The Tony Elumelu Foundation’s (TEF) digital platform TEFConnect, has opened for applications starting January 1, 2021. Applications will end on March 31st 2021.

This year’s theme prioritizes the economic recovery of small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) and young African entrepreneurs in any sector, following disruption by Covid-19 to economic activities.

The Foundation’s Entrepreneurship Programme will empower 1,000 young African entrepreneurs, selected from the 2020 cohort. It will also open applications to an additional 2,400 young entrepreneurs in 2021, in collaboration with global partners, to lift millions out of poverty and create sustainable employment across the continent. In 2016, 75 Kenyans from different sectors were among the 1,000 entrepreneurs that were selected for the programme, with 168 selected the previous year.

The TEF, which commemorated a decade of impact in 2020, is empowering a new generation of African entrepreneurs, through the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme. Successful applicants get to receive world-class business training, mentorship, non-refundable seed capital of up to Ksh.500,000 ($5,000), and global networking opportunities.

CEO of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, Ifeyinwa Ugochukwu had this to say, “The Tony Elumelu Foundation now more than ever is demonstrating our commitment to unleashing the potential of young African entrepreneurs, the key to Africa’s long-term economic transformation. The pandemic has created challenges across the continent, but we know that with the Tony Elumelu Foundation’s tried and tested Programme, we can execute the largest Covid-19 economic recovery plan for African SMEs and break the cycle of poverty in Africa.”

The Foundation’s multi-million dollar Entrepreneurship Programme launched in 2015 to empower 10,000 entrepreneurs over 10 years of age, is now entering its 7th year. Over 9,000 young African entrepreneurs from 54 African countries have been empowered to date.