The list of selected fellows was made public in Abuja, Nigeria on Friday March 22, 2019.
One hundred and four Cameroonians are amongst the 2019 cohort of the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) Entrepreneurship Programme. They are among 3,050 African entrepreneurs, drawn from all 54 African countries, selected to join the 5th cycle of the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme run by the leading African philanthropy.
The list of selected fellows was made public in Abuja, Nigeria, Friday March 22, 2019. According to TEF officials, over 216,000 applications were received, an increase from last year's 151,000, and nearly 90,000 were submitted by female entrepreneurs, an increase of 45 per cent.
The selected Entrepreneurs will each receive a non-refundable seed capital of US$ 5,000 (circa FCFA 2.9 million), access to mentors, and a 12-week business training programme, directly focused on the needs of African entrepreneurs. And on July 26 - 27, 2019, they will gather at the TEF Entrepreneurship Forum to take place for the first time in Abuja, Nigeria.
Tony O. Elumelu, TEF Founder, said each year, they face an almost impossible task to select 1,000 entrepreneurs from the hundreds of thousands who apply. "Our entrepreneurs are hungry to effect change. We know we are only scratching the surface, we see the depth of entrepreneurial talent, that all of us must harness to transform our economies and livelihoods. We must rally together to empower them and accelerate the change we want on the continent," he underscored.
Going by Ifeyinwa Ugochukwu, CEO of TEF, the programme has successfully empowered 7,520 entrepreneurs in its first five years. Marking the fifth anniversary of the 10-year programme, this year's selection includes 2,050 entrepreneurs, supported by the Foundation's partners in addition to the Foundation's annual commitment of 1,000.
The flagship programme of TEF has so far benefited 101 Cameroonian entrepreneurs. Cameroon had 19 in 2015, 23 in 2016, 21 in 2017 and 38 in 2018, in addition to 104 his year.
Last year, the Foundation launched TEFConnect - the digital networking platform for African entrepreneurs and open to all - to further democratise the access to opportunities for the thousands of entrepreneurs that cannot directly benefit from the Entrepreneurship Programme.