This New Year saw the beginning of a paradigm shift in the African entrepreneurship landscape as the Tony Elumelu Foundation on the 1st of January, launched the application portal for its flagship One Hundred Million US Dollar programme – The Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme (TEEP) – and began receiving applications from aspiring entrepreneurs across Africa.
THE APPLICATIONS ROLL IN
The online application portal has been live for merely two weeks and has seen record response from entrepreneurs across the continent who want to be, as the founder Mr Tony O. Elumelu aptly stated in his New Year’s call to action “the next African Steve Jobs”. To date there have been approximately 4,000 applications from 51 African countries, and thousands more are expected before closure in March.
TEEP is also ‘industry agnostic’ and has few limitations of the types of businesses and ideas applicants can apply with. Agriculture is leading applications, followed closely by education and training, retail and media sectors.
The online application portal also has a forum on which entrepreneurs and applicants to the programme have begun to engage with one another, helping each other with applications and moulding business ideas. TEEP has brought together strangers from across Africa and made them kin.
A CALL FOR FEMALE APPLICANTS
TEEP is faced with the task of mobilising female African entrepreneurs, as nearly 75% of all applications received to date are made by men. This exemplifies the critical need for women to take a more deliberate approach to entrepreneurship and business development. TEEP began a social media campaign, calling on stakeholders for female-run enterprise in Africa to amass more applications from women in their networks.
The ultimate call to action is made by TEEP to all aspiring African entrepreneurs – your ideas can transform the continent, and as such you should take a most critical step, and apply for TEEP. The programme is looking for diverse, transformative, scalable and sustainable businesses, which factor in social as well as economic development for Africa.