The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) — an African private-sector-led philanthropy dedicated to empowering African entrepreneurs has opened it’s portal (www.tefconnect.com) to accept applications for the 2023 cohort of the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme on Saturday, January 1, 2023.
This was made known in a statement via the official website of the foundation. Applications are to be made through TEFConnect, the digital networking hub for the African entrepreneurship ecosystem, created by the Foundation.
This year’s intervention prioritises 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 collaboration with global partners.
Successful TEF applicants receive 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.”
The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) Entrepreneurship Programme is open to entrepreneurs from across Africa, either with new startup ideas or existing businesses of less than 3 years existence, operating in any sector.
According to the release, successful applicants will join the over 9,000 current beneficiaries, from 54 African countries, and receive business training, mentoring, a non-refundable $5,000 of seed capital and global networking opportunities.
In 2019, the Foundation received about 216,000 applications, with 42% coming from women entrepreneurs, from every country on the continent.