Over 215,000 African entrepreneurs submitted application for the 2019 edition of the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) mentorship programme.
A statement from the foundation also revealed that the applicants which were from across 54 African countries, increased from 151,000 applications last year (2018), with an increase in female representation from 62,000 in 2018 to 90,000 in 2019.
“These rising figures demonstrate the burning desire of the African entrepreneur to develop our continent, and we must urgently convert this passion into viable businesses to develop our continent,” Ifeyinwa Ugochukwu, the foundation’s newly appointed CEO said.
According to her, the Programme has developed a robust mechanism for directing capital effectively and efficiently, to those who can deploy it in local communities with the greatest impact.
She said “we are looking forward to working with partners to collaborate with us, to scale the platform and process we have created. Empowering African entrepreneurs must be a shared responsibility to create economic prosperity for all.”
Ugochukwu, emphasised the importance of partnership in reaching additional entrepreneurs beyond the Foundation’s annual commitment of 1,000 entrepreneurs.
“Each year we see a significant uplift in applicants. Our execution partner, Accenture Development Partnerships, are currently reviewing and finalising the applications.
Ugochukwu who succeeds Parminder Vir, OBE, will begin duties fully April 1, the foundation confirmed, adding that OBE will continue to lend her experience and expertise as a member of the Foundation’s Advisory Board.
Speaking on the Entrepreneurship Programme, Osato Noah, West Africa Lead, Accenture Development Partnerships, said: “We have worked with the Tony Elumelu Foundation since the inception of the Entrepreneurship Programme.
In 2015, the first round of the Programme saw us review 20,000 applications for the Foundation and this year we reviewed over 215,000 applications. The sheer diversity and speed at which applications have scaled in the last four years have been incredible.
We commend the Tony Elumelu Foundation for their commitment to the transparency of the programme, and Accenture is proud to partner in the delivery of this Pan-African project.”
The selection announcement will also feature a Nigerian TEF Alumni meet up, as well as an interactive dialogue with TEF Founder, Tony O. Elumelu, CON.
The successful applicants for the 2019 will be announced on March 22, 2019, at an event, which will mark the 5th round of it’s entrepreneurship programme, scheduled to take place at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja.