By Obinna Chima
Africa’s largest business incubator, the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), yesterday announced that it had started accepting applications from African entrepreneurs, with business ideas that can transform Africa, for its entrepreneurship programme.
The application portal, according a notice from the TEF, is open and accepting submissions until March 1, 2017.
To apply, intended participants were directed to complete the online application on its website.
“Successful applicants will join the third cycle of the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme, TEF’s 10-year, $100 million commitment to train, mentor and fund 10,000 African entrepreneurs in every African country. Since inception in 2015, the programme has assisted nearly 2,000 entrepreneurs and created hundreds of jobs across the continent,” it added.
The programme provides critical tools for entrepreneurial success, including: training- 12 weeks of intensive training on setting-up and managing businesses; mentoring – a mentor will guide successful applicants in creating a robust business plan; and seed capital – $5,000 in non-returnable seed capital and access to a $5,000 convertible loan
The TEF founder, serial entrepreneur and philanthropist, Mr. Tony O. Elumelu, said: “Our programme is a deliberate effort to institutionalise luck and provide the essentials for business growth to Africa’s next generation of business leaders. It is a demonstration of my faith in this generation’s ability to transform the African narrative, from the single story of disease and poverty, to one of enterprise and opportunity. Spread the word; we need Africa’s best and brightest entrepreneurs. Their ideas will transform Africa.”
1,000 entrepreneurs will be selected based on the viability of their idea, including: market opportunity; financial understanding; scalability; and leadership and entrepreneurial skills demonstrated in the application.
According to the organisers, for one to be eligible, his or her business must be based in Africa; business must be for profit; business must be 0-3 years’ old; and applicants must be at least 18 and a legal resident or citizen of an African country
Also, the CEO of the foundation, Parminder Vir, said: “We encourage women, French, Arabic and Portuguese speakers and business ideas from every region across Africa, to apply. Our 2,000 alumni are already growing their businesses and improving lives. If you have a transformational business or an idea, we have an opportunity for you.”