By Patrick Egwu, Enugu
The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) has started the 2018 entrepreneurship development programme for African entrepreneurs. The programme, now in its fourth cycle, is TEF’s 10-year, $100 million commitment to identify, train, mentor and fund 10,000 African entrepreneurs capable of changing the face of business across Africa by 2024.
A release by the foundation said that this year’s programme provided critical tools for business success, including 12 weeks of intensive online training which guides creating and managing a business, a world-class mentor to guide the entrepreneurs during the early transformation stages of the business and $5,000 in seed capital to prove the concept, plus access to further funding.
A total of 1,000 entrepreneurs will be selected based on the viability of their idea, including market opportunity, financial understanding, scalability, leadership and entrepreneurial skills demonstrated in the application.
To be eligible for selection and funding, the business must be based in Africa, must be for profit, must be 0-3 years old and applicants must be at least 18 years old and a legal resident or citizen of an African country.
According to the TEF founder, Tony Elumelu, “when we launched the TEF programme and committed $100 million to empowering Africa’s entrepreneurs, I knew we would create impact, but I never imagined it would be impact of this magnitude.
“We have unleashed a movement of African entrepreneurs — a force so strong, so inspiring that I am confident they will collectively transform Africa. We need Africa’s best and brightest entrepreneurs to come learn, grow their businesses and build our continent.”
The CEO of the foundation, Parminder Vir, said: “We encourage women, French and Portuguese speakers to apply. Our 3,000 alumni are already growing their businesses and improving lives. If you have a transformational business or an idea, we have an opportunity for you.”
Established in 2010, the TEF is the leading philanthropy in Africa championing entrepreneurship and entrepreneurs as catalyst for the social and economic development of the continent. Applications run from January through March 1, 2018.