The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) has announced the selection of 1,000 entrepreneurs for the second round of the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme (TEEP).
Launched in 2015, TEEP is the largest African philanthropic initiative devoted to entrepreneurship. It represents a $100 million commitment over a 10-year period, to identify and empower 10,000 African entrepreneurs, create a million jobs and add $10 billion in revenues to Africa’s economy.
An official statement said more than 45,000 entrepreneurs from 54 African countries applied, thus more than doubling the number of applications received in 2015.
The successful candidates represented diverse industries, led by Agriculture, Information and Communication Technology and Fashion, it said.
The highest numbers of applicants came from Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, Uganda and Cameroon; all five regions – North, East, Southern, Central and West Africa – were represented.
The Founder, Tony O. Elumelu, commented: “In TEEP’s first year, we spent over $8 million of our $100 million commitment – with $5 million going directly to entrepreneurs as seed capital — and the results have far exceeded our expectations.
“We have funded entrepreneurs, established networks and helped extraordinary people take control of their destinies.
“The 2016 Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurs will become a generation of newly empowered African business owners, who are the clearest evidence yet, that indigenous business growth will drive Africa’s economic and social transformation.”
Over the next nine months, the statement said the 2016 cohort would receive intensive online training, networking and mentoring that provide a tool kit for success and sustainability.
They would also participate in the three-day Elumelu Entrepreneurship Forum later in the year, the largest annual gathering of African entrepreneurial talent.
Parminder Vir OBE, the CEO of The Tony Elumelu Foundation, said: “We saw phenomenal success with the first cycle of TEEP – the success stories of the TEEP 2015 alumni are a testament to the transformative power of the programme we have built.
“Through TEEP, we are proving to the next generation of entrepreneurs that their ideas can change their communities, their countries and their continent.” GNA