Since its inception in 2015, the Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme (TEF2024) has supported over 10,000 entrepreneurs across 54 African countries, providing not just seed funding but also invaluable training, mentorship, and networking opportunities for small businesses or startup ideas.
The program offers customized training to tackle practical, real-world entrepreneurship challenges. To be eligible, businesses must be registered and operate in Africa, be between 0 to 5 years old, and focus on one business only.
This year, the application window is open until March 1, 2024, with a straightforward process. Despite the opportunities, doing business in Africa comes with its risks, such as navigating a complex regulatory environment, dealing with infrastructure challenges, and managing market volatility. TEF2024 is designed to support entrepreneurs who can thrive amidst these challenges.
Who can apply?
- TEF2024 is open to all entrepreneurs across Africa, the program targets early-stage ventures that show promise. You should be an African citizen or legal resident with a business that's been operational for at least a year.
Who can’t apply?
- The program excludes research institutions, faith-based organizations, pure trading companies, non-profits, and those without original business ideas.
How to apply for TEEP2024
Step 1: Visit the official website.
- Start at tefconnect.net. Familiarise yourself with the program's objectives and requirements.
Step 2: Sign Up or Log In
- New users should register for an account using a valid email while returning users can log into existing accounts.
For new users, you'll need to authenticate your email as part of the sign-up process. After this, set your preferred language and select your profile type – whether as an entrepreneur or a mentor. The application is offered in various languages to ensure broader accessibility.
Step 3: Application Process
Click on "Start Application"
The application process for the TEF2024 Programme is divided into four stages, starting with Stage 1, where the applicant provides their personal information. Stage 2 focuses on the business information, followed by Stage 3, a personality test. The process concludes with Stage 4, the declaration stage.
Step 4: Fill out the required fields and upload documents
- Complete the application form and upload the necessary documents, including a business plan and a one-minute video pitch.
Tips for a stronger application
- Be clear and concise in describing your business idea.
- Build a compelling case for your business value.
- Highlight the market opportunity and revenue model.
- Emphasize job creation and fund utilization plans.
- Prepare a concise business plan, financial projections, proof of business registration, founders’ resumes, and a video pitch.
Key Dates and Deadlines
- Application Opens: January 1, 2024.
- Deadline: March 1, 2024.
- Announcement of Successful Applicants: Around June/July.
- Training and Mentorship: From July to December.
You can save and resume your application anytime before March 1, 2024 deadline. If you have an already existing business, you must upload some documents to prove it, such as your valid government-issued ID, business registration certificate, evidence of ownership, evidence of directors, and partner consent.
Don't worry if you're just at the idea stage. All you need to apply is your ID and your partner's consent. All applications hitting the TEF score threshold will be reviewed by a third party, and let you know if you made it or not.
With these guidelines, you're well-equipped to navigate the TEF2024 application process successfully. Remember, the Tony Elumelu Foundation is looking for driven individuals ready to make a significant impact. Could that be you?