Local entrepreneurs have a chance to get seed capital following the announcement of the third round of Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) Entrepreneurship Programme that has so far benefited 242 Kenyans.
The Tony Elumelu Foundation announced that it will begin accepting applications on January 1, 2017. The programme is the Foundation’s 10-year, US $100 million (Kshs 10 billion) commitment to training, mentoring and funding 10,000 African entrepreneurs.
This year, 75 Kenyans were among 1000 entrepreneurs from 54 African countries who benefited from the second round of the programme. Another 167 were awarded the funds during the first round.
The programme funded by United Bank for Africa Group Chairman Tony O. Elumelu was launched in 2015 to identify and empower 10,000 African entrepreneurs, create a million jobs and add US $10 billion in revenues to Africa’s economy in the next 10 years.
The application portal will be open until midnight (WAT), March 1, 2017. Entrepreneurs must complete the online application and selection is on a rolling basis, so early application is encouraged.
1,000 entrepreneurs will be selected based on the feasibility of the business idea; market opportunity; financial understanding; scalability; leadership and entrepreneurial skills demonstrated in the application.
TEF Founder Tony O. Elumelu said: “I believe the seeds we are planting through the Programme will transform Africa. Two years on, it is clear that we have found a key to unlocking Africa’s potential for economic transformation. As our entrepreneurs grow their own businesses and realise their ambitions, so too does the vision. We are showing what the African private sector can achieve; how hard work and enterprise can catalyze real, sustainable development.”
The Programme is designed to identify entrepreneurs that have the potential to grow their businesses and collectively generate 1,000,000 new jobs, that can contribute at least $10 billion in additional revenues to the African economy.
According to TEF CEO, Parminder Vir OBE, “This programme continues to surpass our expectations and its success is palpable. Your entrepreneurial journey begins when you make the decision to complete the application. We are seeking real entrepreneurs, people who can take risk and reap rewards, not just for themselves, but their communities and countries.”
The success of 2015 Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurs reflects the impact of the Programme, including: Momar Mass-Taal (Agriculture, Gambia) who turned his US $5,000 seed capital into US $1.2 million in revenue; Bukhary Kibonajoro (Education & Training, Tanzania) who used the mentorship and training provided at the programme to launch his business, create 34 new jobs and provide growth services for more than 100 local business in 12 months and Chioma Okonu (Waste Management, Nigeria) who has created ancillary revenue streams for more than 6,000 households, created 40 jobs and currently generates over US $50,000 in profit.
To be eligible to apply for the programme, the respective business project must be based in Africa and must be for profit while individual applicants must be at least 18 years in age and legal residents or citizens of African countries.
Established in 2010, the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) is a philanthropy in Africa championing entrepreneurship and entrepreneurs across the continent. The Foundation’s long-term investment in empowering African entrepreneurs is emblematic of Tony Elumelu’s philosophy of Africapitalism, which positions Africa’s private sector, and most importantly entrepreneurs, as the catalyst for the social and economic development of the continent. The Foundation’s flagship initiative, the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme, is a 10-year, $100 million commitment to identify, train mentor and fund 10,000 entrepreneurs, capable of changing the face of business across Africa.