Tony Elumelu Foundation is Inspiring, Supporting and Provoking Africa’s next wave of Entrepreneurs #TEFforum2017

Tony Elumelu Foundation is Inspiring, Supporting and Provoking Africa’s next wave of Entrepreneurs #TEFforum2017

Inspiring, Supporting and Provoking Africa’s next wave of Entrepreneurs and Billionaires. This is the vision of the Tony Elumelu Foundation. 

Tony Elumelu Foundation

An atmosphere charged with excitement, hope and an awakening was the enthusiastic backdrop of the 2017 Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) Entrepreneurship Forum held in Lagos, Nigeria.

“We need to give from the perspective of empowering the recipient, instead of making them dependent on us.” – Tony O. Elumelu (CON)

The vision and idea of the TEF is a rather strange one. Catalyzing economic and social development in Africa through entrepreneurship. With “institutionalized luck” and creating an environment where entrepreneurs can flourish in a sustained manner.
We rarely find Africans who want to help each other. I might be wrong about this stereotype but majorly this is us. You could share in the comments how different this is in your country, i’ll really want to know. Also we’ve had to depend on aid, help and support form out of the continent (to contextualize it; not from our own family, community, country) for most breakthroughs. 

“ As an entrepreneur myself, I understand what it feels like to yearn for a lifeline, to hope for a ‘big break’, to look forward to enjoying some luck.” – Tony O. Elumelu (CON)

Mr. Tony O. Elumelu founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation  

So Mr. Tony O. Elumelu (CON) a believer in creating a cultural shift and changing this stereotype set out with a foundation to do this. Let me help you get this with a flashback. Mr. Elumelu was fortunate to come into two opportunities at two stages of his life whilst very young. These opportunities that he took advantage of changed his life, making him understand that for some people small opportunities in life can cause rippling economic and societal transformations. There are many people who pass on without the necessary help to support the great ideas they had. Ideas that could have created an economic transformation in their communities. 

Tony Elumelu Foundation

With this he set out to seek and empower the next set of African billionaires. Committing $100,000 million Dollars of his own money ? for the next 10 years to identify, mentor, train and fund 10,000 entrepreneurs across Africa, who will raise 10 billion Dollars. This year marked the 3rd year of the TEF Entrepreneurship forum, graduating the 3rd set of selected 1,000 ideas across Africa. Ideas based on solving and growing various sectors of the economy; agriculture, health, technology, fashion, business, retail, education, manufacturing, entertainment, etc.. 

Tony Elumelu Foundation

Tony Elumelu Foundation GHANA Entrepreneurs  

25 entrepreneurs were selected from Ghana in the 2017 fellowship. I spoke to Asomaniwaa Owusu-Ansah an entrepreneur from Ghana, who applied to the program with a healthcare idea that seeks to help cancer patients across the country easily access drugs. She was buzzing with excitement from the invaluable depth of knowledge shared with her during the 12 weeks of mentorship and training. The $5,000 seed capital will also go a long way in helping implement her project. 

Ken Oppong a 2015 TEF Entrepreneurship Alumni told me of the amazing help he got in creating a business plan, after unsuccessful attempts. If you talk to the gathered entrepreneurs you will hear stories of renewed hope, empowerment and the believe to transform their world. 

TEF has taken an intentional step to increase the percentage of women entrepreneurs in the program. Another bold step in addressing the gender divide. This year there was a 3% increase in female applications. There were also 3 countries that had 100% female representation. 

TEF encourages anyone with a transformational idea or business, that is based in Africa, is for profit and applicant is a legal resident of an African country to apply. In their own words “we have an opportunity for you”. To apply visit TEF APPLY.

“A starting point is about having a goal. You need to develop yourself for the future you want. When you are given an opportunity don’t mess the opportunity up.” – Tony O. Elumelu (CON)

Tony Elumelu Foundation

Mr. Tony O. Elumelu (CON) pioneering a new mindset  in Africapitalism  

Mr. Tony O. Elumelu (CON) also the chairman of UBA Group, is pioneering a new ideology of Africapitalism. Africapitalism is about the kind of value you want to create. It is about changing the way we think about creating value. It is about businesses and the private sector playing a role in the socio-economic development of their communities.

“Africapitalism is an economic philosophy that embodies the private sector’s commitment to the economic transformation of Africa through investments that generate both economic prosperity and social wealth. We are focused on promoting the positive role of entrepreneurship in driving Africa’s social and economic development. In doing so, we hope to accelerate the spread of economic prosperity and social progress throughout Africa, strengthening the African entrepreneurial ecosystem” 

Tony Elumelu Foundation’s CEO, Parminder Vir OBE said they have been able to operate a workable model that can be replicated by governments and institutions across the region. She said Tony Elumelu Foundation is ready and willing to work with these organizations in implementing and adopting their model. Also they are welcoming other organizations and institutions who’ll like to partner with them even reach more people, create more impact and affect communities.

In it’s 3rd year UBA, UNDP, AFD, Microsoft, Sage are partnering with TEF. Microsoft will be providing software solutions and trainings on using these solutions for the entrepreneurs. These partnerships will benefit entrepreneurs in the TEF network across countries in Africa. TEF is also advocating with governments to create enabling environments for businesses to thrive to boost economic and social developments.

Microsoft 4Afrika partners TEF to bring Digital Technology to Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurs across Africa

Microsoft 4Afrika partners TEF to bring Digital Technology to Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurs across Africa


Microsoft 4Afrika has signed a partnership with Tony Elumelu Foundation to provide Technology and skills support to Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurs across Africa.

Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs in the Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurs program will benefit from technology tools, resources and mentorship in this partnership project. The mission is to help these entrepreneurs use ICT effectively to modernize their businesses and reach new customers.
Microsoft says “The support will be available across the continent through both virtual and in person experiences”.

Microsoft 4Afrika will also take the opportunity to identify highly potential entrepreneurs from the TEF Entrepreneurship  Programme and integrate them into its Innovation Grant Programme.

During the The Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Forum in Lagos in October, Microsoft will training them on Microsoft it’s technologies.

Speaking about the partnership Microsoft Nigeria country manger Akin Banuso said;

“Microsoft 4Afrika and the Tony Elumelu Foundation share a common goal to accelerate economic and social development by promoting entrepreneurship.
As we enter into an era of digital transformation, it’s vital that we help all entrepreneurs develop relevant technology skills and integrate ICT into their businesses. Technology can help SMEs reach customers outside their local markets, generate powerful business insights and improve their customer retention.
We have found that SMEs who adopt this kind of modern IT have seen 15% faster revenue growth than those not using it.”

Some of the benefits Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurs will get from Microsoft 4Afrika’s partnership include:

• Access to cloud-based software, online support and technology through BizSpark
• Access to information and markets through the Biz4Afrika platform, where SMEs can trade with similar-sized organisations
• Technical training on Microsoft technologies and platforms during the 2017 TEF Forum
• Online business and technology training through the Microsoft Virtual Academy, to support entrepreneurs through their start-up, growth and acceleration phases
• Access to Microsoft experts for virtual and in-person mentorship through the MySkills4Afrika programme
• Access to the Interns4Afrika programme, for entrepreneurs to access and build their talent pipeline

Speaking on the partnership Parminder Vir OBE, CEO, Tony Elumelu Foundation said;

“With Microsoft on-board, we’re adding an essential ICT platform and partner to this mix, which will help to strengthen the capacity of our entrepreneurs, ensuring they remain relevant and competitive.”

Microsoft’s partnership will upskill about 3000 Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurs across the African continent. It will also give 4Afrika the opportunity to reach thousands of SMEs.

Visit Microsoft 4Afrika and the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme  for more information.
What are your thoughts on the offerings and partnership? Share with us.