The Tony Elumelu Foundation, an African-funded and founded philanthropy committed to empowering African entrepreneurs, says it has started accepting applications for the 2019 cohort of the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme.
The foundation said in a statement that the programme is a 10-year, $100m commitment to identify, train, mentor and fund 10,000 African entrepreneurs.
The Programme’s objective is to generate at least one million new jobs and create at least $10bn in new business revenue across Africa, it added.
Now in its 5th year, the statement said the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme had 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.
While inviting outstanding African entrepreneurs running existing start-ups with high growth potential and aspiring business owners with transformative ideas to apply, it stated that it was particularly looking to grow representation from French, Arabic and Portuguese speakers, as well as female entrepreneurs.
The statement added, “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 seven 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.”
Founder, Tony Elumelu, stated, “The private sector must be the core driver of Africa’s economic transformation, but this 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.
“Our entrepreneurs illustrate the foundation’s commitment to transform the African economy, by building on the intelligence, skills and resourcefulness of Africans. I encourage all ambitious young Africans to take advantage of this unique opportunity.”