to thousands of African entrepreneurs, helping them to turn their dreams into reality. His vision and leadership have inspired a new generation of African entrepreneurs who are changing the narrative of Africa.

As Tony Elumelu celebrates his 60th birthday, it is evident that his entrepreneurial spirit remains as strong as ever. He continues to pursue his vision of driving economic growth and development in Africa through his various investments and philanthropic activities. His legacy will continue to inspire future generations of African entrepreneurs, reminding them that anything is possible with hard work, vision, and resilience.

Happy 60th Birthday, Tony Elumelu! Your vision and impact on African entrepreneurship will be remembered for generations to come.