A Journey to Empower African Entrepreneurs

The following is a guest post provided by the Tony Elumelu Foundation regarding their Entrepreneurship Programme. We thought it may be of relevance to some of our readers, so wanted to share it here. If you have any questions regarding the initiative, please contact the Tony Elumelu Foundation via their website.

This New Year saw the beginning of a paradigm shift in the African entrepreneurship landscape as the Tony Elumelu Foundation launched the application portal for its flagship One Hundred Million US Dollar programme – The Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme (TEEP) – and began receiving applications from aspiring entrepreneurs across Africa. 

THE APPLICATIONS ROLL IN

The onlinetony application portal has been live for merely three weeks and has seen record response from entrepreneurs across the continent who want to be, as the founder Mr Tony O. Elumelu aptly stated in his New Year’s call to action “the next African Steve Jobs”.  To date there have been over 5,000 applications from 51 African countries, and thousands more are expected before closure in March.

TEEP is also ‘industry agnostic’ and has few limitations of the types of businesses and ideas applicants can apply with.  Agriculture is one of the leading applications, followed closely by education and training, retail and media sectors.

The online application portal also has a forum on which entrepreneurs tony1and applicants to the programme have begun to engage with one another, helping each other with applications and moulding business ideas. TEEP has brought together strangers from across Africa and made them kin.

A CALL FOR FEMALE APPLICANTS

TEEP is faced with the task of mobilising female African entrepreneurs, as nearly 75% of all applications received to date are made by men.  This exemplifies the critical need for women to take a more deliberate approach to entrepreneurship and business development.  TEEP began a social media campaign, calling on stakeholders for female-run enterprise in Africa to amass more applications from women in their networks.

The tony2ultimate call to action is made by TEEP to all aspiring African entrepreneurs – your ideas can transform the continent, and as such you should take a most critical step, and apply for TEEP. The programme is looking for diverse, transformative, scalable and sustainable businesses, which factor in social as well as economic development for Africa.

LOOKING AHEAD

This decade long commitment by a veteran African entrepreneur through the Tony Elumelu Foundation to empower the next generation of African entrepreneurs, is now on the world stage; with critics and optimists alike watching with bated breath to see what the next ten years will bring.

To learn more about the Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme, visit their website www.tonyelumelufoundation.org/teep