Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme operates with the belief that entrepreneurship and business skills are teachable and learnable. This is why we have devised a 12-week programme to equip startups with the basic skills required to launch and run their businesses at the early stage of their growth. We will bring together the best tools and frameworks to teach and hone entrepreneurship skills in Africa and globally.

The programme will be a mix of online and face-to-face instruction, including webinars and video tutorials with support from your mentor throughout. It will cover topics on starting and scaling a business, business development, marketing strategy, effective management and product design.


The importance of mentoring cannot be overemphasised, especially for early stage startups. They are a vital part of the Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme and will be selected for their expertise, passion and alignment to the programme vision and mission. TEF will assemble world class mentors from across Africa and internationally who faced similar challenges and can steer TEF startups along this tumultuous path.

From the onset, TEF start-ups will be assigned a TEF mentor who will dedicate time and share their business experiences, listen to their mentee’s goals and expectations and provide guidance and support throughout the programme. They will keep the startups on track to complete their business plans and to help them build a business with a solid foundation.

Mentors will also benefit from collaborative learning and by helping start-ups, they may be inspired with new ideas, new business strategies and learn more about the realities of doing business in Africa from African startups.


Start-ups, alumni and mentors of the Tony Elumelu Foundation Programme will have access to our curated online resource library of case studies, sample business plans, research documents, video presentations, industry articles and podcasts that will enhance the competitiveness of TEF startups, accessible from anywhere in Africa. All course content and training materials used at the boot camp will also be cross-linked with the training modules, accessible on the online resource library.

Our goal is to provide a valuable library of relevant content for African entrepreneurs over time that will also be available even after graduating from the programme.


These are TEF networking events hosted by members of TEF alumni, with a representative of the Foundation present, to create opportunities for knowledge-sharing and collaboration and development of ideas and business alliances.

Objectives of meetups are:

  • For the Founder (or representatives of the Foundation) to meet and engage with the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurs in that region/country/state.
  • To communicate key programme information, to get feedback from the entrepreneurs which may contribute to the improvement of the overall programme coordination.
  • To connect entrepreneurs with key government stakeholders in their country/region/state to understand their challenges and needs for the promotion and facilitation of entrepreneurship in that region.
  • To provide further physical industry-specific training and mentorship.
  • To enable the entrepreneurs to meet one another, explore potential partnerships and possibilities for collaboration.
  • To inaugurate official alumni chapters in the region/country/state.


TEF will host an annual TEF Entrepreneurship Forum to showcase the African startup to a global audience of entrepreneurs, incubators, business, corporations, government, investors, academia and foundations. It will be a time of engagement, networking, learning and inspiration for start-ups as they conclude their TEF tenure, and a chance to hear from world renowned executives, scholars and entrepreneurs.

The TEF Entrepreneurship Forum will grow to become the signature annual entrepreneurship event on the continent; a showcase of the innovation and entrepreneurial potential that exists across Africa.

At the closing ceremony of the forum, the graduates from the programme will be presented with seed capital funding and invited to join the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Alumni Network.


The African startups that successfully complete the 12-week programme with the support of their mentors and attend the two-day TEF Entrepreneurship Forum will be awarded a non-returnable investment for further development of their business idea. Tony O. Elumelu, the Founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme, will present the investment cheque, at the close of the three-day conference.

TEF startups will be continuously monitored on both a portfolio and individual basis as we evaluate the startups for follow-on funding and beyond. The qualifying startups that have progressed their business plans sufficiently will each qualify for a second stage seed capital investment of $5,000 that will be provided as returnable capital.


The Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme is a year-long programme in which selected start-ups each go through a 12-week training course, develop a rapport with a mentor and build the business. Graduation in December of each year marks the end of the programme and one might wonder, “what next?”

TEF will definitely not leave one out in the cold – the alumni network is where one can continue to connect with mentors and fellow TEEP start-ups, access the vast online resource library and be kept totally in the loop with TEF.

The TEF Alumni Network fosters a spirit of loyalty, comradery and dedication to give back to the programme, thereby promoting the general welfare of the programme and all those it has impacted.

This will become Africa’s largest entrepreneurship-focused alumni network, providing a safe and secure environment in which to facilitate sharing and collaboration around content, knowledge and information. The Alumni Network will provide a unique ecosystem for African startups to cross-pollinate grassroots businesses with energetic and passionate entrepreneurs all across Africa.

Benefits of the 7 Pillars of TEF

The combination of all of TEF modalities; the online live-learning support, web mentoring, immersive boot camp, resource library, global entrepreneurship forum, seed funding and membership of the alumni network provides a unique system of intensive and effective support for the start-ups. The end outcome being strong viable businesses, which go on to create new jobs, more new revenue and ultimately enlarge Africa’s private business sector.