By: Fred Yaw Sarpong- Daily Express
The Tony Elumelu Foundation has announced the second round of Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme (TEEP) which opens from 1st January 2016 and ends of 1st March 2016.
The Foundation will start receiving applications from January 1, 2016 to March 1, 2016. TEEP programme expected to award US$100 million to emerging African entrepreneurs during the second phase of the awards.
To be eligible, entrepreneurs must complete the online application form with questions on their background, experience and business idea, plans for growth and proposed pan-African impact.
Tony Elumelu entrepreneur, Stella Nakatudde, the founder of an ICT company called Ella Solutions Limited, which based in Uganda said “since being selected for TEEP 2015, I have learned invaluable life and business lessons, expanded and enriched my business network, opened our first office, hired two staff and closed two web development deals. TEEP is not just a means to start or propel your business, it is the torch that will light your entrepreneurship journey for life and the pen that will script your story in the new African Narrative”.
U.S Secretary of Commerce, Honorable Penny Pritzker commented “I am pleased to see Tony Elumelu investing in entrepreneurs through The Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme across Africa to work towards fostering communities of innovation”.
“I set out to institutionalise luck with the Foundation and give back to the continent that made me who i am today”, said Tony O. Elumelu, the founder who established the Tony Elumelu Foundation in 2010.
“Entrepreneurship can chart a new course of development for Africa with Africans taking responsibility for wealth creation, creating value adding businesses here in Africa and this is why I encourage applications from across the continent, regardless of age, gender, religion or colour,” he told journalists in Accra during UBA Ghana 10th Anniversary.
Daily Express told that TEEP is driven by Elumelu’s philosophy of Africapitalism, which calls for the African private sector to focus on long term investments that create social and economic prosperity in Africa, and take the lead role in Africa’s transformation.
Tony Elumelu Foundation CEO Parminder Vir OBE stated “Africa does not need aid alone, it needs investment and it needs entrepreneurs. TEEP brings both and our ability to bring capital and the necessary support, for those who will help Africa harness its enormous potential is creating extraordinary opportunities across the continent.”
In 2015, TEEP empowered 1,000 African entrepreneurs, selected from over 20,000 applicants from the continent. As part of the package, the entrepreneurs were taken through start-up investment programme, active mentoring, business training, an entrepreneurship boot camp and regional networking across Africa.
The entrepreneurs, with an average age ranging between 21 and 40 from 51 African countries completed the programme and received US$5,000 each as seed capital for their start-up businesses.
Daily Express gathered that the Foundation invested a total of US$4,860,000 including US$1,405,000 in agriculture; US$410,000 in education and training; and US$365,000 in manufacturing.
In addition to directly supporting African entrepreneurs with “empowerment capital”, the Tony Elumelu Foundation uses data gathered to conduct research and advocate for policy improvements to support countries, companies, groups, individuals and among others.
Earlier this year, the Foundation released a report titled “Unleashing Africa’s Entrepreneurs: Improving the Enabling Environment for Start-ups”, which includes insights based on the most comprehensive and diverse data set on African entrepreneurs ever compiled.
The Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme is open to citizens and legal residents of all 54 African countries. Further guidance and application procedures can be found on the online portal: http://TonyElumelufoundation.org/TEEP. Applications are reviewed by an Advisory Board of distinguished African entrepreneurs.