The Tony Elumelu Foundation has announced the selection of 1,000 entrepreneurs for the second round of the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme (TEEP), with Nigerians dominating the selection as 589 entrepreneurs from the country are set to join the programme.
After completing its first cycle, TEEP has chosen its second 1,000-strong cohort, having received over 45,000 applications from 54 African countries applied, more than double the number received in 2015.
Nigeria is the best represented, with its 589 entrepreneurs representing almost 60 per cent of the total selected. Kenya comes in second with 75 entrepreneurs joining the cohort, while there are 64 Ugandan entrepreneurs and 45 Ghanaians. Cameroon sees 25 successful applicants.
Other African countries to see a significant number of successful applicants include Ethiopia (21), Rwanda (20), Ivory Coast (18), South Africa (18) and Zimbabwe (14).
Successful candidates came from a total of 53 African countries and represent diverse industries, led by agriculture, ICT and fashion.
“In TEEP’s first year we spent over US$8 million of our US$100 million commitment – with US$5 million going directly to entrepreneurs as seed capital – and the results have far exceeded our expectations,” said Tony Elumelu.
“We have funded entrepreneurs, established networks and helped extraordinary people take control of their destinies. The 2016 Tony Elumelu entrepreneurs will become a generation of newly empowered African business owners, who are the clearest evidence yet, that indigenous business growth will drive Africa’s economic and social transformation.”
Over the next nine months, the 2016 cohort will receive intensive online training, networking and mentoring, as well as participate in the three-day Elumelu Entrepreneurship Forum later in the year.
“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,” Parminder Vir, chief executive officer (CEO) of The Tony Elumelu Foundation, said.