Written by Godfrey AKON

More African entrepreneurs to benefit from TEF

As the Tony Elumelu Foundation celebrates its ten years of impact, the philanthropic organization says it has enhanced its flagship entrepreneurship programme to benefit more entrepreneurs across Africa.

TEF, in statement, noted that there were currently 9,631 beneficiaries of its entrepreneurship programme, adding that programme was enhanced to empower more entrepreneurs in the continent.

According to the foundation the enhancements, which took effect from January 1, 2020 will achieve its mandate to transform the African continent through entrepreneurship.

It said thousands of entrepreneurs would soon receive business training and continent-wide pitching competition would be held to herald the final selection of entrepreneurs to receive seed capital funding.

“On the heels of the tenth 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.

“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,” TEF said.

The foundation noted that to maximise 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,” it said.

TEF added that the application for the 2020 cohort of the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme is open till March 1, 2020 on TEFConnect.com.

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