The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), the leading African-funded and founded philanthropy committed to empowering African entrepreneurs, on Tuesday 1st January, 2019, started accepting applications for the 2019 cohort of the fifth cycle of TEF Entrepreneurship Programme in Nigeria.
The applications will be hosted on the largest digital networking platform for African entrepreneurs, TEFConnect - www.tefconnect.com.
The Programme is a 10-year, $100 million commitment to identify, train, mentor and fund 10,000 African entrepreneurs. The objective of the programme is to generate at least 1,000,000 new jobs and create at least $10 billion in new business revenue across Africa.
The Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme has empowered 4,470 entrepreneurs, using a bespoke and robust selection, training and implementation process to create visible and sustainable impact across all 54 African countries.
However, outstanding African entrepreneurs running existing start-ups with high growth potential and aspiring business owners with transformative ideas are invited to apply and the foundation is particularly looking to grow representation from French, Arabic and Portuguese speakers, as well as female entrepreneurs.
Inspired by Tony Elumelu's economic philosophy of Africapitalism and his vision to institutionalise luck and democratise opportunity for a new generation of African entrepreneurs, the Foundation has implemented one of the most ambitious entrepreneurship programmes globally.
Selected entrepreneurs from previous years have transformed their businesses and their communities after gaining from the Programme's 7 pillars: $5,000 in seed capital; business development training; one-on-one mentoring; access to TEFConnect; pan-African meetups; TEF network membership; and participation at the annual TEF Entrepreneurship Forum, the largest convening of the African entrepreneurship ecosystem.
According to the Founder, of the foundation Tony O. Elumelu, CON, the private sector must be the core driver of Africa's economic transformation, but that the sector cannot attain its full potential if entrepreneurs are left behind.
"We call on all stakeholders - policymakers, business leaders and development agencies - to actively commit to creating a better future for our young Africans who have demonstrated intellect, skill, and passion, to empower them to succeed because their success is Africa's success. The TEF Entrepreneurship Programme is by far the most impactful project of my life and represents my commitment to transforming Africa through entrepreneurship," he stated.
Parminder Vir, Chief Executive Officer, of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, said entrepreneurs illustrate the Foundation's commitment to transform the African economy, by building on the intelligence, skills and resourcefulness of Africans and encouraged all ambitious young Africans to take advantage of the unique opportunity.
The Foundation, which has recently hosted President Macron of France, President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya and President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana in dynamic interactive sessions with young African entrepreneurs, is committed to supporting the entire entrepreneurship ecosystem - from the entrepreneurs themselves, governments who must provide enabling environments, to capital, advice and most importantly access and networks.
The TEF Entrepreneurship Programme is open to citizens and legal residents of all African countries, who run for-profit businesses based in Africa that are no older than three years. The deadline for applications submission is March 1, 2019.
Applications will be judged based on criteria including: feasibility, scalability and potential for growth of the product/service; market opportunity for the idea/business; financial understanding, leadership potential and entrepreneurial skills.
It could be recalled that over twelve Sierra Leoneans have benefited from the Tony Elumelu Foundation and in 2017 the selected Sierra Leoneans and their business ideas include Abdulsalam Kamara, Manufacturing Bockarie Sama Banya, Commercial and Retail Bridgetta Audrey Modupeh Amoateng, Agriculture (Agri-business, Farming), Dominic Andrew Boima, Agriculture (Agri-business, Farming), Henry Orlando Joseph Tucker, Agriculture (Agri-business, Farming) and Martin Kailie, Energy and Power respectively.
In 2018 six Sierra Leoneans include Al-Imam Mustapha Sanusi, who is engaged in agri-business farming; Fadja Djiou Barry, commercial and retail; Martin Kallie, energy/power generation; Mary Kadie Lokoh, agri-business farming; Mohamed Barrie, fashion; and Sahr Emmanuel Joseph, waste management were also selected respectively.