Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme
The Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme (TEEP) is an entrepreneurial initiative run by the Tony Elumelu Foundation, based in Nigeria, spanning across Africa. The programme’s founder is billionaire businessman and philanthropist, Tony O. Elumelu CON and the CEO of the Tony Elumelu Foundation is Parminder Vir, OBE.
The programme gives training, mentorship and seed capital to entrepreneurs with start-up business ideas they want to execute in Africa. By doing so, TEEP embodies Africapitalism, the economic philosophy that Elumelu coined. It is currently in the second cycle, with the application portal closing on March 1, 2016 and names of the selectees announced twenty-one days later on March 22, 2016.
TEEP was unveiled on 1 December 2014 in Lagos, Nigeria, one month ahead of the portal opening for applicants on 1 January 2015. During the unveiling press conference, founder Tony O. Elumelu, CON, made a $100 million commitment to the programme which will run every year for a 10-year duration.
In the January 2015 edition of The Economist magazine, Tony Elumelu predicted, “In 2015, the African entrepreneur will explode on to the global stage, as a new generation shows the world what those of us doing business in Africa have long known: that our continent is home to some of the most exciting and innovative entrepreneurial talent.”
The TEEP portal was open to applicants for 8 weeks and received over 20,000 applications. On 23 March 2015, the selection of 1,000 entrepreneurs accepted into the 2015 cycle was announced. Selectees of the programme originate from every African region, with the highest number of applicants being from Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, Ghana, South Africa, Cameroon, Tanzania, Côte d'Ivoire, Zambia, Rwanda, Zimbabwe, Benin, Ethiopia, Burundi and DR Congo. Sectors represented include Agriculture, Information and Communications Technology (ICT), education, finance and fashion.
The TEEP entrepreneurs undergo a 9-month programme which includes a 12-week online business plan development training and mentoring programme, followed by a two-day Bootcamp. Following a successful completion of their business plan, the entrepreneurs receive a Non-returnable Seed capital investment of $5,000 for their businesses. The entrepreneurs are also entitled to second round of funding, structured as loan or equity of $5,000. The seed capital disbursements were concluded in September 2015.
On completion of the 9-month programme cycle, TEEP entrepreneurs graduate to become TEEP Fellows with full access to the TEEP Resources Centre and TEEP Alumni.
Application for TEEP 2016 opened on the 1st of January, 2016 and closed on the 1st of March, 2016.
Affiliations and Appearances
On 6 May 2015, The White House announced an event that would highlight global entrepreneurs as part of the Spark Initiative to ignite entrepreneurship in emerging markets. The Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme is an official partner of Spark and Tony O. Elumelu participated in an entrepreneurship panel discussion at the White House that was moderated by US. Secretary of State, Penny Pritzker.
Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme Bootcamp
From 10–12 July 2015, 1000 African entrepreneurs gathered in Ota, Nigeria for the TEEP bootcamp. The two day skills development weekend was an opportunity for the entrepreneurs from the programme to network and share ideas. Guest speakers included: Yemi Osinbajo, Vice President of Nigeria; Lionel Zinsou, Prime Minister of Benin Republic and Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, Governor of Kaduna State, Nigeria; Nollywood actress, Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde; media mogul, Mo Abudu; personal finance expert, Nimi Akinkugbe; Bank of Industry CEO, Rasheed Olaoluwa; Arunma Oteh, Vice-President and Treasurer of the World Bank; amongst others. Founder, Tony O Elumelu CON, held a two-hour open mic session to further encourage and inspire the entrepreneurs who represent every region in Africa and across multiple sectors. This is thought to be the biggest gathering of African entrepreneurs ever held.
Global Entrepreneurship Summit, Kenya 2015
During the Global Entrepreneurship Summit which was opened by President Barack Obama, three Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurs were part of the official GES programme and gave ‘Ignite talks’ on their entrepreneurial journey to the global audience including President Obama and President Kenyatta of Kenya. Shadi Sabeh, CEO Brilliant Footsteps Academy, Nigeria; Tonee Ndungu, Founder, Kytabu, Kenya; and Jean Patrick Ehouman, Co-Founder and president, Akendewa, Côte d'Ivoire were the speakers representing their companies and are beneficiaries of the Tony Elumelu Foundation.
To consolidate on its increasing pan-African network of entrepreneurs and foster bonding among them, the Foundation has been organizing meet-ups from Abidjan to Johannesburg, Calabar, Kampala, Nairobi and other cities across the continent.
Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurs: Transforming Africa
In June 2016, Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurs: Transforming Africa, a 30-minute documentary chronicling the story of TEEP, the vision of the Founder and its phenomenal success in just a year of operation was released. The documentary has since premiered in different cities across the world from Paris to St. Gallen, Kigali, Lagos and London.
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