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The 7 Pillars of Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) – A complete guide to apply

About The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF)

The Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme (TEEP) is established to empower men and women across Africa for growth and poverty eradication. The foundation was founded since 2010 with its main focus on issues that will enhance the creation of both social and economic wealth.

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Startups with innovative business ideas or with businesses that have been running for less than three years are qualified to apply for the programme. The goal is to create millions of jobs in order to generate revenues that would sustain the African continent.

The founder, Mr O. Tony Elumelu, believes that African private sectors are the catalysts for the African transformation. This is the reason creation of both social and economic wealth are his major concerns.

A Complete Guide on How to Apply for The Tony Elumelu Foundation

All young entrepreneurs across Africa are called to apply for the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme. It offers grants as much as $5000 to selected startups. The most innovative business ideas across the continent are encouraged to apply for this entrepreneurship programme as it will offer them a platform to build a formidable business.

The TEF Entrepreneurship Programme offers the following to startups:

  • Business training
  • Mentorship
  • $5000 seed capital
  • Global networking opportunities.

Criteria for Eligibility

The following are the conditions necessary for any startup to qualify for the programme offers:

  • The startup must be based in Africa.
  • The innovative business could be at the idea stage, developmental stage, or has been in existence not up to three years.
  • The business can be in any sector of the economy.
  • The business must have the potential to create jobs and generate revenue in Africa.

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The Selection Process of TEF

Following application for the programme, the selection process is listed below:

  • Selected entrepreneurs will undergo business training.
  • The candidates will prepare their updated business plan and submit it.
  • Top performing entrepreneurs will be shortlisted and undergo the pitching phase of their business plan in all the 54 countries of Africa, in English, French, Arabic or Portugal.
  • Top performers will be selected to receive the seed capital worth $5000.
  • Selected top performers will be announced as finalists at the forum and awarded the seed capital of $5000.

With regards to the selection process, startups will be selected based on the following 5 criteria:

  • Feasibility of the business idea.
  • Market opportunity: the entrepreneur must have a good knowledge of the market, customers/clients and competitors for the business idea.
  • Financial understanding of the necessary requirement of running the business, including costs and revenue.
  • Scalability: the business idea must be able to create jobs and wealth on the continent.
  • Leadership potential: The business must have the potential to attract people, customers and resources.

Basic Requirements to be Supplied by the Applicants

Applicants who are offered a place in the Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme are required of the following:

  • Complete a self-declaration form.
  • Provide proof of valid ID.
  • Provide a personal bank statement from the past six months.
  • Provide a statement of current personal debt.
  • Provide a reference from an employer, bank and/ or and academic institution.
  • Provide business bank account details. For applicants residing in UBA host countries, the account must be a UBA account.

While describing your business, ensure the idea or business plan touches every aspect including description, market, customer acquisition, finances, and so on. Also, note that the foundation does not charge any fee for registration. It is totally free.

Multiple entries, whether under different business names, ideas, entities, or emails will be a ground for disqualification. The applicant must be the person behind the business idea.

To apply for the entrepreneurial programme, log on to the application portal on www.tefconnect.com. Click on the ‘Apply’ to fill the form. Successful applicants will be notified via the email address provided.

The Seven Pillars of Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF)

The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) has seven pillars and every applicant is expected to know them. This is because they form part of the questions to be asked while applying for the entrepreneurship programme. They are as follows:

  1. Startup Enterprise Toolkit

The Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme (TEEP) operates with the belief that entrepreneurship and business skills are teachable and learnable. A 12-week programme is devised with regards to this. Startups are equipped with the necessary skills for launching and running the business at the early stage of their growth. It will use both online and offline platforms to lecture the candidates.

  1. Mentoring

Mentoring is a very important tool in starting up a business. The Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme (TEEP) ensures that mentors are selected based on their passion, expertise, and alignment with the vision and mission of the programme. World-class mentors from Africa and internationally will be employed to take the TEEP startups through this challenging path.

Each startup will be assigned a mentor who will share their experiences as well as pay attention to the mentee’s goals and expectations. They will also provide guidance and support to the mentee throughout the programme.

While helping the startups, mentors might be inspired by new ideas and also learn more about the realities of doing business in Africa.

  1. Online Resource Library

Startups, alumni and mentors of the Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme (TEEP) will have access to the foundation’s curated online resource library which contains case studies, a sample of business plans, research documents, video presentation, industry articles, and competitiveness of TEEP startups, which are accessible from any part of the continent.

  1. Bootcamp

This is an intense and interactive two-day live action learning experience. Expertise in business training will be employed to help startups develop a range of soft skills using an interactive method. This will happen at the end of the 12-week online training programme, just before the beginning of the Elumelu Entrepreneurship Forum. All the startups will be gathered at a particular place to share their individual stories, build networks, and develop their soft skills through the interactive session.

The logistics expenses will be covered by TEEP and every startup is expected to be present at the programme.

  1. TEF Entrepreneurship Forum

Elumelu Entrepreneurship Forum is an annual event that showcases the African startups to the world of entrepreneurs, incubators, business corporations, government, investors, academia and foundations. It includes engagements, networking, learning and inspiration for startups as they conclude their TEEP programme. This will also avail them of the opportunity to hear from world-class executives, scholars and entrepreneurs.

It is at the close of the forum that the graduates of TEEP will be presented with the seed capital funding as well as receive an invitation to join the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Alumni Network.

  1. Seed Capital Funding

All the successful startups who underwent the 12-week training and attended the Bootcamp and TEF Entrepreneurship Forum, with their mentors’ support, will be awarded a non-refundable investment for further development of their business idea. The investment cheque will be presented by the founder of the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme, Tony O. Elumelu, himself. This will happen at the close of the three-day conference.

There will be continuous monitoring and evaluation of these successful startups, both collectively and individually. This will help in following them up to ensure they are qualified for the second stage of the funding where a seed capital investment of $5000 will be awarded to them as a returnable capital.

  1. TEEP Alumni Network

Each December, the graduation ceremony of the startups of the Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme (TEEP) will be held as it puts an end to the programme.

But that is not all!

The alumni network is formed for this purpose. Here, all the participants can continually connect with mentors and fellow alumni as they are given vast access to the online resource library of the TEEP.

Spirit of loyalty, comradery, and dedication are the reasons for the formation of the alumni network. This will help in promoting the general welfare of the programme as well as ensure that the members give back to their source.

The TEEP Alumni Network has become the largest entrepreneurship-focused network in Africa. It also provides a platform where African startups can cross-pollinate grassroots businesses with other energetic and passionate entrepreneurs all over Africa.

The combination of all TEEP modalities will yield strong, viable businesses that will have the propensity to yield more jobs and generate revenues. This will, in turn, enlarge and strengthen the private sector of Africa.