One of Africa’s leading philanthropic organizations, The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), has opened applications for its 2022 TEF Entrepreneurship Programme on www.TEFConnect.com.
The foundation in a statement yesterday said African entrepreneurs with business ideas or existing businesses under five years, are encouraged to apply now for $5000 seed capital, mentorship, business management training, among others in the 2022 entrepreneurship programme
According to the foundation, “since 2015, the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme – the only African-funded entrepreneurship catalyst of its kind – has empowered 15,847 African entrepreneurs with non-returnable seed capital of $5,000 each; 12 weeks of business management training; access to experienced mentors; and membership to Africa’s largest entrepreneurial ecosystem.
“In 2021, the Tony Elumelu Foundation disbursed $24.75 million to 5,000 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 covid19 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.”
Commenting on the launch of the 2022 TEF Entrepreneurship Programme, the CEO of the Foundation, Ifeyinwa Ugochukwu said: “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 continent.
“The innovation, knowledge and resilience of African entrepreneurs is central to charting Africa’s socio-economic transformation and meet 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.”
Founding Trustee of the TEF, Dr. Awele Elumelu stated: “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 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 whom 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.”
In her own remarks on the benefits of the programme, a 2015 Tony Elumelu Entrepreneur, Hauwa Liman, a female business owner and Founder of Afrik Abaya said: “I am always proud to say that I am from the inaugural cohort of the Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme. My business is located in Kaduna, in northern Nigeria. I benefitted from this Programme in 2015, and it opened up lots of doors and opportunities.
“It is not just about the seed capital, but what really fascinates me about the Programme is the knowledge. I call it a mini-MBA programme, because from the ideation stage it teaches you how to really articulate your business, and it gave me my first business plan. The network, visibility and opportunities are endless.
“My entrepreneurship experience cannot be complete without the Tony Elumelu Foundation. I will start exporting to other countries soon courtesy of the Foundation. We now employ ten permanent staff and an additional eight staff on a commission basis.”
The TEF is empowering women and men across the African continent through entrepreneurship to catalyse economic growth, drive poverty eradication and ensure job creation.
The Foundation’s mission is rooted in the philosophy of Africapitalism, which positions the private sector as the key enabler of economic and social wealth creation in Africa. Through TEFConnect, the Foundation’s proprietary digital platform, it has provided capacity-building support, advisory and market linkages, to over 1.5 million Africans.
The Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme is open to entrepreneurs across Africa: new start-ups and existing young businesses, operating in any sector.