How to Apply and Qualify for $5000 TEF (Tony Elumelu Foundation) Grant

How to Apply and  Qualify for $5000 TEF (Tony Elumelu Foundation) Grant

Tony Elumelu is a household name across the globe of  Africa. This is due to his extraordinary entrepreneurial and philanthropic prowess which has greatly contributed to the world’s economy. Tony Onyemaechi Elumelu is a Nigerian economist, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. He is the chairman of Heirs Holdings, the United Bank for Africa, Transcorp, and founder of The Tony Elumelu Foundation.

tps:// 2010, the Tony Elumelu Foundation has been unreservedly committed to resolving Africa’s social and economic issues and undeniably alleviating poverty to a highly felt extent through her annual grants of $5,000 each given to 10,000 entrepreneurs at different stages. This, he has been consistently and doggedly fulfilling until this year which got its edition postponed to 2021 due to the current threatening pandemic. In addition to the grants, the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) offers Business Training, Mentorship, and Global Networking Opportunities to African entrepreneurs.

The Foundation is active in all 54 African countries and her mission is implemented through her programs, research, communities, advocacy, and convenings, including the annual TEF Forum, the largest gathering of entrepreneurs in Africa, and TEFConnect, Africa’s digital hub for entrepreneurs. This foundation has reached out to over 9,000 entrepreneurs in less than ten years of existence.


These are the unique and holistic system of effective and intensive support offered by TEF to her qualified candidates to build them up. They include;

* STARTUP ENTERPRISE TOOLKIT: This is a 12-week programme to equip startups with basic skills and knowledge needed to effectively launch and manage their businesses at the early growth stage. Topics offered are starting and scaling a business, business development, marketing strategy, effective management, product design, etc.

* ONLINE MENTORING: It provides a credible technology-enabled platform to access world-class mentors who are acquainted with similar challenges from across Africa and internationally and can align start-ups on a successful path.

* ONLINE RESOURCE LIBRARY: This is a compendium of materials, case studies, videos, tasks, templates, and interesting articles. This includes the 12-week series on the TOE Way, shared concurrently. It expounds the core business values of the Founder, with the aim of building the right character in the entrepreneurs.

* MEET-UPS: Country and state-level meetups to ignite the entrepreneurial fire and promote close interaction within the programme. These enhance the build-up of strong ties with one another and with local hubs and key government agencies.

* TEF ENTREPRENEURSHIP FORUM: This is a world-class annual Forum that convenes key persons in the African and global entrepreneurial eco-system with the purpose of leveraging convening powers to promote African entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship, and to connect with local and regional decision-makers.

* SEED CAPITAL: Every qualified and selected entrepreneur receives a non-returnable seed capital of $5,000. This is calculated on the official Central Bank of Nigeria naira equivalent value at the date of selection for the programme. The aim is to support early growth, proof-of-concept, and/or enhance their business operation and/or ideas.

* TEF ALUMNI NETWORK: This is a network of all Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurs, following the successful completion of the 12-week training programme. The online and offline network promotes sector-based and geography-based communities, collaboration across Africa as well as a healthy competition.


One good thing that makes TEF stand tall amongst all other grants is that it isn’t selective as to who to benefit; it covers all stages of business less than three years of existence. So, you need not bother about the stage you’re in as long as it’s less than three years of existence.

* The Programme is open to all Africans operating businesses in Africa who are aged 18 years and above, and who must not be considered a minor in their country of residence.

* Businesses at the idea stage, as well as innovative businesses that have been in existence for less than three years. If they are business ideas they must be for-profit, focused on one business only, and must be the original work of those making the submission.

* Business can be in any sector ranging from agriculture, technology, health, etc.

* Business must have the potential to create jobs and revenue on the continent of Africa.


To apply for it just do the following;

* login to the multilingual application portal to sign up today.

*Click on “Apply” and fill the form, provide all your details and valid information.

* Answer all the interview questions; you might need to take your time to do this. So, don’t start until you’re ready seeing that it’s timed. After submission, you will receive a confirmation email of receipt within 1 working day.

* The following additional information is required from selected applicants:

> Complete a self-declaration form,

> Provide proof of valid ID,

> Provide a personal bank statement from the past 6 months,

> Provide a statement of current personal debts,

> Provide a reference from an employer, bank and/or academic institutions;

>  Provide business bank account details (For UBA present countries, it must be a UBA account)

* You also need to note the following activities and their deadlines in TEF

* Following applications, entrepreneurs will undergo business training.

> Shortlisted candidates will have to prepare and submit an updated business plan for their businesses

> Top-performing entrepreneurs will be shortlisted to go through a pitching phase in all 54 African countries, in English, French, Portuguese or Arabic.

> Top performers will be selected to receive the $5,000 seed capital at the end of the programme.

> Finalists will receive $5,000 seed capital that will be announced at the TEF Forum.


January 1, 2020: Application portal opens

March 31, 2020: Application portal closes; initial longlist is announced to proceed for business training

April – May: Training & mentorship

June: Pan-African pitching competitions

July: Announcement of finalists at the TEF Forum

August – September: Background Check

August – December: Seed Funding Disbursement

NOTE: the 2020 Edition of the Programme was postponed due to Covid19. Read below:

The 2020 edition has been postponed till 2021 due to Covid19 pandemic.


You must take note and address the following because these are the five core areas where judgement is based:

* The feasibility of your business idea. Your business idea should be such that’s possible and attainable by merely looking at it.

* Market Opportunity: Your knowledge and understanding of the market, customers, and competitors for your idea/business. By this, you should be very familiar with the business you want to venture into, acquainted with its peculiarities and successes.

* Financial Understanding: Your understanding of the basic financial requirements of running the business, costs, and revenues.

* Scalability: This is the potential ability of your product or service to create jobs and wealth for others.

* Leadership Potential and Entrepreneurial Skills: Your ability to exhibit leadership potential, capable of attracting people, customers, and resources. In summary, your marketing skills and abilities.


There are so many reasons your application may not be successful and here are a few possible reasons:

* You did not complete your application.

*  Your business or idea is more than 3 years old of existence.

*  Your business or idea is not based in Africa.

* Your information in one or more sections of the application was not clearly stated.

*  Your application did not meet other eligibility criteriaas mentioned above.

* You scored low in one or more of the selection criteria.


There are some things you have to do in order to increase your chances of being selected and they include;

* Be really interested in your business and you must show you how interested you’re by the information or details you provide during the application.

* Ensure you have a solid and feasible business plan.

* Have a very detailed financial knowledge about the business. If possible, register and start the business.

* Create visibility of your business both offline and online through a website, social media accounts, etc

* Seek help and advice from past benefactors.

* Study the Grant questions before application.

* State very strong reasons for venturing or deciding to venture into the business. Clearly state your compelling factors.

* Carefully proofread or review your application before submission. If possible, get a third party to do that.

Egbo Odinaka

A multifaceted blog writer and content creator. She is well versed in finding and informing about opportunities for empowerment on the web

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