Data Privacy & Protection Policy Notice

In the first year OF TEF, we spent more than $8 million of our $100 million commitment – and the results are better than we imagined. Here’s what you need to know about The Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme:

About The Programme

1- What is the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme?

Established in 2010, The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) is an African private-sector-led philanthropy in Africa championing entrepreneurship and entrepreneurs across the continent. The Foundation’s 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. The Foundation’s flagship initiative, the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme, is a 10-year, $100 million commitment to identify, train mentor and fund 10,000 entrepreneurs, capable of changing the face of business across Africa. 

Nos étapes décrites ci-dessous parlent d’elles-mêmes :

  • 1- We have provided training, mentoring and funding to 9,172 African start-ups from 54 African countries, selected from over 300,000 applications.
  • 2- We have staged the largest gathering of African entrepreneurs in Lagos, Nigeria.
  • 3- We have travelled across Africa with Founder, Tony Elumelu, introducing the TEF entrepreneurs to their political leaders at the highest levels of government, to bring these entrepreneurs and their challenges to the attention of policymakers who can effect changes that will improve the enabling environment, for not just TEF entrepreneurs but for all entrepreneurs in the respective countries.
  • 4- We have facilitated TEF entrepreneurs with setting up Alumni Country Chapters and Networks across the 54 African countries.
  • 5- The Foundation has leveraged its access to unique data, to produce original reports to support advocacy agenda to improve the ecosystem for African entrepreneurs: Unleashing Africa’s Entrepreneurs: Improving the Enabling Environment for Start-ups; Africans Investing in Africa, collaborated with University of Edinburgh to produce a report on Africapitalism and a Teaching Case Study is being developed by the Bertha Centre, University of Cape Town on the Foundation and its programme.
  • 6- TEF is the founding member of SPARK, launched by President Obama in May 2015 at the White House to promote global entrepreneurship and presented TEF at global entrepreneurship forums: MassChallenge UK launch Feb; Global Entrepreneurship Congress Milan, March; Oxford University African Business Conference, Cambridge African Entrepreneurship Conference; to name a few.
  • 7- The Founder led a successful outing for TEF at the World Economic Forum, in Davos, Switzerland and the World Economic Forum, Africa in Kigali, Rwanda.
  • 8- The Foundation has signed several strategic partnerships including: an MOU with the Nigerian Ministry for Information and Culture to invigorate the Nigerian Creative Industries; ECOWAS; International Trade Centre; Africa Development Bank, Microsoft to name but a few.
  • 9- We have built Africa’s largest online platform the TEFConnect, which is the go-to destination for African entrepreneurs.
  1. 2- What are the 7 pillars of TEF ENTREPRENEURSHIP PROGRAMME?
  1. Mentorat
  2. Start-up Enterprise Toolkit
  3. Online Resources
  4. Meetups
  5. Elumelu Entrepreneurship Forum
  6. Seed Capital Funding
  7. TEF Entrepreneurship Programme Alumni Network

Les piliers ont été conçus pour répondre aux besoins essentiels pour assurer le succès d’un entrepreneur africain.

  1. 3- Why does funding not come first?

We believe that it is important for the TEF entrepreneurs to build a firm foundation for their businesses through mentorship, as well as the learning and networking tools provided by the Foundation. That way, when we do give them funding, they will be able to use the tools they have learned to put it to better use and maximise the benefits for their business.

Admissibilité au programme

1- Who can apply?

The programme is open to all citizens and legal residents of any one of the 54 African countries. The proposed business must be registered and operate in Africa.

2- Is there an age restriction for applicants?

Yes. Applicants must be 18 years old and must not be considered a minor in their country of residence.  There is no upper-limit age restriction.

3- Is there a restriction on the types of business/industry?

Yes. The programme is not open to research institutions, faith based organisations, value adding trading companies, government contractors and businesses not located in Africa.  Businesses must not adversely affect the environment, lives and property. Business ideas must be for profit, and must be the original work of those making the submission.

4- Is there a restriction on the age of my business?

Yes. All businesses must be business ideas or an early stage company, in the range of 0 to 3 years old.

5- What if I run multiple early-stage businesses?

Your application must focus on ONE business only.  We advise choosing your best, most feasible/innovative business idea.  Selected entrepreneurs are not permitted to apply for future cohorts of the programme, even with a different business idea or name.

6- Will my start-up be excluded if I have a relation/family member who works for the TEF?

Oui. Les employés actuels ou les membres de leur famille de la Fondation Tony Elumelu et des sociétés affiliées du groupe Heirs Holdings et du groupe UBA ne sont pas éligibles pour postuler au programme d'entrepreneuriat TEF, que ce soit individuellement ou en équipe.

Processus de demande de programme

1- How do I apply for the programme?

All applications must be submitted ONLINE through the application platform of the TEFConnect . You must complete an application form by answering a series of mandatory questions.

After submission, you will receive a confirmation email of receipt within 1 working day.

 2- What if my company is a partnership?

Only one nominated person from the business or the partnership may join the programme. You must have consent from all partners, and have and equal or majority share to participate.

 3- Can I apply offline?

No. All applications must be submitted online through the TEFConnect only.

 4- What if English is not my first language?

The application form is in English, French and Portuguese.

 5- What are the important dates and deadlines that I need to be aware of for the application?

Le TEFConnect application platform is open from midnight on 1st January, to midnight on 31st March. It will not be possible to submit any applications prior to or after these dates.

 6- What information/identification do I need to provide in my application?

You must answer all the mandatory questions in the application form, and provide accurate and up-to-date information.

 7- How many applicants will be chosen to join the programme?

There are 1,000 places available annually for the applications that are reviewed by Accenture and ultimately selected by the Selection Committee for a placement in the programme

8- Are there application/associated fees?

No. The Tony Elumelu Foundation does not charge any applicants a fee for applying to the programme.

Processus de sélection des programmes

1- Comment les candidats sélectionnés sont-ils choisis pour rejoindre le programme ?

Selection of the applicants will take place from the close of the Application on March 31st, by the Tony Elumelu Foundation and an independent Selection Committee appointed by the Foundation, against the specified selection criteria.

 2- By what criteria are the applicants to be judged?

All applications will be judged on 5 core criteria, which are:

-Feasibility of the business idea.

– Market Opportunity: knowledge and understanding of the market, customers and competitors for their idea/business.

– Financial Understanding: understanding of the basic financial requirements of running a business, costs and revenues.

– Scalability: Demonstrates potential for replication and growth of their product or service to create jobs and wealth.

– Leadership Potential and Entrepreneurial Skills: Demonstrate leadership potential, capable of attracting people, customers and resources.

 3-The Tony Elumelu Foundation itself is located in Nigeria, does this give preference to Nigerian entrepreneurs?

No. The TEF Entrepreneurship Programme is a Pan-African programme and open to business ideas from all the 54 African countries from which we will select the best business ideas for the programme.

4-If my start-up is selected to join the programme, when and how will I be informed?

Successful applicants will be notified on the 15th of April, via the email address designated in the initial application.  The list of selected entrepreneurs will also be posted on the TEF Website.

 5-What additional information must I supply once my business is selected?

Si les candidats se voient proposer une place dans le programme, ils devront :

  1. – complete a self-declaration form,
  2. – provide proof of valid ID,
  3. – provide a personal bank statement from the past 6 months,
  4. – provide a statement of current personal debts,
  5. – provide a reference from an employer, bank and/or academic institutions;
  6. – Provide business bank account details (For UBA present countries, it must be a UBA account)


6- Why was my application unsuccessful?

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 was not 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.

7- How can I improve my chances next year?

Assurez-vous de revoir les critères de sélection lors du prochain cycle du programme et assurez-vous de décrire votre plan d'affaires ou votre idée de manière à ce que chaque aspect de l'entreprise ou de l'idée (c'est-à-dire la description, le marché, l'acquisition de clients, les finances, etc.) soit entièrement couvert. 

  1. 8- Is there a waiting list for Applicants who could join the programme?

Oui, il y a une liste d'attente. Si l'un des 1 000 sélectionnés ne réclame pas sa place dans le délai fixé, le prochain meilleur entrepreneur sur la liste d'attente sera choisi avant le début du cycle du programme.

 9-If not selected, can I reapply in another programme cycle?

Oui. Nous ouvrirons la plateforme de candidature le 1er janvier de chaque année. Chaque candidat devra déposer une nouvelle candidature. Nous pensons que le temps écoulé devrait servir à rafraîchir votre intérêt pour vos objectifs entrepreneuriaux, et il pourrait y avoir de nouveaux développements à inclure dans la candidature.



  1. The TEF Entrepreneurship Programme Mentors are highly experienced professionals, business frontrunners and entrepreneurs with vast knowledge and excellence in their fields, who want to help the next generation of African entrepreneurs. 
    1. 2- How do I become a TEF ENTREPRENEURSHIP PROGRAMME mentor/how can I volunteer my services as an experienced entrepreneur?

    Experienced entrepreneurs and business leaders who want to volunteer as TEF Entrepreneurship Programme mentors, can apply ici.

    1. 3- When do I get a mentor?

    All successful applicants will be matched with a mentor from the start of the programme 1st May until the end of the year/cycle.

    1. 4- Can I choose my own mentor/mentee?

    No. Mentors will be assigned to each start-up by the TEF team. Mentors will be assigned based on compatibility criteria such as business/industry experience and country. 

    1. 5- Will the mentorship relationship be one-to-one?

    Each start-up mentee will have one assigned mentor, although each mentor may have more than one start-up to work with. Mentors will be expected to have a minimum number of contact hours with each start-up mentee. 

    1. 6- What is the mentor’s role in my business?

    The mentor’s role is to use their vast business knowledge and experience help you succeed in completing the 12-week start-up enterprise toolkit programme, tackle real-life business obstacles and help you to improve your business along the way.

    1. 7-Do I have the same mentor for the entire programme?

    Yes. But you will also be able to engage with other entrepreneurs, alumni and mentors on the TEFConnect.

    1. 8-Can I retain the mentorship relationship outside and beyond the programme?

    The majority of the mentoring engagement will occur on the TEFConnect. However, if relating externally is in the best interest of your business, it can be coordinated between yourself and your mentor.


1- How can my business qualify for funding?

Upon completion of the 12-week Start-up Enterprise Toolkit (learning) programme, certification of submitted business plan, provision of required documentation, business bank account, among other requirements, entrepreneurs will qualify for the first stage non-refundable seed capital of $5,000 (terms and conditions apply).

2- What funding options are available?

Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurs who successfully complete the programme by meeting stipulated requirements and deadlines will be eligible for funding. There are two stages of funding available to entrepreneurs:

First stage seed capital funding of $5,000 (based on the official Central Bank of Nigeria exchange rate)– a non-returnable investment.  Please see Terms and Conditions for clarification.
Second stage capital returnable investment – entrepreneurs will apply and be considered for this based on the viability of their business.

3- Is the initial seed capital amount a fixed sum?

Oui. Le financement initial en capital d'amorçage est fixé à $5 000.

4- How will the funds be dispersed?

Les fonds seront virés directement sur le compte bancaire professionnel de l'entrepreneur – les comptes personnels ne sont pas autorisés. Pour ceux qui résident dans les pays UBA, le compte professionnel doit être ouvert auprès de UBA.


1- Can I complete the Start-up Enterprise Toolkit courses offline?

Oui. Il est important de noter que bien que tout le matériel de cours soit hébergé sur TEFConnect, tous les devoirs sont pratiques (apprentissage en direct). Vous pouvez télécharger le contenu et vous y référer hors ligne. Vous devez cependant soumettre les tâches sur le TEFConnect et elles doivent être révisées par votre mentor.

  1. 2- Are all the courses/tasks in the Start-Up Enterprise Toolkit compulsory?

Oui. Les start-ups doivent accomplir toutes les tâches du programme de 12 semaines.

  1. 3- Will the Start-Up Enterprise Toolkit be relevant to my business model?

Oui. Tous les sujets abordés dans le Start-Up Enterprise Toolkit seront pertinents pour vous aider à améliorer vos connaissances et vos compétences pratiques en affaires, quel que soit le secteur.

 4- Will the Start-Up Enterprise Toolkit be suited to my schedule?

Oui. Chaque semaine, des tâches à accomplir vous seront confiées qui sont applicables à la gestion quotidienne de votre entreprise.


1- How do I get access to the Mentoring and Learning platform of the TEF Connect?

  1. En tant que bénéficiaire sur TEFConnect, certains aspects de votre profil TEFConnect sont limités et accessibles uniquement aux start-ups, mentors, anciens élèves sélectionnés, à l'équipe TEF et aux organisations partenaires sélectionnées.

    1. 2- What can I do on the TEFConnect?

    L'ensemble du programme est hébergé sur TEFConnect. Votre engagement avec votre mentor et d'autres entrepreneurs se fait sur TEFConnect via des messages individuels, des forums et des chats en direct. Le programme d’apprentissage Start-up Enterprise Toolkit est également hébergé sur TEFConnect. Vous aurez accès à notre bibliothèque de ressources en ligne composée d'études de cas, d'exemples de plans d'affaires, de documents de recherche, de présentations vidéo, et vous pourrez également communiquer avec les membres du réseau des anciens élèves du TEF. 

    1. 3- Can I sign in with my social media accounts?

    Oui. La plateforme d'application TEFConnect dispose d'une fonctionnalité d'authentification unique et peut être liée à votre compte LinkedIn ou Facebook. 

    1. 4- Is the TEFConnect mobile-friendly?

    Oui. Le TEFConnect est accessible sur vos smartphones et tablettes.


1- How will my personal information be used?

Le nom, le pays et le profil de chaque candidat retenu seront mis à disposition à des fins de relations publiques dans le monde entier. Chaque personne sera invitée à fournir un profil et une photo une fois qu'elle aura rejoint le programme.

2- Who can access/view my profile on the TEFConnect?

Le TEFConnect est un groupe fermé, accessible uniquement aux start-ups, mentors, alumni sélectionnés, à l'équipe TEF et aux organisations partenaires sélectionnées. Seules les personnes appartenant à cette communauté fermée pourront consulter votre profil et vous contacter sur le TEFConnect.

3- Will my business’ Intellectual Property be protected?

Toutes les informations hébergées sur TEFConnect sont considérées comme sûres et sécurisées. La propriété intellectuelle partagée avec la Fondation dans votre candidature est totalement confidentielle et partagée uniquement entre l'équipe TEF, les évaluateurs désignés et le comité de sélection qui ont signé des accords de confidentialité.

Toutes les parties au programme sont tenues de respecter les normes éthiques les plus élevées. Cependant, la fondation n'est pas responsable de la violation du droit d'auteur ou du vol de propriété intellectuelle parmi les entrepreneurs et les mentors. Toute personne en infraction sera disqualifiée.


1- How can I contact representatives of the Foundation?

Entrepreneurs et anciens élèves sélectionnés :

Contactez l'administrateur du TEF via TEFConnect
-Candidats et autres demandes :

  • – La page contact du site internet


  1. 2-How do I stay connected to the Foundation even after I have concluded the programme?

Tous les entrepreneurs qui ont terminé avec succès le programme d'entrepreneuriat TEF et collecté leur capital d'amorçage initial sont automatiquement inscrits en tant que membres du réseau des anciens TEF.

  1. 3- What are the benefits of the TEF Alumni Network?

En tant que membre du réseau TEF Alumni, vous aurez un accès continu à TEFConnect via le statut « ancien » (et non le statut de start-up). Cela vous donne un accès complet à notre bibliothèque de ressources en ligne, à l'engagement entre pairs, aux notifications d'événements en ligne et hors ligne et à une affiliation continue à la Fondation.

  1. 4- What happens if there are changes to my business model during the programme?

Les candidats sont seuls responsables de la structure de l’entreprise et des membres de l’équipe qui la composent. Une fois sélectionnées pour rejoindre le programme, les entreprises des entrepreneurs ne peuvent pas être modifiées ou amendées de manière significative.

 5- How much time must I dedicate to the programme?

Les entrepreneurs sélectionnés et confirmés doivent être disponibles pour s'engager dans le programme annuel de mai à décembre de l'année de candidature.

 6- Is attendance at the TEF Entrepreneurship Forum mandatory?

Oui. Tous les entrepreneurs sélectionnés doivent assister au TEF Entrepreneurship Forum afin de rester dans le programme. Des circonstances atténuantes pourront être envisagées en cas de non-présentation.


  1. Will I need to fund my travel expenses to attend the TEF Entrepreneurship Forum?

Les entrepreneurs sélectionnés se rendront au Nigeria pour participer au TEF Entrepreneurship Forum et seront financés par la Fondation Tony Elumelu. La Fondation informera les entrepreneurs si cela change.

Les mentors invités devront financer leur propre voyage, sauf accord contraire.


  1. What if I require a visa to enter Nigeria for the TEF Entrepreneurship Forum?

La Fondation Tony Elumelu fournira une lettre d'approbation et des pièces justificatives (copie de la réservation de vol, etc.) pour faciliter au maximum le processus d'obtention d'un visa.

No reimbursement is possible for visa costs, and you are solely responsible for applying for and securing an adequate visa for your travel. Please see Terms and Conditions

rester informé

Restez informé sur nos entrepreneurs, nos événements, nos recherches et plus encore.


Nous avons modifié notre politique de confidentialité afin de mieux protéger vos données personnelles ! Veuillez lire et comprendre notre politique de confidentialité mise à jour. Politique de confidentialité

J'accepte la politique de confidentialité mise à jour. Je comprends que l'utilisation de mes données personnelles par la Fondation Tony Elumelu sera conforme à la politique de confidentialité mise à jour.