By Mfonobong Nsehe.
The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) has announced the selection of the first 1,000 African entrepreneurs for the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme (TEEP).
TEEP is a multi-year programme of training, funding, and mentoring, designed to empower the next generation of African entrepreneurs. The programme will identify and help grow 10,000 start-ups and young businesses from across Africa over the next 10 years. These businesses will in turn create 1,000,000 new jobs and contribute $10 billion in annual revenues to Africa’s economy.
In January, The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), official launched the programme by inviting entrepreneurs from across Africa to apply for the programme. According to a press release issued by TEF on Monday, more than 20,000 entrepreneurs from 52 African countries applied to the programme.
The winners were drawn from various industries ranging from agriculture and education to fashion and ICT. All five African regions – North, East, Southern, Central and West Africa are represented, as well as all major language blocs – Anglophone, Francophone, Lusophone, and Arabic Africa. Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, South Africa and Ghana had the highest number of winners.
Nigerian multi-millionaire banker Tony Elumelu, the founder and financier of the Foundation, said he was satisfied with the outcome of the selection process.
“The selection of these 1000 entrepreneurs brings us closer to our ultimate goal – to drive Africa’s economic and social transformation from within and to radically intensify job creation in Africa. Though I have never met or spoken to any of the winners, I am confident that due to the rigorous criteria and selection process, these entrepreneurs are Africa’s hope for the future. I will continue to invest my experience, time, influence, and resources to see them succeed. I am embarking on this journey with these entrepreneurs hopeful and inspired,” Elumelu said.
Accenture was contracted as the independent review consultant for the programme and they evaluated every application based on selection criteria drawn out by the TEEP Selection Committee.
Over the next 9 months, the 1,000 selected entrepreneurs will partake in an intensive online training curriculum, mentoring, and participation in a two-day entrepreneurship boot-camp and the Elumelu Entrepreneurship Forum. The other 19,000 entrepreneurs who were not selected will be invited to join the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Network where they will be able to further hone their entrepreneurial knowledge and skills. At the end of the training period, each of the entrepreneurs will receive a $5,000 grant from Elumelu’s Foundation to kick start their businesses. If they need additional funds, they can also apply to the Foundation for another $5,000 in the form of a loan or in return for equity.
Parminder Vir OBE, Director of Entrepreneurship at the Tony Elumelu Foundation, said: “The high quantity and quality of applicants we have received is testament to the brilliant ideas and incredible talent that exists in abundance across Africa. The Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme will give structure and support to these African entrepreneurs to develop themselves and to grow their businesses. Through TEEP, the ripple effects of the long-term investments in a new generation of Africapitalists will be felt throughout the continent.”
Culled From Forbes