One of Africa's largest philanthropy supporting entrepreneurship - The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) has announced that it would begin begin accepting applications for the fourth cycle of its entrepreneurship development programme, from outstanding African entrepreneurs who have start-up or business ideas with high growth potential, from January 1, 2018.
The application portal opens midnight 1st January 2018.
The Programme is the founder's $100 million commitment to identify, train, mentor and fund 10,000 African entrepreneurs in 10 years; creating 1,000,000 jobs and $10 billion in social and economic wealth.
According to a statement, after three cycles, the programme - the only African-funded business development initiative of its kind - has: received 158,000 applications from African entrepreneurs in 107 countries, including every nation of Africa; empowered nearly 3,000 businesses with 12-weeks of online training; world-class mentoring; access to TEF's network of start-ups; and seed capital of $5,000.
In addition, it revealed that a total of $14,235,000 had been invested in the initiative, including $4,270,500 in agriculture;$1,285,000 in ICT, $1,245,000 in education and training; and$7,400,000 more in start-ups across 19 other sectors.
The programme is open to citizens and legal residents of all African countries with businesses based in Africa, less than three years old, including new startups.
"As an entrepreneur myself, I understand what it feels like to yearn for a lifeline, to hope for a 'big break. In turn, I have set out to institutionalise luck with the Foundation and give back to the continent of Africa. I am pleased the Programme is already unleashing Africa's entrepreneurs and driving economic transformation," said TEF Founder, Tony O. Elumelu.
Some of the inspiring stories alumni have shared included: "Within two months of joining, I launched a new product. Three months later, before even completing the programme, I've made more than $28,300. This I owe to TEF training alone," Dennis Mutoro from Kenya said.
Also, Jean Emmanuel Labonne, from Mauritius was quoted to have said: "Mr. Elumelu once said to entrepreneurs, 'Do not eat the seed,' and this guided me in use of the seed capital from TEF and I have sown it accordingly. TEF has opened unimaginable doors and allowed me to explore the depths of entrepreneurship. I am forever grateful."