Somachi Chris-Asoluka: CEO, Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) – Businessday


Somachi Chris-Asoluka is the CEO Designate of the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF).
She was most recently the Director of Partnerships and Communications for the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), the leading philanthropy empowering young African entrepreneurs from all 54 African countries. In this role, Somachi oversaw marketing, communications, policy, advocacy, and partnerships for the Foundation. She leads TEF’s efforts to build strategic relationships with stakeholders, multilateral organisations, development institutions, civil society, foundations, and other key development partners to support African entrepreneurs and mobilise capital investments in these small businesses. She leads the Foundation’s regional and global external engagements and oversees TEF’s global brand strategy and positioning.
Since the launch of the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme in 2015, the Foundation has trained over 1.5 million young Africans on its digital hub, TEFConnect, and disbursed nearly USD$100 million in direct funding to 18,000 African women and men, who have collectively created over 400,000 direct and indirect jobs.
Under her leadership, the Foundation is increasingly sharing its unique ability to identify, train, mentor, and fund young entrepreneurs across Africa, through partnerships with institutions including the European Union, the United Nations Development Programme, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the United States Government via the United States African Development Foundation (USADF), the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS), the French Development Agency (AFD), the German Development Finance Institution (DEG), the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ), the African Development Bank (AfDB), and Google.
Somachi was a researcher at Lagos Business School, Pan-Atlantic University, where she co-authored research articles chronicling the internationalisation processes of top African institutions (e.g., Ecobank) for case studies to train MBA students.
Furthermore, she also coordinated and managed the annual Lagos Business School Career Fair, which convened Nigeria’s most competitive private sector operators, and outstanding MBA students.
As Consultant at Phillips Consulting Limited, she undertook feasibility studies and prepared business plans by developing core market entry strategies, gap/porter’s analysis and industry/risk assessment in select industries.
Somachi graduated Summa Cum Laude from Saint Mary’s College of California with a BSc. in Economics and a minor in Mathematics and received the “Adam Smith” award given to the highest performing graduating student in Economics. She also has a master’s degree in International and Development Economics from Yale University. She is a member of the Financial Women’s Association, San Francisco, USA, the Omicron Delta Epsilon (National Economics Honor Society, USA), and a fellow of the Moremi Initiative for Women’s Leadership in Africa – a programme that annually identifies and engages the top 25 most promising women leaders on the continent. She is also a Deputy Champion of the World Economic Forum (WEF) EDISON Alliance.
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