Here’s what you need to know about The Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme (TEF):
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.
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.
Our milestones outlined below, speak for themselves:
Read more about our impact across Africa here.
The pillars have been designed to address the essential needs to ensure success for an African entrepreneur.
We believe that it is important for the TEF entrepreneurs to build a firm foundation for their businesses through TEF coaching mentorship, as well as the business management training, pitching and business plan review 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.
The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) and the European Union have launched a partnership to identify, train, mentor and fund 2,500 young African women entrepreneurs in 2021. The partnership will disburse €20 million in financial and technical support for women-owned businesses, across all 54 African countries, in addition to providing increased access to market linkages, supply chains and venture capital investments.
This partnership is jointly co-financed by the European Union (EU), the Organisation of African, Caribbean, and Pacific State (OACPS), and the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
This partnership will be implemented under the 2021 TEF Entrepreneurship Programme. Aspiring women entrepreneurs interested in this opportunity should apply to the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme which opens Jan 1 2022.
For more information visit here and here.
The Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme is open to Africans from all 54 African countries with scalable business ideas or a business that has been operational for no more than 5 years.
Applicants must be 18 years of age and above. Interested applicants may register on TEFConnect.net
Applicants must be 18 years of age and above or considered above the age of minors in their country.
Applicants who do not meet the cut off mark during application would not be eligible to apply for the programme. However, training resources on www.tefconnect.net would still be accessible to these applicants.
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. Existing businesses or business ideas must be for profit, and must be the original work of those making the submission.
Yes. All businesses must be business ideas or an early stage company, in the range of 0 to 5 years old.
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 or business idea.
Yes. Current employees or their family members from the Tony Elumelu Foundation and affiliate companies in the Heirs Holdings Group and UBA Group are not eligible to apply for the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme, either individually or as part of a team.
No, existing TEF Beneficiaries cannot re-apply to the programme after receiving seed capital. For non TEF beneficiaries who have applied to the programme unsuccessfully in the past, you are eligible to re-apply.
The Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme is open to Africans from all 54 African countries with scalable business ideas or a business that has been operational for no more than 3 years.
Applicants must be 18 years of age and above. Interested applicants may register on TEFConnect.net.
Click here to view the 2022 TEF application guide.
Application commences in January 1 2022.
A: Kindly note that the Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme is free for all applicants. The Tony Elumelu Foundation does not engage or work with any third parties to facilitate applications or trainings and will not ask for payment for any aspect of the Programme.
Kindly ensure to check your inbox, spam and junk mailboxes for confirmation emails. Be sure to send an email to email@example.com for any further assistance.
If you experience any issues with filling your application, kindly send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with detailed reference either with text, image or video and we will resolve immediately.
We are only able to admit government issued ID and any other ID will render the application void.
Kindly ensure that you are uploading a PDF/JPEG document no more than 1mb in size. If issue persists, kindly send a screenshot of the error message to email@example.com
Kindly use the link below to access our WhatsApp.
Our team is available 24/7 https://bit.ly/3bFp7De
Kindly note that both domains are valid and hosts our current programmes.
Once you have successfully submitted your application, you will receive an email notifying you of your eligibility status for the 2022 TEF Business Management Training Programme.
If you experience any log-in issues, kindly send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with detailed reference to the issue and we will resolve immediately.
Could you explain to us in detail the problems you face when trying to log in?
If you can, please also send us error screenshot.
Yes, we encourage you to reapply to our programme until you are successful. Be sure to visit tefconnect.com for resources that can be helpful to your next application.
Yes, they can.
Members of the same family are not allowed to apply to the Programme, doing so would result in disqualification.
Unfortunately, this is not allowed by the Foundation. Applicants are expected to apply with only one existing business or business idea. Applicants found to have applied multiple times in the same cycle or in different cycles will be disqualified.
A: Kindly follow the link below for a video tutorial on “How To Apply” for the Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme:
ENGLISH: youtu.be/EH556SyKkng FRENCH: youtu.be/JvArDlFLFgk
When filling the application form on TEFConnect platform, you will be required to upload a government registered ID and a passport photograph.
No, you don’t need to have a business website url as this isn’t a criteria for applying to the programme.
Selection of the applicants will take place after applicants successfully completes the TEF Business Management Training Programme.
The programme stages are as follows
Application phase takes place January 1 to March 31 and applicants receive notification of their status immediately they submit their application successfully. Please look out for the email.
If Applicants are offered a place in the Programme, Applicants will be expected to:
Ensure that you review the selection criteria in the next programme cycle and be sure to describe your business plan or idea such that every aspect of the business or idea (i.e. description, market, customer acquisition, financials etc.) is fully covered.
Yes there is a waiting list. If any of the selected 1000 do not claim their places by the set deadline, the next best entrepreneur from the waiting list will be chosen before commencement of the programme cycle.
Yes. We will open the platform for applications on January 1 every year. Each applicant will be required to put in a fresh application. We believe the elapsed time should serve to refresh your interest in your entrepreneurial objectives, and there might be new developments to include in the application.
The seed capital is disbursed at the end of the programme cycle. The disbursement process may last for up to 3 months. The timeline is dependant on the applicant’s compliance with the KYC of the Foundation and their Bank’s, as well as the fund’s transit pace.
The TEF Business Management Training Programme content is called the Start-up enterprise toolkit is a bespoke programme tailored to support young and dynamic entrepreneurs through their business journey with focus on the successful execution of their business plans and ideas.
Our training programme is self-paced for each entrepreneur, allowing the necessary flexibility for participants to attend the training course whilst carrying on their usual activities.
All of the training process takes place strictly on TEFConnect.net portal.
The training phase of the programme will last for twelve (12) weeks. However, some intervention programmes could be modified to last for 4 weeks or 6 weeks.
Kindly note that the Foundation will guide you on how to create a Business plan
TEF Entrepreneurs can access all necessary learning content for their cycle and further learning in the resource library on TEFConnect.net
As part of your onboarding, you will be granted access to a TEF specified digital platform for instant communication and networking purposes.
Kindly send an email to email@example.com telling us in detail about the issue.
Yes, all entrepreneurs are advised to be diligent in completing their tasks and submit within the provided timelines.
This means your skillset are not ready for the challenges of starting a business and as such, you will not be eligible to go onto the training nor receive seed capital funding at this time. However, we encourage you to boost your skillset with our free training toolkit available on TEFConnect and reapply during our next application cycle.
Our system has assessed the answers to the questions you provided and placed you in the appropriate training path.
This means that you will go through the Beginner training modules and you will have access to world class mentors during the programme. Based on your performance through the training programme, you also stand a chance to pitch your business plan to a set of judges for final selection to receive seed capital.
This means that you will go through the Intermediate training modules and you will have access to world class mentors during the programme. Based on your performance through the training programme, you also stand a chance to pitch your business plan to the set of judges for final selection to receive seed capital.
This means that you will go through the Advanced training modules and you will have access to world class mentors during the programme. Based on your performance through the training programme, you also stand a chance to pitch your business in person to the set of judges for final selection to receive seed capital.
This will be subject to formal request by entrepreneur. Kindly note that TEF reserves all rights of decision to reveal or otherwise.
The online resources library is a bespoke compendium of materials, case studies, videos, tasks, templates and interesting articles.
Yes, it is. A business plan is a written document that describes in detail how a business — usually a start-up — defines its objectives and how it is to go about achieving its goals while a Pitch deck is the summary of a business plan.
Kindly ensure to check your inbox, spam and junk mailboxes for link to the business plan template. Be sure to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for any further assistance.
Submission of the Business Plan usually features in the 10th week of the training programme. During the training, clear communication on the timelines of the business plan submission is communicated to trainees and must be adhered to.
Kindly hold off from opening a bank account. Once you become eligible to receive seed capital funding, the entrepreneurship programme team will communicate the next steps to you.
Yes, you can. However, you are advised to send an email to email@example.com stating your reason and a proof or ID that reflects the changes.
As part of our support for all African entrepreneurs this year, we have made available the 12 weeks enterprise toolkit to everyone willing to learn. Kindly note that the training is free and self-paced; you are not required to submit any assignment or business plan and the to-do activities are for your learning and personal archives. Log into TEFConnect.net and click on TEFtraining at the top of the Homepage
Ahead of the training, remain informed and stay connected on our platform www.tefconnect.net
Yes, you can. Kindly send the information with your government registered ID to firstname.lastname@example.org
The funds will be wired directly into the entrepreneur’s business bank account – personal accounts are not permissible. For those in UBA countries, the business account must be opened with UBA.
Yes. The initial seed capital funding is fixed at $5,000.
Seed capital is disbursed to entrepreneurs who have received the training and mentorship and meet certain participatory guidelines and objectives. Register on TEFConnect for more information, www.tefconnect.net
All shortlisted participants are required to open business accounts in your registered business name. We DO NOT pay seed capital into individual or corporate accounts.
The final selected beneficiaries who are from the countries where UBA is present will open business accounts in any UBA branch located in the country WHILE the beneficiaries from countries where UBA is not present will open business accounts with reputable commercial banks recommended by TEF.
Note: Please ensure you open a business account in the African country where you operate your business.
Yes, you can open a business account in any reputable commercial bank recommended by TEF. Please click here to see the list.
If you have a UBA active business account, you do not need to open another. Please ensure the business registration document you upload tallies with the existing UBA business account.
A: Once the bank account opening has been regularized, entrepreneurs can proceed to access the $5000 seed capital.
The due diligence verification template is a template that the foundation will share with all shortlisted participants for the bank where they have opened their corporate accounts to validate all the required documents from the participants.
You will be required to upload all details on TEFConnect.net, while filling in your details, please ensure you DO NOT type words with special characters. We advise that you spell out the words in English.
The final selected beneficiaries from the countries where UBA is present in will be paid in their local currencies at the CBN exchange rate on selection announcement date WHILE the beneficiaries from the countries where UBA is not present will be paid in USD.
All shortlisted participants are required to upload the following on TEFConnect:
Yes, the submission deadline will be communicated to the final selected participants via email. Please note that there will be no extension after the deadline.
You are not allowed to edit after submission. We advise that you carefully check the details you have filled in before you click the submit button. You will liable if there is any error with your bank details information.
Kindly reach out to us via email@example.com for answers to any questions not addressed by our FAQs, and we’ll do our best to help you out.
Yes, you can. Kindly sign into TEFConnect.net as a mentor and update your profile details.
Our mentors are volunteers who do not receive payment for the support they provide. However, we reward their efforts through certificates of achievements and value-add opportunities.
Thank you for your interest in being a mentor. Kindly share your preferred email address and we will reach out to you. You can also join the global TEF Mentor Guild via www.tonyelumelufoundation.org/mentors
A: We are happy to welcome you to join our Mentor Charter if most of these apply to you:
All interested mentors are to:
A: Coaches are individuals who have a minimum of one year business/ professional experience and have met a minimum of 30% of our mentor skills assessment.
They are assigned to guide a specified group of entrepreneurs while they are enrolled in the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme business training, for a period of 12 weeks.
Mentors are individuals who have a minimum of five years of business/ professional experience and have met a minimum of 50% of our mentor skills assessment.
They are assigned to no more than 3 mentees who have met all requirements to successfully complete the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme and are considered TEF Alumni and must commit to mentoring their assigned mentees (TEF Alumni) for 2 hours monthly, over a 12-month period.
A mentor cannot apply as an entrepreneur.
The mentorship programme happens in two phases: during the training phase that takes place every May till July, and after the entrepreneurs successfully meet all requirements to become members of our Alumni network in November of every year and runs for a 12-month period.
The additional resources include:
If you are a TEF mentor, kindly use this email address firstname.lastname@example.org
Kindly send an email to email@example.com
The mentorship programme will run in two phases: simultaneously with the training, and at the end of the training.
Yes. Kindly send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to be part of this group.
For information about your TEF ID, kindly send an email to email@example.com
For information about your certificate, kindly send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
The Foundation does not provide letters of recommendation but can provide letters of introduction which confirm your participation in our Programme. To draft this letter, you will need to send your name, selection year, and the name and address of the organisation to email@example.com
For more information about your seed capital, kindly send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for bringing this to our attention. The Foundation takes all issues seriously and conducts comprehensive investigation in all circumstances. Kindly send a detailed email to email@example.com
Kindly send all TEFConnect complaints to firstname.lastname@example.org with a screenshot/video of the error message attached.
It is a funding opportunity for second stage funding with NIRSAL Microfinance Bank (NMFB). NIRSAL is an initiative of the Central Bank of Nigeria that was created in direct response to lack of access to capital in the SME sector in Nigeria.
Unfortunately, this opportunity is not available at the moment.
For information about the NIRSAL application, kindly send an email to email@example.com
In order to host a meetup with entrepreneurs, we will connect you with Your state Hub Lead. Kindly send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Yes. It is important to note that although all the course material is hosted on the TEFConnect, all assignments are practical (live learning). You can download the content and refer to it offline. You must, however, submit the tasks on the TEFConnect and they must be reviewed by your mentor.
Yes. Start-ups must complete all tasks in the 12-week programme.
Yes. All the topics covered under the Start-Up Enterprise Toolkit will be relevant to helping you improve your knowledge and practical business skills, no matter the industry.
Yes. Each week you will be given tasks to complete which are applicable to the day-to-day running of your business.
Kindly send an email to email@example.com for further guidance.
As a beneficiary on TEFConnect, certain aspects of your TEFConnect profile are limited and accessible only to the selected start-ups, mentors, alumni, the TEF team and selected partner organisations.
The entire programme is hosted on the TEFConnect. Your engagement with your mentor and other entrepreneurs is done on the TEFConnect through one-to-one messaging, forums and live chats. The Start-up Enterprise Toolkit learning programme is also hosted on TEFConnect. You will have access to our curated online resources library of case studies, sample business plans, research documents, video presentations, and you can also communicate with members of the TEF Alumni Network.
Yes. The TEFConnect application platform has a single sign-on functionality and can link with your LinkedIn or Facebook account.
Yes. The TEFConnect is accessible on your smartphones and tablets.
The name, country and profile of each successful applicant will be made available for PR purposes globally. Each individual will be asked to provide a profile and photo once they join the programme.
The TEFConnect is a closed group, accessible only to the selected start-ups, mentors, alumni, the TEF team and selected partner organisations. Only those within this closed community will be able to view your profile and contact you on the TEFConnect.
All information housed on the TEFConnect is considered safe and secure. Intellectual property shared with the Foundation in your application is completely confidential, and only shared amongst the TEF team, designated reviewers and the Selection Committee who have signed confidentiality agreements.
All parties in the programme are held to the highest ethical standards, however, the foundation is not liable for copyright infringement or intellectual property theft among entrepreneurs and mentors. Any individuals found to be in breach of this will be disqualified.
Selected Entrepreneurs and Alumni:
Contact the TEF admin through TEFConnect-Applicants and other enquiries:– Email (firstname.lastname@example.org),– The contact page on the website
All entrepreneurs who have successfully completed the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme and collected their initial seed capital are automatically enrolled as members of the TEF Alumni Network.
As a member of the TEF Alumni Network, you will have continued access to TEFConnect through “alumni” status (not start-up status). This gives you full access to our online resource library, peer to peer engagement, online and offline events notification and continued affiliation with the Foundation.
Applicants are solely responsible for the structure of the business and the team members within it. Once selected to join the programme, entrepreneurs’ businesses cannot be significantly altered or amended.
Selected and confirmed entrepreneurs must be available to commit to the annual programme from May to December in the application year.
Yes. All selected entrepreneurs must attend the TEF Entrepreneurship Forum in order to remain on the programme. Extenuating circumstances may be considered for non-attendance.
Selected entrepreneurs travel to Nigeria for participation in the TEF Entrepreneurship Forum will be covered by the Tony Elumelu Foundation. The Foundation will advise entrepreneurs if this changes.
Mentors who are invited will be required to fund their own travel, unless otherwise agreed.
The Tony Elumelu Foundation will provide an endorsement letter and supporting documentation (copy of flight booking, etc.) to make the process of obtaining a visa as smooth as possible.
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.
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