• Business - Entrepreneurship
  • Updated: January 02, 2021

How To Apply For 2021 Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme In Simple Steps

How To Apply For 2021 Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneursh

Tony Elumelu Foundation open applications for the 2021 TEF Entrepreneurship Programme on January 1, 2021 (Photo: Nairametrics)

Africa’s leading philanthropy, the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), has begun accepting applications for the 2021 cohort of the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme.

AllNews reports that Ifeyinwa Ugochukwu, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of TEF, told journalists on Friday that at least 2,400 entrepreneurs will be selected to receive business training, mentorship, non-refundable seed capital of $5,000.

The programme is open to new start-ups and existing young businesses, operating in any sector.

“As you all know, the TEF was founded in 2010, and in 2015, our founder, Mr Tony Elumelu, launched a 100 million dollars commitment to identify, train, mentor and fund 10,000 African entrepreneurs across all 54 African countries, over 10 years,” Ugochukwu said.

“So, 2021 marks the seventh edition of the TEF entrepreneurship programme.”

According to the Ugochukwu, over 9,000 entrepreneurs from 54 African countries have been assisted through the programme.

Furthermore, the foundation stated that 1,000 African entrepreneurs, selected from the 2020 cohort will benefit from the programme.

She said the 2021 entrepreneurship programme is focused on the economic recovery of small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) and entrepreneurs, following the difficulties of the Coronavirus outbreak.

Explaining the modality for application, Ugochukwu said: “Previously when you apply for the TEF entrepreneurship programme, once you apply, you put in your business plan within the application and those selected will be trained and funded”.

“But, this year, just as we did last year, we want to train a lot more than we would fund, primarily because the feedback we have got from our entrepreneurs is that trainings been critical to the success of their businesses.”

The CEO also explained that PricewaterhouseCoopers, in conjunction with TEF, had completed an impact assessment report which would be released in the Q1 to mark its 10th year anniversary.

She also disclosed that the foundation had partnered with the European Union (EU) to fund and train additional 2,400 women on a TEF Entrepreneurship program for 2021.

The application window closes on March 31, 2021.

READ ALSO: New World Order: Tony Elumelu Explains Why Africa Must Be Productive Amidst Coronavirus

Prospective applicants are expected to apply on the digital networking hub for African entrepreneurs, www.tefconnect.com.

Why Apply For Tony Elumelu Foundation?

A successful applicant stands to gain the following from the Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme:

1. Professional training – the applicants get weeks of online training

2. Mentoring

3. Funding –At the first instance, the participants are handed $5000 (paid at the present Naira exchange rate) to prove their concept.

4. Network – you will receive exclusive access to the Tony Elumelu Foundation’s network across the world.

How do I apply for the Tony Elumelu Foundation programme?

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.

Can I apply offline?

No. All Applications must be submitted online through the application portal.

How is the Programme Selection Process?

  1. 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.

  1. 2- By what criteria are the applicants to be judged?

All applications will be judged on 5 core criteria, which are:

  1. – Feasibility of the business idea.
  2. – Market Opportunity: Knowledge and understanding of the market, customers and competitors for their idea/business.
  3. – Financial Understanding: Understanding of the basic financial requirements of running a business, costs and revenues.
  4. – Scalability: Demonstrates potential for replication and growth of their product or service to create jobs and wealth.
  5. – Leadership Potential and Entrepreneurial Skills: Demonstrate leadership potential, capable of attracting people, customers and resources.
  1.  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 they will select the best business ideas for the programme.

  1. 4- If my start-up is selected to join the programme, when and how will I be informed?

Successful applicants will be notified 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:

–complete a self-declaration form,

-provide proof of valid ID,

-provide a personal bank statement from the past 6 months,

  1. -provide a statement of current personal debts.
  2. -provide a reference from an employer, bank and/or academic institutions;
  3. -Provide business bank account details (For UBA present countries, it must be a UBA account)


  1. 6- Why was my application unsuccessful?

Since inception, the Tony Elumelu Foundation has received well over 70, 000 applications for the limited spaces on the programme, while they can only accept 1000 entrepreneurs each year (although at least 2,400 entrepreneurs will be taken in this year, 2021). 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.


  1. 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 persons 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.


  1. 9- If not selected, can I reapply in another programme cycle?

Yes.  The Tony Elumelu Foundation opens the platform for applications on January 1 every year. Each applicant will be required to put in a fresh application. They believe the elapsed time should serve to refresh interested applicant's interest in his/her entrepreneurial objectives, and there might be new developments to include in the application.

What if English is not my first language?

The application portal will have functionality in English, French and Portuguese.

What information/identification do I need to provide in my application?

You must answer all the mandatory questions in the application form.

How many applicants will be chosen to join the programme?

There are 1,000 places available annually for the applications that are selected by the Selection Committee for a placement in the programme.

However, AllNews understands that Ifeyinwa Ugochukwu, the CEO of TEF, told journalists on Friday that at least 2,400 entrepreneurs will be selected this year to receive business training, mentorship, non-refundable seed capital of $5,000.

Are there application/associated fees?

No. The Tony Elumelu Foundation does not charge any applicants a fee for applying to the programme.

Related Topics

Join our Telegram platform to get news update Join Now
Ridwan Yusuf
Ridwan Yusuf

Ridwan is a trained Communicator who provides professional coverage of general news and sports. ...

More From this Author

0 Comment(s)


See this post in...