The Tony Elumelu Foundation, an African-funded and founded philanthropy committed to empowering African entrepreneurs has announced its last call for applications into its 2019 entrepreneurship programme.
The application portal launched on the 1st of January 2019 would close on the 1st of March, 2019.
A statement yesterday explained that selected beneficiaries would join 4,470 current alumni and would receive $5,000 seed capital, access to mentors, bespoke training and numerous opportunities to impact policies at the local and global level.
Open to African entrepreneurs from the 54 African countries, the entrepreneurship programme accepts business ideas as well as existing businesses with less than three years of experience in all sectors of the economy. It has been commended as one of the few accelerator-type programmes that encourage viable businesses at idea stage that can demonstrate potential to scale, generate revenue and create employment opportunities.
A 10-year, $100 million commitment to identify, train, mentor and fund 10,000 African entrepreneurs, the programme’s objective is to generate at least 1,000,000 new jobs and create at least $10 billion in new business revenue across Africa.
Some of the success stories from the Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme include Mama Moni, founded by Nkem Okocha, a fintech social enterprise that provides loans to women in rural communities in Nigeria; founded by Martin Ruga, Desserts Anyone, a chocolate processing enterprise in Kenya was built from scratch and with the infusion of the capital from the Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme, the business now serves over two tonnes of chocolate to over 50,000 consumers; founded by Abiodun Adereni, Help Mum, a Nigerian based enterprise that provides low-cost birth kits to prevent child and maternal mortality recently won the first ever Google Nigeria Impact Challenge and has attracted additional capital investments; iMed Tech, founded by Nneile Nkholise, innovates in the medtech space in South Africa by using technology to create breast prostheses for women with breast cancer; in Egypt, Ahmed Abbas founded Sun City that provides mobile solar pumps for small farmers. Additionally, six of Tony Elumelu Foundation entrepreneurs were recognised on the Forbes 30 under 30 list, among many other achievements, some have been appointed on the boards of global companies, government and developmental institutions, influencing policies at various levels.
The Programme is inspired by Tony Elumelu’s economic philosophy of Africapitalism and his vision to institutionalise luck and democratise opportunity for a new generation of African entrepreneurs. Applications would be judged based on criteria including feasibility, scalability and potential for growth of the product/service; market opportunity for the idea/business; financial understanding, leadership potential and entrepreneurial skills.