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Tony Elumelu Foundation extends entrepreneurship funding to 1m Africans


The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) Entrepreneurship Programme is extending its training and funding of entrepreneurs to 1 million Africans over the next 10 years.

Ifeyinwa Ugochukwu, CEO, disclosed this on New Year day during a virtual world press conference to unveil the 2021TEF entrepreneurship application portal, in Lagos.

TEF Programme is a $100 million commitment made by the Elumelu family to empower 10,000 African entrepreneurs over a 10-year period through, training, mentorship and funding. The goal is to create at least 1million jobs and contribute over $10billion in revenue to the African economy.

Already the Foundation has spent $77 million on training and funding over 9,000 entrepreneurs across 54 African countries since the launch of the programme in 2015.

“The programme is here to stay even beyond the 10 years. We believe that African future lies in the hands of African entrepreneurs – the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs),” she said.

“We will complete our commitment to fund the 10,000 and beyond that 10,000 I can tell you that the economic landscape in Africa would be changed by the millions of Africans that we would train and fund through the TEF program,” Ugochukwu said.

She said the 2021 TEF entrepreneurship programme, which is the 7th edition has been opened for applications and will be hosted on the TEFConnect digital platform.

This year’s programme is targeting over 2400 SMEs with a special focus on female entrepreneurs.

She explained that the application phase will take place from the January 1 to March 31. Once applications are closed, eligible applicants will be placed in the appropriate training path.

Ugochukwu further explained the 1,000 from the 2020 applicants would be selected and funded alongside the applicants for the 2021 edition.

She said the Foundation in conjunction with PwC has concluded on the impact assessment and would release it in the first quarter of the year.

Completion of the training programme is a strict condition to moving forward to the submission and review of applicant’s business plan, participation in the pitching competition, and receipt of seed capital.

Through its flagship Entrepreneurship Programme the Foundation empowers African entrepreneurs and the entrepreneurship ecosystem across 54 African countries. The TEF training curriculum has been designed to segment entrepreneurs based on the demonstrated capability and knowledge.

The Entrepreneurship Programme identifies outstanding African entrepreneurs who have start-ups or business ideas with the potential to grow. The TEF Entrepreneurship Programme will be delivered in different phases.



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