On the heels of the 10th anniversary of the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), the private-sector-led philanthropy focused on empowering African entrepreneurs has enhanced its flagship Entrepreneurship Programme to empower more entrepreneurs across the continent.
A statement by TEF said that these enhancements, which took effect from January 1, 2020—the launch of the sixth cycle of the Programme—will achieve the Foundation’s mandate to transform the African continent through entrepreneurship.
Most prominent among the enhancements are the new dates in the Programme cycle, its emphasis on providing thousands of entrepreneurs with business training, and its focus on leveraging technology to optimise the application and selection process as well as personalise the journey of each applicant in the Programme tailored to their knowledge and business stage.
The Programme cycle has been updated to place more emphasis on getting more entrepreneurs through the business training. Hence, the announcement of the finalists, who will ultimately be inducted into the TEF Alumni network, will no longer be held on March 22 but will be made at the TEF Forum – the largest entrepreneurship conference in Africa.
Maximising the value derived from the Programme, applicants will now receive instant feedback on their progress to the next stage of the Programme, following their applications. Shortlisted applicants will receive business training tailored to their business stage and for those who move to the next stage mentorship and finally the top performing entrepreneurs from each country will proceed to the business pitching competition, which will determine the finalists to receive seed capital and an induction into the Foundation’s fast-growing alumni network across 54 African countries.
The TEF Entrepreneurship Programme is the $100million commitment by investor and philanthropist, Tony O. Elumelu, CON through his investment company, Heirs Holdings. The Programme has become a beacon of hope for African entrepreneurs, currently empowering 9,631 beneficiaries across 54 African countries with training, mentorship, seed funding and exclusive access to global opportunities as well as a strong entrepreneurial community.
TEF Alumni such as Ugandan Kwabena Danso who manufactures bicycles and its accessories from bamboo is one of the thousands of beneficiaries whose business has expanded beyond the shores of Africa to a global market, and is one of the success stories and impact recorded by the Programme’s innovative approach to the sustainable development of Africa. Others include Mohammed Dhauoafi from Tunisia, founder of Cure, a 3D printed, biosynthetic prosthesis manufacturing company and Princess Adeyinka Tekenah from Nigeria whose coffee making business has been dubbed Africa’s Starbucks by The Financial Times.
The application for the 2020 cohort of the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme is open till March 1, 2020 on TEFConnect.com.