The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), the leading African philanthropy committed to empowering African entrepreneurs, last week announced that 3,050 African entrepreneurs, drawn from all 54 African countries, have been selected to join the 5th cycle of its US$100 million TEF Entrepreneurship Programme.
The announcement was made at the Transcorp Hilton Abuja, following a presentation of the selection process by Accenture Development Partners.
This year, over 216,000 applications were received, an increase from last year’s 151,000.
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 will each receive non- refundable US$5,000 in seed capital, access to mentors, and a 12-week business training programme, directly focused on the needs of African entrepreneurs.
On July 26 – 27 2019, they will gather at the TEF Entrepreneurship Forum, the largest annual gathering of African entrepreneurs and the entrepreneurship ecosystem on the continent.
TEF Founder, Tony O. Elumelu, CON, who celebrated his birthday today, said: “Every year, we face an almost impossible task – to select 1,000 entrepreneurs, from the hundreds of thousands that apply”.
Her Excellency, Mrs. Aisha Buhari, commended the Programme’s impact on the continent, charging the selected entrepreneurs to contribute to the advancement of the African continent.
Speaking on the announcement, the incoming CEO of the Foundation, 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.