4 February 2016

Rwanda: Local Start-Ups Stand to Benefit From Rwf77.5 Billion TEEP Funding

Local start-ups stand a chance to win part of the $100 million (about Rwf77.5 billion) cash to expand their businesses in this year's Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme (TEEP) competition.

Rwandan start-ups have up to March 1 to submit their applications to the TEEP 2016 competitions.

The programme accepts applications from all across the continent, from various sectors, including agriculture, ICT, housing, media, education, transportation, textiles and manufacturing, among others. Last year, 15 Rwandan firms made it to the final 1,000 start-up businesses that attended the TEEP 2015 boot camp in Lagos, Nigeria.

Each of Rwandan entrepreneurs received $10,000 (about Rwf7.8 million) to inject in their projects. They were from areas of agriculture, ICT, healthcare, education, transportation and general trade.

Victor Nkindi, a Rwandan finalist at TEEP 2015 and a digital media entrepreneur, said the programme offers local start-ups an opportunity to network and build their businesses with a team of international mentors. "This is a huge opportunity for local firms to access funding and mentorship to grow their enterprises. Access to TEEP network will open more opportunities for them," he said in an interview yesterday.

The programme is open to all Africans with startup businesses operating in Africa who are aged 18 years and above.

"Selected entrepreneurs get start-up enterprise toolkit, mentoring, resource library, as well as participate in boot camp and Elumelu Entrepreneurship Forum, receive seed capital funding and join the TEEP alumni network," the organisers said in a statement.

This programme is designed to identify 10,000 African start-ups and entrepreneurs with ideas that have the potential to succeed, grow the businesses through skills training, mentoring, access to seed capital funding, information and membership in our Africa-wide alumni network, as well as create businesses that can generate at least one million new jobs and contribute at least $10 billion in new annual revenues across Africa.

TEEP is the $100 million flagship entrepreneurship programme of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, founded by the entrepreneur, respected investor and philanthropist Tony O. Elumelu.

Last year, 20,000 applicants, representing 51 African countries, including Rwanda submitted projects, 1,000 of which made it to the finals of the competition.

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