The Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship (TEF) Program is available to entrepreneurs from all over Africa, whether they have brand-new startup ideas or established enterprises that have been in operation for less than 5 years and operate in any industry. Successful candidates will join the nearly 9,000 current beneficiaries, who are from the 54 African nations, and receive business training, mentoring, a $5,000 non-refundable seed investment, and possibilities for international networking.

The Program is a commitment of 10 years and $100 million to find, educate, coach, and support 10,000 young African entrepreneurs. The objective is to execute the Africapitalism concept, which views the private sector as Africa’s growth engine and emphasizes the value of creating social and economic riches, in order to create millions of jobs and the necessary revenue for the continent’s sustainable development.

If your startup or business idea has been around for less than 5 years and is in any industry or nation in Africa, you are qualified to apply.

Since 2015, the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme – the only African-funded entrepreneurship catalyst of its kind – has empowered 15,847 African entrepreneurs with non-returnable seed capital of $5,000 each; twelve weeks of business management training; access to experienced mentors; and membership to Africa’s largest entrepreneurial ecosystem.

In 2022, the Tony Elumelu Foundation disbursed USD$24.75 million to 5000 African entrepreneurs across Africa for its 2022 Entrepreneurship Programme. The Foundation’s Entrepreneurship Programme remains one of the largest private sector responses to driving the economic recovery of African youth, women and SMEs given the effects of the covid19 pandemic across Africa.  Across Africa, the Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme beneficiaries are starting and growing trailblazing businesses that have collectively created over 400,000 direct and indirect jobs.

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Eligibility Criteria

  • Open to all citizens and legal residents of any one of the 54 African countries. The proposed business must be registered and operate in Africa.
  • Applicants must be 18 years old and must not be considered a minor in their country of residence. There is no upper-limit age restriction.
  • Applicants can be outstanding African entrepreneurs running existing start-ups with high growth potential and aspiring business owners with transformative ideas.
  • All businesses must be business ideas or an early-stage company, in the range of 0 to 3 years old.
  • Your application must focus on ONE business only.
  • They are particularly looking to grow representation from French, Arabic and Portuguese speakers, as well as female entrepreneurs.
  • The programme is not open to research institutions, faith-based organisations, value adding trading companies, government contractors and businesses not located in Africa. Businesses must not adversely affect the environment, lives and property. Business ideas must be for profit and must be the original work of those making the submission.

Benefits Of Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Program 2023

  • World-class business management training
  • Mentorship
  • $5,000 non-refundable seed capital
  • Access to key networks and markets
  • Global Networking Opportunities

How to register for Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Program 2023

Register/Login to TEFConnect, on the HomePage, click on the Applications link. Select the Programme you would like to apply for and follow the instructions. The application portal opens on the 1st of January of each year. It’s free to apply. All the best!

About Tony Elumelu

Tony Elumelu
Tony Elumelu

Tony Elumelu is a Nigerian banker and economist who owns a controlling interest in Transcorp, a publicly traded Nigerian conglomerate with interests in hospitality, agriculture, oil production and power generation. He came into the limelight in 1997 when he led a small group of investors to take over a small, floundering commercial bank in Lagos. He turned it profitable within a few years and in 2005 he merged it with the United Bank for Africa. That banking group now has subsidiaries in 20 African countries and in the U.S and U.K. Elumelu also owns extensive real estate across Nigeria and a minority stake in mobile telecom firm MTN Nigeria, among other assets.

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Elumelu is worth an estimated $800 million in assets and he gives back to the African continent through his foundation where he spreads the idea of Africapitalism to young African entrepreneurs.

Ibrahim Ismail

A passionate and highly skilled individual who has seamlessly blended the worlds of statistics, technology, and finance.

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