More local entrepreneurs have shown interest in a programme by Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), with last year’s intake receiving 932 applications from Botswana.
TEF is an annual African-funded and founded philanthropy committed to empowering African entrepreneurs, through its Entrepreneurship Programme.
Local programme ambassador, Knight Ganje told Monitor Business that the number of applications keeps growing every year.
“There are lot of opportunities that upcoming entrepreneurs and small businesses can grasp on outside the local borders and it is great to see that a lot of them apply for such,” he said.
According to Ganje, out of the 932 applications only 29 were fortunate to be enrolled in the programme.
“That is a good number considering that they were competing against other African countries. These companies can create long-term employment for a lot of youth. The programme offers funding, but mentorship is crucial to entrepreneurs,” he said.
In addition, Ganje said becoming part of the TEF exposes one to a network of entrepreneurs across the continent, which creates room for collaborations in doing business.
Last week Friday, the programme closed their call for applications, which was launched in January. Selected beneficiaries will join 4,470 current alumni and will receive $5,000 seed capital, access to mentors, bespoke training and numerous opportunities to impact policies at the local and global level.
Open to African entrepreneurs from the 54 African countries, the Entrepreneurship Programme accepts business ideas as well as existing businesses with less than three years of experience in all sectors of the economy. Applications will be judged based on criteria including feasibility, scalability and potential for growth of the product or service, market opportunity for the idea or existing business, financial understanding, leadership potential and entrepreneurial skills.
“TEF has been commended as one of the few accelerator-type programmes that encourage viable businesses at idea stage that can demonstrate potential to scale, generate revenue and create employment opportunities,” he said.
Further, about six of TEF entrepreneurs were recognised on the Forbes 30 under 30 list, amongst many other achievements, some of which have been appointed on the boards of global companies, government and developmental institutions, influencing policies at various levels.
The Programme is inspired by Tony Elumelu’s economic philosophy of Africapitalism and his vision to institutionalise luck and democratise opportunity for a new generation of African entrepreneurs. Elumelu has invested $100 million for 10 years to train, mentor and fund 10,000 African entrepreneurs.
The Programme’s objective is to generate at least 1,000,000 new jobs and create no less than $10 billion in new business revenue across Africa.