The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) has invited young African entrepreneurs from all 54 African countries to apply for the TEF entrepreneurship program in 2022.
The foundation said in a statement that the program, which is for African start-ups with business ideas or existing businesses that are less than five years old, will provide qualified entrepreneurs with a seed capital of $5,000 as well as mentorship, business management training, and other services.
Since 2015, the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme has provided 15,847 African entrepreneurs with a non-returnable seed capital of $5,000 each, twelve weeks of business management training, access to experienced mentors, and membership in Africa’s largest entrepreneurial ecosystem, according to the foundation.
“In 2021, the Tony Elumelu Foundation disbursed 24.75million US dollars to 5000 African entrepreneurs across Africa for its 2021 Entrepreneurship Programme. The Foundation’s Entrepreneurship Programme remains one of the largest private-sector responses to driving the economic recovery of African youth, women and SMEs, given the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic across Africa. Across Africa, the Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme beneficiaries are starting and growing trailblazing businesses that have collectively created over 400,000 direct and indirect jobs.”
Ifeyinwa Ugochukwu, TEF’s Chief Executive Officer, stated of the launch, “We are constantly blown away by the quality of businesses that come from Africa every year.
“This motivates us to scale our efforts to empower even more entrepreneurs on the continent. The innovation, knowledge and resilience of African entrepreneurs are central to charting Africa’s socio-economic transformation and meeting the continent’s development objectives. We are also proud of the increase in female participation on our Programme, especially with the 2021 cohort where we witnessed a record 68 per cent selection of women entrepreneurs.”
Dr. A V. Elumelu, a founding trustee of the TEF, also said: “Through the Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme, we seek to democratise luck. Hard work plays an important and undeniable part in success, but one must not discount the role of luck—someone being willing to take a chance on you or a business idea by empowering you through training, mentorship or funding. Our hope is that, through the Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme, we would help the next business leader or captain of industry be who they are meant to be. This is our own way to give back and also to empower the generation coming behind us so that they can go even further than we have. As a parent, one’s desire is for your children to do better than you, and so you will provide the resources and materials that they need to ensure that they go far in life. Similarly, at the Foundation, we are equipping the next generation with the tools they need to succeed.”
The Tony Elumelu Foundation, Africa’s top champion of entrepreneurship, is enabling women and men across the continent to catalyze economic growth, eradicate poverty, and create jobs through entrepreneurship. The purpose of the Foundation is based on the Africapitalism concept, which sees the private sector as a crucial enabler of economic and social wealth development in Africa. Over 1.5 million Africans have benefited from TEFConnect, the Foundation’s own digital platform, which has given capacity-building, consulting, and market linkages.
The Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Program is open to all African entrepreneurs, including new start-ups and existing young firms in any industry. Interested applicants may apply immediately at www.tefconnect.com, a digital networking platform for African entrepreneurs. Please visit the Tony Elumelu Foundation’s website for a list of the 2021 Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurs as well as further information about our program.