The Tony Elumelu Foundation says it has earmarked $100 million (about N20 billion) facility for entrepreneurs in 54 African countries under its entrepreneurship programme (TEEP) for 2016.
The Foundation also invested a total of $4,860,000, including $1,405,000 in agriculture; $410,000 in education and training; and $365,000 in manufacturing, in 2015.
In a statement, the Foundation CEO Parminder Vir OBE, said the second annual round of the programme will commence from January 1 next year, adding, “The programme is open to citizens and legal residents of all 54 African countries. Applications for 2016 open on 1st January and can be made by any for-profit business based in Africa in existence for less than three years, including new business ideas.”
The CEO further stated that last year, the Foundation empowered 1,000 African entrepreneurs, selected from over 20,000 applicants, with start-up investment, active mentoring, business training, an entrepreneurship boot camp and regional networking across Africa.
“Entrepreneurs, with an average age range of 21-40, from 51 African countries completed the programme and received $5,000 in seed capital for their start-up businesses. The entries for 2016 programme will opens at 00:00am WAT on 1st January 2016 and will accept applications until midnight WAT on March 1st, 2016.
To be eligible, entrepreneurs must complete the online application form with questions on their background, experience and business idea, plans for growth and proposed pan-African impact. Applications are reviewed by an Advisory Board of distinguished African entrepreneurs.
“Africa does not need aid alone, it needs investment and it needs entrepreneurs. TEEP brings both and our ability to bring capital and the necessary support, for those who will help Africa harness its enormous potential is creating extraordinary opportunities across the continent,” said the CEO.
Stella Nakatudde, founder of ICT Company, Ella Solutions Ltd, based in Uganda, said: “Since being selected for TEEP 2015, I have learned invaluable life and business lessons, expanded and enriched my business network, opened our first office, hired two staff and closed two web development deals. TEEP is not just a means to start or propel your business; it is the torch that will light your entrepreneurship journey for life and the pen that will script your story in the new African Narrative”.
U.S Secretary of Commerce, Honorable Penny Pritzker commented “I am pleased to see Tony Elumelu investing in entrepreneurs through The Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme across Africa to work towards fostering communities of innovation”.
“I set out to institutionalise luck with the Foundation and give back to the Continent that made me.”
In the words of Tony Elumelu, the Founder of the Foundation, entrepreneurship can chart a new course of development for Africa, with Africans taking responsibility for wealth creation, creating value adding businesses here in Africa and this is why I encourage applications from across the continent, regardless of age, gender, religion or colour.
TEEP is driven by Elumelu’s philosophy of Africapitalism, which calls for the African private sector to focus on long term investments that create social and economic prosperity in Africa, and take the lead role in Africa’s transformation.