Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) Entrepreneurship Programme 2021 for African Entrepreneurs [Seed funding of $5,000 in Capital]


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TEF Entrepreneurship Programme 2021 – Do you have a business in any of the African countries? Now is your time to receive the mentoring, training and funding you need to make your business soar. See how to apply for TEF Entrepreneurship Programme 2021 below. TEF Entrepreneurship Programme 2021 deadline is 31st March 2021.


Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme 2021 - Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) Entrepreneurship Programme 2021 for African Entrepreneurs [Seed funding of $5,000 in Capital]
Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Portal

About Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme

The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) has opened its application portal (www.tefconnect.com) for applications from African entrepreneurs across all African countries for its 2021 $100 Million Entrepreneurship Programme.

This year’s intervention prioritises the economic recovery of small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) and young African entrepreneurs, following the Covid-19 disruption to economic activities.

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The Tony Elumelu Foundation, the leading African-funded and founded philanthropy committed to empowering African entrepreneurs, is now accepting applications for the 2021 cohort of the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme.

The Programme is a 10-year, $100 million commitment to identifying, training, mentoring, and funding 10,000 African entrepreneurs. The Programme’s objective is to generate at least 1,000,000 new jobs and create at least $10 billion in new business revenue across Africa. In its 7th year, the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme has empowered over 9,000 entrepreneurs, using a bespoke and robust selection, training and implementation process to create visible and sustainable impact across all 54 African countries.

Outstanding African entrepreneurs running existing start-ups with high growth potential and aspiring business owners with transformative ideas are invited to apply. We are particularly looking to grow representation from French, Arabic and Portuguese speakers, as well as female entrepreneurs.

Inspired by Tony Elumelu’s economic philosophy of Africapitalism and his vision to institutionalise luck and democratise opportunity for a new generation of African entrepreneurs, the Foundation has implemented one of the most ambitious entrepreneurship programmes globally.

This year’s intervention prioritises the economic recovery of small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) and young African entrepreneurs, following the Covid-19 disruption to economic activities.

Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme Eligibility

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Applicants can be outstanding African entrepreneurs running existing start-ups with high growth potential and aspiring business owners with transformative ideas;
  • All businesses must be business ideas or an early-stage company, in the range of 0 to 3 years old.
  • Your application must focus on ONE business only.
  • They are particularly looking to grow representation from French, Arabic and Portuguese speakers, as well as female entrepreneurs.
  • 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.

Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme 2021 Benefits

You could be selected to join our current 9,631 beneficiaries across 54 African countries to receive:

  • Business Training
  • Mentorship
  • $5,000 non-refundable seed capital
  • Global Networking Opportunities

How to Apply for TEF Entrepreneurship Programme 2021

All applications must be submitted ONLINE through the APPLICATION PORTAL. You must complete an application form by answering a series of mandatory questions and uploading additional documents and identification materials. After submission, you will receive a confirmation email of receipt.

Visit TEFCONNECT.COM to begin your application.
• Click on the programme display banner and it will lead you to a landing page 

IF YOU ALREADY HAVE A TEFCONNECT ACCOUNT, FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS BELOW:
• If you already have an account on TEFConnect, enter your registered email and click on “Forgot Password” to reset your password.
• Once you have reset your password, sign in to access the Home Page.
• Click on “PROGRAMMES” at the top of the page. You can also change your language here.
• Click APPLY on the TEF 2021 Programme.
• Go ahead and fill in your Application form for the programme.
• Click SUBMIT.
• Your eligibility status TO CONTINUE OR NOT will be displayed on the screen and sent to your email.
• If you are eligible, look out for the email from the TEF team on the next step, “TRAINING”.
• If you are not eligible, you can take part in the free training on TEFConnect and need to try again at the next programme.

IF YOU DO NOT HAVE A TEFCONNECT ACCOUNT, FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS BELOW:

• Click on REGISTER HERE and fill in your First Name, Last Name, email address and select a password. Tick the box to Accept our Data Collection Clause & Privacy Policy and Click on “Join TEFConnect Now” button
• You will receive an email verification link (sent to your provided email address). Click on the CONFIRM EMAIL button.
• It will lead you back to a landing page to SIGN IN with your selected email and password details.
• Select the profile you would like to be registered as i.e., Entrepreneur, Mentor, or Investor/Partner…… (note to be eligible to apply, you need to be registered as an Entrepreneur)
• Set up your profile on the platform and click on “SAVE & CONTINUE“.
• This action will lead you to the home page. Click on “PROGRAMMES” at the top of the page. You can also change your language here.
• Click APPLY on the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme 2021.
• Go ahead and fill in your Application form for the programme. As earlier stated, the application form has four parts: (1) Personal Information (2) Business Information (3) Cognitive Assessment (4) Declaration…. Note: Ensure that your personal information matches information on your government-approved ID card provided and attach all requested documents (valid identity card and photo headshot),
• Click SUBMIT.
• Your eligibility status TO CONTINUE OR NOT will be displayed on the screen and sent to your email.
• If you are eligible, look out for the email from the TEF team on the next step, “TRAINING”.
• If you are not eligible, you can take part in the free training on TEFConnect and need to try again at the next programme.

Deadline: TEF Entrepreneurship Programme 2021 deadline is 31st March 2021.

Frequently Ask Question on Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) Entrepreneurship Programme

Programme Eligibility

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 5 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?

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.

7- Who is not eligible to participate in the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme?

  • TEF Audit Partners and their Immediate Family Members.
  • Employees of companies affiliated with the Tony Elumelu Foundation who have been involved in the creation or administration of the Programme and their Immediate Family Members.
  • The Promoter’s consultants and agents (and employees and Immediate Family Members of such employees where the consultants and agents are entities) involved in the creation and administration of this programme.
  • Research institutions, faith-based organisations, government agencies and businesses not located in Mali will not be eligible to apply for the programme.
  • Applications by TEF Alumni or their Business Partner.
  • Applications by persons disqualified under any previous TEF programme. 
  • Applications made using methods such as a macro, script, using automated devices or processors or other forms of digital tool to gain an unfair advantage.
  • Incomplete and incorrect applications.
  • Applications which contain illegal or unethical Businesses or Business Ideas. 
Programme Application Process

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 Arabic, French and Portuguese.

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

The 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. 

Applicants who applied for the 2020 TEF Entrepreneurship Programme and have been advised to proceed to the next stage, are kindly requested to review and reconfirm their current submissions via www.tefconnect.com on February 1, 2021.

 The portal will open on http://tefconnect.com for access & review of previous submissions on February 1, 2021 & reconfirmation must occur on or before March 31, 2021. It is mandatory for all 2020 applicants to review & reconfirm their submissions.

 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.

Programme Selection Process

1- How are selected applicants chosen to join the 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?

If Applicants are offered a place in the Programme, Applicants will be expected to:

  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?

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.

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

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.

9-If not selected, can I reapply in another 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.

If you have any question about TEF Entrepreneurship Programme 2021 kindly use the comment box below. Do not worry we will respond.

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