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TEF Plans 10th Cohort of Entrepreneurship Programme in Africa

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10th Cohort of the Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme announced; Over 50 business sectors from farming to technology represented; 20,000 entrepreneurs from 54 countries across Africa funded in 10 years – doubling original target.

The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), the leading philanthropy empowering young African entrepreneurs from all 54 African countries, has announced the successful entrepreneurs in its tenth selection for the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme.

This new cohort brings to 20,000, the number of young African entrepreneurs who have received funding, mentoring, and capacity-building support from the Foundation, double the initial commitment. The Tony Elumelu Foundation has disbursed US$100,000,000 directly to young African entrepreneurs, who have created over 400,000 direct and indirect jobs, contributing significantly to Africa’s economic growth and development. 45% of these beneficiaries are women, reiterating the Foundation’s commitment to gender inclusion and equity.

Past entrepreneurs selected across Africa include:

Since inception in 2010, the Tony Elumelu Foundation has pioneered an innovative approach to seeding, capacitising and networking young entrepreneurs across Africa. Drawing directly from Founder Tony Elumelu’s entrepreneurial journey, the Foundation democratises luck, spreads opportunity, in a sector agnostic approach, and has developed a bespoke infrastructure that reaches every country in Africa. The Foundation is driven by our Founder’s philosophy of Africapitalism, which advocates that the private sector, particularly entrepreneurs, must play the pivotal role in Africa’s development.

The robust ability of the Foundation to reach entrepreneurs across geographies and sectors has enabled it to conduct innovative partnerships with the European Union (EU), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the US Government via the United States African Development Foundation (USADF), the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS), the French Development Agency (AFD), the German Development Finance Institution (DEG), the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ), the African Development Bank (AfDB), Sèmè City Development Agency, and Google, with bespoke programmes including targeting female empowerment and growth in fragile states. Building on its existing partnership with Sèmè City Development Agency, the Tony Elumelu Foundation will fund an additional 100 young entrepreneurs from Benin Republic in 2024.

Tony O. Elumelu shared: “As we mark a decade of impact, I am immensely proud of the incredible journey we have embarked on. Our entrepreneurs represent the driving force behind Africa’s economic transformation, and their resilience, determination, and innovation continue to inspire us all. The future of our continent is brighter because of their efforts.”

As part of the Tony Elumelu Foundation’s commitment to support young Africans, the following ongoing opportunities are currently open for applications from young entrepreneurs across Africa on TEFConnect (

  • Women Entrepreneurship For Africa (WE4A), a partnership between the European Union, GIZ and TEF
  • Aguka Entrepreneurship Programme, a partnership between UNDP and TEF in Rwanda

African entrepreneurs are encouraged to apply to these initiatives to receive training, mentorship, access to networks, and funding.

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