The Tony Elumelu Foundation, a leading charity working to empower young African entrepreneurs in all 54 African countries, has opened applications for its 2022 Entrepreneurship Program. African entrepreneurs with business ideas or established companies less than 5 years old are encouraged to apply now for $5,000 seed capital, mentorship, business training and more in the 2022 Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Program.
Since 2015, the African Union’s Entrepreneurship Program – Africa’s only funded entrepreneurship catalyst – has enabled 15,847 African entrepreneurs with a non-refundable seed capital of $5,000 each; Twelve weeks of business management training; access to experienced mentors; and membership in Africa’s largest entrepreneurship ecosystem.
In 2021, the Tony Elumelu Foundation disbursed $24.75 million to 5,000 African entrepreneurs across Africa for the 2021 Entrepreneurship Program. The Foundation’s Entrepreneurship Program remains one of the largest private sector responses to drive economic recovery for African youth, women and SMEs due to the effects of COVID-19 pandemic across Africa. Across Africa, recipients of the Tony Elumelu Foundation’s Entrepreneurship Program have started and grow pioneering businesses that have collectively created more than 400,000 direct and indirect jobs.
“I am always proud to say that I am from the inaugural group of the Tony Elumelu Foundation’s Entrepreneurship Program. My business is located in Kaduna, in the North of Nigeria. I took advantage of this program in 2015, and it opened a lot of doors and opportunities. It’s not just about the basic capital, but what really fascinates me about the program is the knowledge. I call it the mini MBA program because it’s from the thinking stage teaches you how to really express your business, and gave me my first business plan. The network, the vision, and the opportunities are endless. My entrepreneurial experience could not be complete without the Tony Elumelu Foundation. I will start exporting to other countries soon courtesy of the enterprise. We are now hiring ten permanent employees and eight additional employees on a commission basis.”
Eve Lehmann, Entrepreneur and Founder, Afrique Abaya
“We are constantly blown away by the quality of companies that come out of Africa every year. This motivates us to expand our efforts to empower more entrepreneurs on the continent. The innovation, knowledge and resilience of African entrepreneurs is fundamental to charting Africa’s social and economic transformation and achieving the continent’s development goals. We are also proud of the increased female participation in our program, especially with the 2021 cohort where we saw 68% of female entrepreneurs selected.”
Evinwa Ogochokwu, CEO, the Tony Elumelu Foundation,
“Through the Tony Elumelu Foundation’s Entrepreneurship Program, we seek to democratize luck. Hard work plays an undeniably important role in success, but one must not discount the role of luck – someone willing to seize an opportunity for you or a business idea by empowering you through training, mentorship or funding. Our hope is that through the Tony Elumelu Foundation’s Entrepreneurship Program, we will help the next business leader Or the industry leader he’s meant to be. This is our own way of giving back and also to empowering the next generation behind us so they can go beyond what we have. As a parent, one’s desire is for your children to do a better job than you, and thus you will provide the resources and materials they need to make sure they go far in life. Likewise, at the foundation, we are providing the next generation with the tools they need to succeed.”
Dr. A.F. Elumelu, Founding Secretary, the Tony Elumelu Foundation