Kicking off the partnership between the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to empower 100,000 young African entrepreneurs, the Tony Elumelu Foundation has announced the selection of 5,240 young African entrepreneurs, from over 81,000 applications received from seven Sahel countries, to receive business training in the next stage of the inaugural TEF-UNDP Entrepreneurship Programme.
The Programme received 43% of submissions from rural areas and 57% from urban areas, 30% of submissions from female business owners and 70% from male business owners.
Following the business training, the chosen applicants will participate in a pitching competition organised by the Programme’s partner, the UBA Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the United Bank for Africa, with a final selection of 2,100 applicants to be announced on December 15. The final beneficiaries will join the current 7,531 TEF alumni network, gain access to TEF’s networks, digital platform and receive non-refundable seed capital based on their business needs.
In July, Tony Elumelu Foundation and the United Nations Development Programme announced the TEF-UNDP Entrepreneurship Programme at the African Union (AU) Summit in Niamey, Niger. The partnership will empower 100,000 African entrepreneurs, over a 10-year period, using the Tony Elumelu Foundation’s unique approach of identifying, training, mentoring and funding young African entrepreneurs most likely to create impact.
The first year of the Programme targets Sahel countries, while promoting gender inclusion and post-conflict economic growth, in Nigeria, Niger, Mauritania, Chad, Mali, Burkina Faso and Cameroon. TEF’s empowering approach delivers capacity-building skills, job creation and breaks the cycle of poverty and lack of opportunity, that so often fuels political instability and migration.
The business training will span a four-week period, delivered through TEFConnect, the Foundation’s digital knowledge and networking platform, as well as in select physical locations, targeting specifically microbusiness owners in rural locations.