The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TFN) has shortlisted 1000 inaugural African entrepreneurs for the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme (TEEP).

The selected entrepreneurs will continue through the programme cycle for the next nine months, with intensive online curriculum, mentoring and participation in a two-day entrepreneurship boot camp and Elumelu entrepreneurship forum.

Mr Tony O. Elumelu, CON, sheds more light about the objectives and desired impact of the programme: “The selection of these 1000 entrepreneurs brings us closer to our ultimate goal – to drive Africa’s economic and social transformation from within and to radically intensify job creation in Africa.  Though I have never met or spoken to any of the winners, I am confident that due to the rigorous criteria and selection process, these entrepreneurs are Africa’s hope for the future.  I will continue to invest my experience, time, influence, and resources to see them succeed.  I am embarking on this journey with these entrepreneurs hopeful and inspired”.

The remaining entrepreneurs (19,000 plus) who weren’t selected will be requested to join the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Network, which will give them a nesting ground to further refine their entrepreneurial knowledge and skills.

“The high quantity and quality of applicants we have received is testament to the brilliant ideas and incredible talent that exists in abundance across Africa. The Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme will give structure and support to these African entrepreneurs to develop themselves and to grow their businesses. Through TEEP, the ripple effects of the long-term investments in a new generation of Africapitalists will be felt throughout the continent,” Parminder Vir OBE, Director of Entrepreneurship at the Tony Elumelu Foundation added further.

Five countries came tops in terms of the numbers of winners, these are: Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, South Africa and Ghana, representing all the five African regions (North, East, Southern, Central and West Africa).

TEEP is a $100 million initiative to discover and support 10,000 African entrepreneurs over the next ten years, with a view of creating a million jobs and $10 billion revenues –additionally. Out of the 20,000 African Entrepreneurs that applied from 52 countries across Africa, an initial 1000 group of entrepreneurs have been selected for the 2015 class.

This is a very laudable project setting Africa on the path to the much needed rejuvenation and complete comeback, hopefully, we would see more of such initiatives soonest.

What are you waiting for, check the list to see if you have been shortlisted for the programme.

Olumuyiwa Coker Author

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