The Tony Elumelu Foundation, African philanthropy committed to empowering African entrepreneurs, has announced 3,050 African entrepreneurs, drawn from all 54 African countries, selected to join the 5th cycle of its $100m TEF Entrepreneurship Programme.
According to a statement, this year, over 216,000 applications were received, an increase from last year’s 151,000.
It said nearly 90,000 were submitted by female entrepreneurs, an increase of 45 percent, illustrating the foundation’s strategy to achieve greater gender balance.
The selected entrepreneurs would each receive non- refundable $5,000 of seed capital, access to mentors, and a 12-week business training programme, directly focused on the needs of African entrepreneurs.
On July 26 to 27 2019, they will gather at the TEF Entrepreneurship Forum, the largest annual gathering of African entrepreneurs and the entrepreneurship ecosystem on the continent, according to the statement.
TEF Founder, Mr Tony Elumelu, said, “Every year, we face an almost impossible task – to select 1,000 entrepreneurs, from the hundreds of thousands that apply. Our entrepreneurs are hungry to effect change.
“We know we are only scratching the surface, we see the depth of entrepreneurial talent, that all of us – government, business indeed African society, must harness to transform our economies and livelihoods. We must rally together to empower them and accelerate the change we want on the continent.”
In her speech, the wife of the President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Mrs Aisha Buhari, commended the programme’s impact on the continent, charging the selected entrepreneurs to contribute to the advancement of the African continent.
“Indeed, I am confident that these Tony Elumelu entrepreneurs will inspire deep confidence and be of immense value not just to Nigeria but to the entire continent,” she said.
Speaking on the announcement, the incoming Chief Executive Officer, Ifeyinwa Ugochukwu, said, “The Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme has successfully empowered 7,520 entrepreneurs in its first five years of the 10- year programme.
“Marking the fifth anniversary of the 10-year programme, this year’s selection includes 2,050 entrepreneurs, supported by the foundation’s partners in addition to the foundation’s annual commitment of 1,000, bringing the total number of entrepreneurs empowered by the Foundation to date to 7,520.”
According to the statement, the foundation’s list of partners includes the International
Committee of the Red Cross, the United Nations Development Programme, the Federal Republic of Benin (Seme City), the Anambra State Government, Indorama, the Government of Botswana and the African Development Bank.
For a list of the selected 2018 Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurs and information on our applicants, please visit http://bit.ly/TEF2019.