By Dipo Olowookere
Entrepreneurs across Africa can now start applying for the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) fourth cycle of $100 million entrepreneurship development programme, a statement released by the organisation has revealed.
According to the statement released on its website, applicants will have to complete the online registration at www.application.tonyelumelufoundation.org with the deadline fixed for midnight (WAT) of March 1, 2018.
The TEF is a brainchild of Nigerian former banker and businessman, Mr Tony Elemelu, Chairman of United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc.
The scheme provides critical tools for business success, including 12 weeks of intensive online training which guides creating and managing a business; a world-class mentor to guide during the early transformation stages of the business; $5,000 provided in seed capital to prove the concept, plus access to further funding; and giving entrepreneurs access to the largest network of African start-ups and TEF’s own global contacts.
The programme, in its 4th cycle, is TEF’s 10-year, $100 million commitment to identify, train, mentor and fund 10,000 African entrepreneurs by 2024.
Commenting, Mr Elumelu said, “When we launched the TEF Programme and committed $100 million to empowering Africa’s entrepreneurs, I knew we would create impact, but I never imagined it would be impact of this magnitude.
“We have unleashed a movement of African entrepreneurs — a force so strong, so inspiring, that I am confident they will collectively transform Africa. We need Africa’s best and brightest entrepreneurs to come learn, grow their businesses and build our continent.”
TEF said 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.
To apply for the scheme, the business must be based in Africa, be for profit, must be 0-3 years old, and applicants must be at least 18 and a legal resident or citizen of an African country.
In her remarks, CEO of TEF, Ms Parminder Vir, stated that, “We encourage women, French and Portuguese speakers to apply. Our 3,000 alumni are already growing their businesses and improving lives. If you have a transformational business or an idea, we have an opportunity for you.”
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