The Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme (TEEP) has announced the first 1,000 African entrepreneurs selected to take part in the US$100 million initiative to discover and support 10,000 African entrepreneurs over the next ten years.
The Tony Elumelu Foundation is behind TEEP, which Disrupt Africa reported was launched in December with a target of creating 1 million new jobs and US$10 billion in additional revenues in the process.
Over 20,000 applications were received for the programme from 52 countries, with the foundation saying the 1,000 selected for the 2015 class are a “remarkable group of entrepreneurs who are a testament to the ability of Africa’s own entrepreneurs to drive Africa’s growth and development”.
“The selection of these 1,000 entrepreneurs brings us closer to our ultimate goal – to drive Africa’s economic and social transformation from within and to radically intensify job creation in Africa,” said founder Tony Elumelu.
“Though I have never met or spoken to any of the winners, I am confident that due to the rigorous criteria and selection process, these entrepreneurs are Africa’s hope for the future. I will continue to invest my experience, time, influence, and resources to see them succeed. I am embarking on this journey with these entrepreneurs hopeful and inspired.”
The top five countries in terms of numbers of successful applicants are Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, South Africa and Ghana, while all African regions and all major language blocs are represented.
The Tony Elumelu Foundation appointed Accenture as an independent review consultant to thoroughly evaluate each application based on selection criteria approved by the TEEP Selection Committee.
The 1,000 selected entrepreneurs will take part in a nine-month programme, including an intensive online training curriculum, mentoring, and participation in a two-day entrepreneurship bootcamp and the Elumelu Entrepreneurship Forum.
Parminder Vir, director of entrepreneurship at the Tony Elumelu Foundation, said: “The high quantity and quality of applicants we have received is testament to the brilliant ideas and incredible talent that exists in abundance across Africa. The Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme will give structure and support to these African entrepreneurs to develop themselves and to grow their businesses. Through TEEP, the ripple effects of the long-term investments in a new generation of Africapitalists will be felt throughout the continent.”