The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) was founded in 2010 by Tony O. Elumelu, CON, an entrepreneur, investor and philanthropist who is passionate about Africa’s economic development. We are the leading philanthropy in Africa championing entrepreneurship and entrepreneurs across the continent.
Our long-term investment in empowering African entrepreneurs is emblematic of Tony Elumelu’s philosophy of Africapitalism, which positions Africa’s private sector, and most importantly entrepreneurs, as the catalyst for the social and economic development of the continent.
In 2015, TEF consolidated its various programmes and initiatives and made investing in Africa’s next generation of entrepreneurs and business leaders a priority. The future of the Tony Elumelu Foundation centers on the provision of structured, robust, and multifaceted support to entrepreneurs around Africa through the Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme.
The vision for the Foundation is to unlock the obstacles that Africa’s entrepreneurs face as they grow their start-ups into small to medium enterprises (SMEs), their SMEs into national growth companies, and their national growth companies into African multinationals.
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 Foundation has set itself apart from grant-making bodies, by operationalising integrated programmes to support entrepreneurship in Africa and by enhancing the competitiveness of the African private sector. We have built a reputation for successfully implementing diverse programmes to achieve this, including:
• Promoting entrepreneurship: Elumelu Professionals’ Programme (EPP), Nigeria 50, Impact Investments, grant to Co-Creation Hub and now the flagship – The Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme;
• Enhancing competitiveness: National Competitiveness Council of Nigeria (NCCN), Blair-Elumelu Fellows Programme;
• Selective grant making: Grants to other bodies pursuing aligned and strategic causes e.g. Tony Blair African Governance Initiative, Kofi Annan Foundation, John Kufor Foundation, One Org, Rothschild Foundation;
• Leadership development: Recognition of excellence through The Tony & Awele Elumelu Prize (TAEP) & The Fellows Programme; and
• Policy development: Research and advocacy through the research arm (formerly the Africapitalism Institute).