The Tony Elumelu Foundation And AllWorld Network Inc. Launch Nigeria50

Today, the Allworld Network Inc. (co-founded by Professor Michael Porter of Harvard Business School) andThe Tony Elumelu Foundation announced the launch of the Nigeria Fast Growth 50 (Nigeria50). This is a pioneering effort to showcase and rank the most innovative and dynamic fast-growth private companies in Nigeria.

Nigeria is soon expected to become the largest economy in Africa and is home to one-fifth of Sub-Saharan Africa’s population. With a 10-year track record of GDP growth at almost 9%, it is increasingly becoming a destination for global investment. Information on Nigeria’s larger companies and conglomerates is readily available. However, younger and smaller companies suffer from a profound lack of visibility.

Yet this medium-scale enterprise sector is the engine of future economic growth, creating the next wave of employment and innovation, and driving the economy and fostering social and economic prosperity. Many smaller and dynamic companies, which may now only be employing 20 people, could grow to 200 or 2,000 if they had global visibility and investors.

The Nigeria50 will be published nationally and globally, giving visibility to emerging company stars.  With a spot on the list, companies will gain global recognition, a network of growth entrepreneurs and an invitation to the AllWorld Summit@Harvard University.

AllWorld rankings exist throughout the Middle East, North Africa, India, Pakistan, South Africa and Turkey.  Winners in these countries have credited their participation with positively impacting their businesses in the form of new contacts, global visibility and credibility, and attracting new sources of capital from investors.

The Nigeria50 application process is open to private companies in Nigeria who have been able to grow revenues 100% or more in the past 3 years. To be eligible for the Nigeria50 ranking, prospective companies are expected to meet the following criteria:

  • Minimum 3-year audited operating history with revenues/turnover of at least N80 million/$500,000 as at 2011
  • Be an independent, private, non-listed, for-profit corporation or partnership or proprietorship. The company can be an independently incorporated subsidiary of a wider group, with a defined stand-alone business line
  • Cannot be a non-profit, holding company, franchise, bank or utility
  • Must have its primary location in Nigeria
  • The company must not be 51% or more owned by a publicly traded company or from the public sector
  • Smaller and younger companies can qualify as “Start-Ups to Watch” using the same application

“When entrepreneurship takes hold, the growth momentum builds, generating economic breakthroughs and social progress,” explains Deirdre M. Coyle, Jr., co-CEO and co-founder of AllWorld Network. “And that’s why growth entrepreneurship is the essential fuel powering widespread prosperity in the 21st century.”

“The Nigeria50 companies, led by dynamic men and women, represent the leading edge of a new approach to Nigeria’s competitiveness,” says Professor Porter, who was described by the Times of London as the world’s “most influential management guru”, and is widely regarded as the foremost authority on company and country competitiveness.

“The Nigeria50 will shine a unique spotlight on the pipeline of fast-growing businesses led by Nigerian entrepreneurs and business leaders, who are driving Nigeria’s economic transformation,” says Tony O. Elumelu, MFR, Founder, The Tony Elumelu Foundation and Chairman, Heirs Holdings.

“‘Nigeria Fast Growth 50’ is poised to generate much-needed excitement about entrepreneurship and its role in the future prosperity of Nigeria.  This is another side of the Nigerian story that needs to be heard – a story of innovation, ambition, and success. The showcase opportunity is part of the wider mission of The Tony Elumelu Foundation to champion and celebrate entrepreneurship and competiveness across Africa, starting from Nigeria.”

The companies that make it on to the list will enjoy the benefits of national and international media exposure, and be connected to a global network of entrepreneurial peers.   Having already created the Arabia500, AllWorld Network is concurrently launching the Africa 500, with the Nigeria50 as the anchor to that program.

Entrepreneurs can apply to the Nigeria Fast Growth 50 list by visiting The application process comes at no financial cost.

Applications close October 31, 2012


About The Tony Elumelu Foundation
The Tony Elumelu Foundation is an Africa-based and African-funded not-for-profit institution dedicated to the promotion and celebration of excellence in business leadership and entrepreneurship across Africa. As a 21st century catalytic philanthropy, the Foundation is committed to the economic transformation of Africa by enhancing the competitiveness and growth of the African private sector. Founded by Tony O. Elumelu, MFR, the Foundation identifies and addresses systemic challenges that inhibit African entrepreneurs. For more information on The Tony Elumelu Foundation, visit
About Allworld Network Inc. 
After more than 15 years of promoting entrepreneurship in the developed and developing worlds, AllWorld Network was established in 2008 by Deirdre Coyle Jr., Anne Habiby and Michael Porter, Harvard Business School Professor and global competitiveness expert.  Along with Inc. magazine, the founders created the U.S. Inner City 100 in 1998 and Inner City Ventures (a $400 million PE firm).   Habiby, Coyle and Porter adapted their model to emerging markets creating AllWorld. AllWorld systematically identifies and ranks fast-growing private companies to create the Arabia 500, Africa 500, Asia 500, Eurasia 500, and Latin America 500.  In emerging economies, public companies are known, but promising private companies are not.  An AllWorld ranking puts these companies on the world map – attracting new investors, customers, growth partners and talent. For more information, visit

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