Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Program, 2022.

Tony Elumelu Foundation Program.

Also known as TEF, the Tony Elumelu Foundation is a non-profit charity organization in Africa. The TEF is the largest African philanthropic organization. It pledges its commitment to empowering African entrepreneurs, as well as to improve entrepreneurship on the continent. They organize the annual Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship program.

Initially beginning as the Elumelu Nigerian Empowerment fund in 2014. It started as an NPO to transform communities that have suffered from natural and bio disasters/hazards. The empowerment fund was cut out for the N2.5 billion donated by The Tony Elumelu Foundation and Heirs Holdings companies during a presidential fundraising dinner for the Victims Support Fund.

The Fund was for communities such as those in the Niger Delta and Plateau state where help was needed. It was to create opportunities and empower people in affected communities. The aim was to enable them to rebuild their lives and businesses.

Aim of the TEF.

With the aim of building a self-sustainable community for Africa, the Elumelu foundation has grown to run several other philanthropic activities.

The Tony Elumelu Foundation was initially a means for the founder, Mr. Tony Elumelu, a Nigerian economist and philanthropist, to give back to the Nigerian community. Being a man grounded in entrepreneurship and business, he found a way to return to his country. His foundation started the TEF entrepreneurship program. The TEF Entrepreneurship program is the biggest nonprofit organizational program in Africa.


The Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme began in 2015. And since then, it is now the largest African philanthropic initiative. It has its commitment to empowering African entrepreneurs as well as entrepreneurship on the continent. It made a $100 million commitment to empower 10,000 African entrepreneurs over a period of 10 years. Based on the Programme’s success, its ability to identify, mentor, and fund entrepreneurs across Africa, the Foundation is increasing. Presently, it has working partnerships with institutions such as UNDP, the ADBank, the ICRC, GIZ, and United Bank for Africa Plc. And they all share the same goal. To create meaningful and permanent entrepreneurial impact across Africa.

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Their mission is done through several programs and research. Such these include the TEFConnect, the TEFForum as well as the TEF entrepreneurship program.

TEF Entrepreneurship program.


Every year, the TEF carries out a 12 weeks mentorship program. This program is for young entrepreneurs who fit into the charisma due to the standards of the organization. Every year, the TEF entrepreneurship program provides mentorship for entrepreneurs from all over Africa. These entrepreneurs undergo a 12-week program to equip them with the basic skills required to launch and run their businesses.

It covers several topics, focusing on starting and developing a business, marketing strategy, management as well as product design, etc.

During the same period, the entrepreneurs get access to a digital library. A world-class compendium of materials, case studies, videos, as well as articles all available at their disposal. This includes the 12-week series on the TOE Way, shared concurrently. The library makes available the mentality of the founder. And it is with these ideas, they aim to build the right character in the entrepreneurs. And it is with these characters that they shall be awarded.

The TEF entrepreneurship program also provides a technology-enabled platform for the students. This platform connects them to world-class mentors from across Africa and even globally.
These mentors are credible business moguls who have as well faced similar challenges and were able to steer their startups on a successful path.

And the TEF doesn’t stop there.


From time to time, the TEF entrepreneur mentorship program also organizes and hosts meet-ups.

During these events, they invite country and state-level meet-ups to discuss and ignite the entrepreneurial fire. They also help and promote close interaction within entrepreneurs so they can share ideas during the program. These selections facilitate networking, the formation of allies and friends, as well as linking smaller businesses together for interaction. This helps foster better partnership amongst local business people. Thereby assisting in their individual and collective growth.

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The TEF also hosts a dedicated world-class business annual forum. This forum brings together key people in the African and global entrepreneurial ecosystem. They gather together with an aim to leverage Africa’s emerging powers to promote entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship. Also, they look to connect investors with local and regional businesses as well as decision-makers.

And at the end of this 12 weeks program, selected entrepreneurs receive non-returnable seed capital. This is usually to the tune of $5,000. The seed capital is disbursed in naira but is calculated with the official Central Bank of Nigeria equivalent value of naira to the dollar at the date of selection for the program. This is to support early growth and to enhance their business operation for the winners.

How to apply.


Application into the Tony Elumelu entrepreneurship program is open to applicants from all over Africa. Candidates from the 54 African countries are eligible to apply. Registration for the 2022 session of this program is ongoing at the moment. And applicants can visit the program’s website https://www.tonyelumelufoundation.org/tef-entrepreneurship-programme-2 to access the registration portal from TEFConnect.

Over the years, the program has been able to get over 100,000 applicants every year. And this edition is no different.

Applicants are trooping on to apply for this program. The applicants know how much impact such an opportunity can be for a local business and cherishes it. Entrepreneurs in fashion, health Care, technology as well as art and real estate aren’t left out. It selects its shortlist from a vast area of consideration. This helps them ensure that every entrepreneurial sector is well represented. The registration occurs on the TEFConnect portal which the applicants will have to create before registration. All registration processes are online and successful candidates get the info online too.

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Some of the notable alumni of the program include Chukwunta Nicholas, founder of 4Figures. We would also meet Palesa Moloi, a South African woman who runs Parkupp, a South African-based IT firm.
A full list of alumni members and their entrepreneurial sector can be on their website as well. Visit them today at https://www.tonyelumelufoundation.org/ to know more and all about the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship program.

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