Tony ELumelu Foundation (TEF) Entrepreneurship Programme

One of the opportunities I can’t wait to share with my followers is the Tony ELumelu Foundation (TEF) Entrepreneurship Programme.

Established in 2010, the Tony ELumelu Foundation (TEF) is the leading 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. 

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.

The foundation promised to continue giving support to 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 a network, facilitating meaningful conversations and mentor relationships to further assist tomorrow’s business leaders and build an impactful pan-African entrepreneurial ecosystem.


The Tony Elumelu Foundation believes that the private sector holds the key to unlocking Africa’s economic potential.

  • The empowerment of entrepreneurs through capacity development, seed capital, mentoring and networking.
  • The promotion of thought leadership on entrepreneurship through advocacy and vidence-based research as a guide for policymakers across African governments.
  • The creation of an integrated entrepreneurial ecosystem that promotes African entrepreneurship.

 The 7 pillars of the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme


A 12-week programme to equip startups with basic skills required to launch and run their businesses at early growth stage. It covers several topics including starting and scaling a business, business development, marketing strategy, effective management, product design etc.


Our model provides a credible technology-enabled platform for access to world-class mentors from across Africa and internationally. The mentors have faced similar challenges and are able to steer our startups on a successful path.


A bespoke compendium of materials, case studies, videos, tasks, templates and interesting articles. This includes the 12-week series on the TOE Way, shared concurrently. It expounds the core business values of the Founder, with an aim to building the right character in the entrepreneurs.


Country and state-level meet ups to ignite the entrepreneurial fire and promote close interaction within the programme. These selections facilitate personal exchanges, formation of strong ties with one another and with local hubs and key government agencies.


A dedicated world-class annual Forum that brings together key persons in the African and global entrepreneurial eco-system with an aim to leverage our convening powers to promote African entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship; and to connect with local and regional decision makers.


Each entrepreneur receives a non-returnable seed capital of $5,000. The seed capital is calculated on the official Central Bank of Nigeria naira equivalent value at the date of selection for the programme. The aim is to support early growth, proof-of-concept and/or enhance their business operation. This seed capital is tied to clear milestones in a well-articulated and relevant business plan.


The alumni network comprises all Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurs, following the successful completion of the 12-week training programme. The online and offline network promotes sector-based and geography-based communities, collaboration across Africa as well as a healthy competition.

There is one thing I love about this programme, the application commence on the 1st of January every year, getting a serious entrepreneur looking forward for that day not to merry but to commence the process towards a programme that will make a change personally and to the Africa as a whole.

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