SMEs and Ventures

Tony Elumelu Foundation Unveils 10th Cohort of Entrepreneurship Programme – 20,000 Entrepreneurs Funded across Africa

The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) has recently announced the latest group of successful entrepreneurs selected for the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme. This new cohort marks a milestone as it brings the total number of funded young African entrepreneurs to 20,000, doubling the original target set by the Foundation. With a total disbursement of US$100,000,000, these entrepreneurs have not only received financial support but also mentoring and capacity-building opportunities. The impact of this initiative is evident in the creation of over 400,000 direct and indirect jobs, contributing significantly to Africa’s economic growth. Additionally, the Foundation’s commitment to gender equality is highlighted by the fact that 45% of the beneficiaries are women.

Past entrepreneurs from various African countries have been recognized for their innovative initiatives.

For instance, Stella Sigana, the founder of Alternative Waste Technologies in Kenya, has successfully converted organic and charcoal waste from slum settlements into fuel briquettes. She has not only created jobs and generated revenue but has also contributed to the education and skills training of adolescent girls and young women.

On the other hand, Vital Sounouvou from Benin established Exportunity, an e-commerce platform connecting producers with traders to promote export opportunities for Africans.

Lastly, Nora Chaynane, a Moroccan entrepreneur, founded Shine Space to guide students towards the right career path and develop their technical and interpersonal skills. These entrepreneurs have made significant impacts in their respective communities and beyond.

Since its establishment in 2010, the Tony Elumelu Foundation has been at the forefront of introducing a groundbreaking method to support, empower, and connect young entrepreneurs throughout Africa. Taking inspiration from the entrepreneurial experiences of its Founder, Tony Elumelu, the Foundation aims to democratize opportunities, promote luck, and operate across various sectors, boasting a unique infrastructure that spans every African nation. Guided by the philosophy of Africapitalism, championed by our Founder, the Foundation emphasizes the crucial role of the private sector, especially entrepreneurs, in driving Africa’s progress.

The Foundation’s remarkable capacity to reach entrepreneurs in different regions and industries has facilitated strategic collaborations with prominent entities such as the European Union (EU), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), United States African Development Foundation (USADF), Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS), French Development Agency (AFD), German Development Finance Institution (DEG), German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ), African Development Bank (AfDB), Sèmè City Development Agency, and Google. These partnerships involve tailored initiatives focused on areas like female empowerment and fostering growth in fragile states. Expanding on its current collaboration with Sèmè City Development Agency, the Tony Elumelu Foundation is set to sponsor an additional 100 young entrepreneurs from Benin Republic in 2024.

Tony O. Elumelu expressed, “Celebrating a decade of impact fills me with immense pride as we reflect on the remarkable journey we have undertaken. Our entrepreneurs are the driving force behind Africa’s economic evolution, and their unwavering resilience, determination, and creativity serve as a constant source of inspiration for us all. The future of our continent shines brighter thanks to their dedication.”

The Tony Elumelu Foundation is dedicated to supporting young Africans through various ongoing opportunities available for applications on TEFConnect ( These opportunities include the Women Entrepreneurship For Africa (WE4A) in partnership with the European Union, GIZ, and TEF, as well as the Aguka Entrepreneurship Programme in Rwanda, a collaboration between UNDP and TEF. African entrepreneurs are strongly encouraged to apply for these initiatives to benefit from training, mentorship, networking opportunities, and funding.

For more information on the Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme “Decade of Impact,” please visit the link provided ( Success stories of beneficiaries can be accessed here (, while a comprehensive list of Foundation beneficiaries across Africa is available here ( To gain further insights into our impactful initiatives, milestones, and transformative stories of entrepreneurs in Africa, explore our annual reports here (

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