One of the leading sources of funding and mentoring for entrepreneurs on the continent, the Tony Elumelu Foundation, will start accepting applications for its 2020 programme, on January 1, 2020. Applications are received through a digital networking hub, TEFConnect, created to serve participants.
Participation is open to indigenous African small business owners who have been in business for less than 3 years or currently are armed with fresh ideas moving into business. Business mentoring, training, global networking opportunities, and a non-refundable seed funding to the tune of $5,000 await successful applicants.
The foundation, owned and run by the founder of the former Standard Trust Bank, now United Bank for Africa (UBA), Tony Elumelu, has successfully engaged over 9,000 entrepreneurs from 54 African countries since inception. For the immediate past edition, the foundation received 216,000 applications among who 42% were female entrepreneurs. That points to the increasing diversification of the SMEs ecosystem on the continent.
According to the foundation, “the programme is a 10-year, $100 million commitment to identify, train, mentor and fund 10,000 young African entrepreneurs”.
The major goal of the commitment is to drive sustainable development across the continent by identifying, grooming, and supporting young but brilliant African citizens to build businesses that will create jobs and wealth.
Hence, going by the impact report from the foundation, “70% of the total number of businesses in its alumni network were still in operation two years after benefiting from the programme.”
The report also identified some 189% and 197% increases in revenue generated and jobs created, respectively, by the alumni businesses.
Interested participants should log on to http://tonyelumelufoundation.org