2019 Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme.


About The 2019 Entrepreneurship Programme 

The Tony Elumelu Foundation is the foremost philanthropic institution in Africa ,championing Entrepreneurship. It was founded by Tony Elumelu who is an Entrepreneur and an Investor in 2010.He is a Philanthropist that has passion for Africa’s Economic Development.

His love for the empowerment of African Entrepreneurs is an interpretation of Tony Elumelu’s philosophy of Africapitalism, which places both Africa’s private sector and entrepreneurs, as the catalyst for the development of the economy of the continent.

Tony Elumelu Foundation consolidated  various programmes and initiatives by investing in the next generation of entrepreneurs and business leaders in Africa.

This foundation centers on the provision of  support to entrepreneurs in Africa through the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme.

The Foundation’s vision  is to pave ways for Africa’s Entrepreneurs that wish to  grow their business start-ups from small scale  to medium enterprises (SMEs) and from  SMEs to  companies.

“We will continue to support our growing numbers of programme alumni, whose inspirational success stories serve as encouragement to upcoming entrepreneurs and demonstrate the effectiveness of our interventions. As we deepen our reach in Africa, we will continue to enrich these alumni networks, facilitating meaningful conversations and mentor relationships to further assist tomorrow’s business leaders and build an impactful pan-African entrepreneurial ecosystem,”the founder said.

Scheme of Programme for TEF Entrepreneurship Programme 

There are seven (7) schemes for the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme and they are listed below:


A 12-week programme that equips startups with basic skills to run their businesses at their early stages. This includes many topics like starting and scaling a business, developing a business, marketing strategies, effective management,designing products etc.


Provision of a credible technology-enabled platform for easy access to world-class mentors from across the globe. This mentors,through their experiences with similar challenges will be able to lead us to a successful path.


Templates and interesting materials  that explains the core business values of the founder are shared concurrently.


In order to facilitate personal exchanges and formation of strong ties  with local hubs and necessary government agencies,country and state-level meet.


Notable persons in the African and global entrepreneurial ecosystem are brought together with the aim of convening powers for the promotion of African entrepreneurs.


Each selected entrepreneur receives a non-returnable capital of $5,000 and its equivalence in naira is given on the day of selection for the programme for proof of concept.


The alumni network is composed of all Elumelu Entrepreneurs after a successful completion of the 12-week training programme. This enhances sector-based and geographical-based communities.


– Who exactly can apply?

 All citizens and legal residents of any one of the 54 African countries are eligible for the programme and the proposed business must be a registered one.The business must also be operated in Africa.

– Any age restriction for all applicants?

Only a minimum age of 18years is required.No maximum age limit.

3- Any restriction to the types of business/industry?

All profit-oriented business ideas that are the original work of those making submissions are allowed with the exception of value adding companies,research institutions,government contractors,faith based organisations,businesses not in Africa and those that are harmful to the environment.

4- Does the age of my business mean?

Yes. All businesses must be between 0 and 3 years.

5- Is running  multiple businesses allowed?

An applicant must focus on only ONE business. He/She must choose his/her most innovative business idea and any selected entrepreneurs must not engage in future application for the programme,even with another business idea.

6- Am I exempted because my relation/family member works for the TEF?

Yes. Current employees of the Tony Elumelu Foundation and affiliate companies(Heirs Holdings Group and UBA Group) are not qualified for the application.


– How can one apply for the programme?

All applications SHOULD be submitted ONLINE by clicking on the application platform. You must complete an application form by answering few mandatory questions.

After submission,a confirmation email will be received  within 1 working day.

– Can a partnership business apply?

A nominated person from the partnership business may join the programme with the consent of all partners, and must have equal or majority share to participate.

– Is the application available offline?

No. All applications must be completed online.

– What  language is required for the application?

The online application form is available in French,English and Portuguese.

– What is the application deadline?

The  application platform is open from midnight of 1st January, to midnight of 1st March. 

– How many applicants are selected for the programme?

 1,000 vacancies are available annually for the applicants

– Is any fees attached?

No. The application is free of charge.

How does the selection go?

– Selection process  commences from March 1st, by the Tony Elumelu Foundation and an  appointed independent Selection Committee  by the Foundation,considering specified selection criteria.

– All applications will be judged based on the following 5 core criteria;

1-The business idea.

2– Availability of market for the idea/business.

3– Understanding  the basic financial requirements for running the business.

4– Demonstration of potential  growth of their product or service.

5– Demonstration of leadership potential, capability to attract people, customers and resources.

Does it give an added advantage if one is a Nigerian?

No. The Programme is a Pan-African programme that is open to business ideas from all the 54 African countries.

-How will I receive notification if selected ?

The list of qualified and selected entrepreneurs will also be posted on the TEF Website.Also,successful applicants will be sent notification via their email on the 22nd of March.

-What additional information must be supplied should my business be selected?

-Any selected applicant will be expected to:

– fill a self-declaration form,
– provide a valid ID,
– provide a personal bank statement not older than 6 months,
– provide a statement of recent personal debts,
– provide a reference from a bank,an employer and/or academic institutions,
– Provide business bank account details ( it must be a UBA account)

– What leads to an unsuccessful application?

“Since inception we have received over 65,000 applications for the limited spaces on the programme, while we can only accept 1000 entrepreneurs each year. Here are a few possible reasons why your application may not be successful;

– You did not complete the application
– Your business or idea is more than 3 years old
– Your business or idea is not based in Africa
– Your descriptions in one or more sections of the application was not clearly described
– Your application did not meet other eligibility criteria
– You scored low in one or more of the selection criteria,”the director said.

– How will the funds be dispersed?

The funds will be sent directly into the entrepreneur’s business bank account . Personal accounts are not permissible. Your  business account must be opened with UBA if you are from UBA countries.

  • Can I contact  of the Foundation representatives?

– Yes,you can contact them through;

Email: info@tonyelumelufoundation.org and

– Call: +234-1-2774641-5

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