By Babajide Okeowo
Application Portal for the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) program will be opened from January 1, 2022, organizers of the entrepreneurship programme announced in an update on its website —www.TEFConnect.com.
$5000 seed capital, mentorship, business management training and many more are up for grabs for African entrepreneurs with business ideas or existing businesses under five years.
While commenting on the launch of the 2022 entrepreneurship programme, Ifeyinwa Ugochukwu, chief executive officer of Tony Elumelu Foundation, said the foundation is willing to impact more lives, hence the early opening of the application.
“We are constantly blown away by the quality of businesses that come from Africa every year. This motivates us to scale our efforts to empower even more entrepreneurs on the continent,” Ugochukwu said.
“The innovation, knowledge and resilience of African entrepreneurs are central to charting Africa’s socio-economic transformation and meet the continent’s development objectives.
“We are also proud of the increase in female participation on our Programme, especially with the 2021 cohort where we witnessed a record 68% selection of women entrepreneurs.
”Awele Elumelu, the founding trustee of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, said the programme will continue to assist the next business leaders or captains of industry.
“Through the Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme, we seek to democratise luck.
Hard work plays an important and undeniable part in success, but one must not discount the role of luck — someone being willing to take a chance on you or a business idea by empowering you through training, mentorship or funding,” she said.
“Our hope is that, through the Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme, we would help the next business leader or captain of industry be who they are meant to be.”
“The Foundation’s mission is rooted in the philosophy of Africapitalism, which positions the private sector as the key enabler of economic and social wealth creation in Africa.
Through TEFConnect, the Foundation’s proprietary digital platform, it has provided capacity-building support, advisory and market linkages, to over 1.5 million Africans.”
TEF, an African-funded entrepreneurship catalyst of its kind, has empowered more than 15,0000 African entrepreneurs with a non-returnable seed capital of $5,000 each, twelve weeks of business management training, access to experienced mentors and membership to Africa’s largest entrepreneurial ecosystem since 2015.In November, TEF empowered 4,949 African small businesses in the 2021 entrepreneurship programme.