The build up to the forum

With 96 countries worldwide expressing interest in the $100 million Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme (TEEP) and entrepreneurs from 53 countries in Africa submitting applications for a chance at the $5,000 individual grants it was time the successful entrepreneurs met with their mentor, Tony Elumelu at the second edition of the TEF Entrepreneurship Forum in Nigeria.

Of 45,000 total applications from sectors such as agriculture, ICT, fashion, commerce/retail, media and entertainment, healthcare, education and training, toursim and professional services, telcom, aviation, haulage and logistics, energy/power generation, transportation, financial services and waste management among others, 1,000 successful applicants got the chance to meet with the man many of Africa’s entrepreneurs say has given them “transforming” opportunities to scale and compete globally.

“So far, $8 million of the $100 million commitment – with $5 million going directly to entrepreneurs as seed capital the founder, has been spent in the first year of the programme, TEEP and chairman, UBA Group and Heirs Holding, Tony Elumelu said earlier in the year in a written statement.

Breakdown of the 2016 1,000 applicants by country, sector and gender:


By country

Of 53 out of 54 countries that applied, Nigeria led the top five countries by number of applications with 13,276 applications (that is 30 per cent of the applications) with Kenya following with 1,000 applications, Uganda, 492 and Cameroon, 410 applications.


By gender

Although the statistics of women applicants was not so encouraging – 36 per cent – some say this year’s application was a significant leap from last year’s.

With 32 per cent of the final 1,000 selected applicants as female, it is hoped that more female applicants will apply for next year’s edition of the programme.

It important to note that 15 Algeria, Angola, Burkina Faso, Botswana, Cape Verde, Chad, Comoros, Congo, Gabon, Gambia, Madagascar, Morocco, Senegal, Sierra Leone and South Sudan had female-to-male ratio in the final 1,000 entries, begging the question, will Nigerian females take the lead next year?


By sector

Breakdown of the 1,000 selected applicants shows that 228 entrepreneurs were selected from the agriculture sector, 93 from manufacturing, 79 from education and training, 77 from ICT, 76 from commercial retail, 59 from fashion, 44 from energy/power generation, 44 from healthcare, 41 from media and entertainment, 40 from waste management, 27 from construction, 26 from professional service, 23 from FMCG, 20 from tourism/hospitality, 20 from transportation, 17 from consulting, eight from financial services, seven from haulage/logistics, five from oil and gas, four from telcom and two from aviation.

It will be recalled that on March 22 this year, the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) announced the newest 1,000 entrepreneurs to join the$100 million Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme (TEEP) launched in 2015.

The programme, as Entrepreneurship+ has consistently reported, is the largest African philanthropic initiative devoted to entrepreneurship and represents a 10-year, $100 million commitment, to identify and empower 10,000 African entrepreneurs, create a million jobs and add $10 billion in revenues to Africa’s economy.

Commenting on the previous edition, Parminder Vir OBE, CEO of The Tony Elumelu Foundation, said: “We saw phenomenal success with the first cycle of TEEP – the success stories of the TEEP 2015 alumni are a testament to the transformative power of the programme we have built. Through TEEP, we are proving to the next generation of entrepreneurs that their ideas can change their communities, their countries and their continent.”

The second season of the annual TEF Entrepreneurship Forum showcased the African start-up to a global audience of entrepreneurs, incubators, business, corporations, government, investors, academia and foundations and from what the entrepreneurs told this reporter at the forum, it was time a time of engagement, networking, inspiration and more important, to hear from world renowned executives, scholars and entrepreneurs.

After successfully completing intensive online training over the course of 12 weeks, the 2016 cohort participated in the second edition of the Elumelu Entrepreneurship Forum, which is the largest annual gathering of African entrepreneurial talent.