Business: Tony Elumelu Foundation Opens 2021 Entrepreneurship Programme for Africans

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Flashback: According to the TEF's 2018 Impact Report, 70% of the total number of businesses in its alumni network was still operational two years after benefiting from the Program.

The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), on Friday unveiled its 2021 entrepreneurship programme to empower women and men across the African continent including Liberia.

The Chief Executive Officer of TEF, Mrs. Ifeyinwa Ugochukwu, disclosed this during an online news briefing with journalists across Africa.

TEF is Africa’s leading philanthropy dedicated to empowering African entrepreneurs, opens applications on its TEFConnect digital platform (www.tefconnect.com).

A statement issued on Monday, January 4, 2021, by the United Bank for Africa (UBA) said, “This year’s intervention prioritizes the economic recovery of small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) and young African entrepreneurs, following the Covid-19 disruption to economic activities.”

“To address the unique challenges arising from the pandemic, lift millions out of poverty and create sustainable employment across the continent, the Foundation’s Entrepreneurship Programme will empower 1,000 young African entrepreneurs, selected from the 2020 cohort.  The Foundation will also open applications to an additional 2,400 young entrepreneurs in 2021, in collaboration with global partners,” the statement added.

The Tony Elumelu Foundation, which celebrated ten years of impact in 2020, is empowering a new generation of African entrepreneurs, through the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme.  Successful applicants receive a world-class business training, mentorship, non-refundable seed capital up to $5,000, and global networking opportunities.  The Programme is open to entrepreneurs across Africa, both new start-ups and existing young businesses, operating in any sector.

CEO of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, Ifeyinwa Ugochukwu stated, “The Tony Elumelu Foundation now more than ever is demonstrating our commitment to unleashing the potential of young African entrepreneurs, the key to Africa’s long-term economic transformation.  The pandemic has created challenges across the continent, but we know that with the Tony Elumelu Foundation’s tried and tested Programme, we can execute the largest Covid-19 economic recovery plan for African SMEs and break the cycle of poverty in Africa.”

She said: ” I want to welcome all of you as we unveiled the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme for 2021, the opening of the application portal which happened 12 midnight, Jan.1.

“As you all know, the TEF was founded in 2010, and in 2015, our founder, Mr Tony Elumelu, launched a 100 million dollars commitment to identify, train, mentor and fund 10,000 African entrepreneurs across all 54 African countries, over 10 years.

“So, 2021 marks the seventh edition of the TEF entrepreneurship programme,” she said.

The Tony Elumelu Foundation’s $100million Entrepreneurship Programme, launched in 2015 to empower 10,000 entrepreneurs over 10 years, is now entering its 7th year and has empowered to date, over 9,000 young African entrepreneurs from 54 African countries.

Prospective applicants should apply on the digital networking hub for African entrepreneurs, www.tefconnect.com.

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