About TEF

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Founded in 2010 by Tony O. Elumelu CON, the Tony Elumelu Foundation is a foremost African philanthropic organisation.  The Tony Elumelu Foundation believes that the private sector holds the key to unlocking Africa’s economic potential.  To that end, its mission is to catalyse economic and social development in Africa through entrepreneurship, focusing on three areas:


  1. The empowerment of entrepreneurs through capacity development, seed capital mentoring and networking
  2. The promotion of thought leadership on entrepreneurship through advocacy and evidence-based research as a guide for policymakers across African governments
  3. The creation of an integrated entrepreneurial ecosystem that promotes African entrepreneurship.

The Foundation’s main philosophy is based on the Founder’s legacy to empower a generation of successful for-profit entrepreneurs who drive Africa’s economic and social transformation.

The guiding principles are derived from an inclusive economic philosophy of Africapitalism, which states that long-term, dynamic African-led private sector investment in key sectors of the continent’s economy will drive economic and social development.

Through its programme and activities, the Tony Elumelu Foundation seeks to “institutionalize luck” and create an environment where entrepreneurship can flourish in a sustained manner.

The Tony Elumelu Foundation’s programmes and activities are structured around four cornerstones:

  1. The Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme

The flagship programme of TEF is based on 7 Pillars:

12-week Startup Enterprise Toolkit Training Programme, online mentoring, digital resource library, meet-ups, the Elumelu Entrepreneurship Forum, seed capital funding and the Tony Elumelu Alumni Network.

  1. Entrepreneurship Ecosystem

The activities of the Foundation will establish and strengthen a viable ecosystem to institutionalize luck for entrepreneurs in Africa. This ecosystem includes Angel Investors, Incubators, Accelerators, Diaspora networks and our Alumni Network.

  1. Research Advocacy and Partnerships

The Tony Elumelu Foundation’s Research, Advocacy and Partnerships arm aspires to strengthen the African entrepreneurial ecosystem – improve the enabling environment and build capacity – through relevant and focused research, targeted advocacy and strategic partnerships between key stakeholders. This unit positions TEF as the leading authority on data, insights and trends occurring in the African entrepreneurial ecosystem as we promote the positive role of entrepreneurship in driving Africa’s social and economic development.

  1. Technology-Enabled Operations

The Tony Elumelu Foundation has created a multi-lingual digital hub for application processing, mentor learning, webinars, curated online resource library and tracking and monitoring the business performances of Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurs. We aim to build Africa’s largest entrepreneurs’ network and encourage knowledge exchange and capacity building through this hub.