Who: Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme

What, Why, When:  The Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme (TEEP) was established by The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) in 2015 with funding of US$100million over a 10-year period to promote entrepreneurship across multiple sectors in Africa. The purpose of the TEEP is to identify and empower 10,000 African entrepreneurs and in the process, create a million jobs as well as adding US$10bn in revenues to the continent's economy. TEEP is to achieve this in part by linking African entrepreneurs with several stakeholders including governments, corporates, intermediary organisations as well as investors. In response to this, by March 2016 over 45,000 entrepreneurs from the 54 African countries applied for the fund. Following the completion of a 12-week online workshop, Nigerian, Kenyan and Ugandan start-ups1 accounted for more than three quarters of 1000 entrepreneurs that emerged as some of the beneficiaries of the fund. 

Outlook: With the African population projected to double from the current figures of 1.2 bn to 2.5 bn by 2050, the need for governments to create the requisite enabling environment for job creation cannot be overemphasised2. Equally, by the middle of the century, the number of young people in Africa will also expand considerably3 coupled with the pressures of youth unemployment which presently stands at 12%4 across sub-Saharan Africa.

TEEP's allocation of seed capital to start-ups or entrepreneurs is not restricted to the youth alone, but extends to individuals with innovative business ideas between18 to 54 years. Tony Elumelu, Chairman of various organisations including UBA Group plc, is filling a critical gap for entrepreneurs by providing start-up capital. In March 2016, TEEP had disbursed US$8m, with US$5m in the form of seed capital to entrepreneurs.  With the increasing roles that digital and knowledge economies are playing in driving global GDP, TEEP has the potential to make a significant and positive impact across Africa in support of SMEs, which account for 80% of all jobs on the continent.


1 http://tonyelumelufoundation.org/teep/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/TEEP_1000_NAMES_2016.pdf

2  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-34188248

3  http://www.un.org/en/development/desa/news/population/2015-report.html

4  http://acetforafrica.org/highlights/unemployment-in-africa-no-jobs-for-50-of-graduates/

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