By Peter Uzoho
The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) has opened for applications, its 2021 entrepreneurship programme effective from today.
TEF, in a statement yesterday, said prospective applicants should apply on the digital networking hub for African entrepreneurs-www.tefconnect.com.
It explained that 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.
According to the statement, 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 Africans selected from the 2020 cohort. The foundation will also open applications to an additional 2,400 young entrepreneurs in 2021, in collaboration with global partners.
TEF, which celebrated its 10 years of impact in 2020, also plans to empower a new generation of African entrepreneurs through the entrepreneurship programme.
As part of the rewards for participation, successful applicants will receive a 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.
Throwing more light on the programme, the Chief Executive Officer, TEF, 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 TEF’s $100 million entrepreneurship programme, launched in 2015 to empower 10,000 entrepreneurs over 10 years, is now entering its seventh year and has empowered to date over 9,000 young entrepreneurs from 54 African countries.