As is the tradition of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, January 1, 2018 will witness the opening of the application portal for the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme (TEEP) for 2018.
The programme which commenced in 2015 has so far awarded 3000 Africans with financial grants as seed capital to the tune of $5,000 for each awardee.
The Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme is a pan-african entrepreneurship programme. This means that all Africans both within the continent and in the Diaspora can participate in the programme and stand the chance of winning $5,000 to start or expand their businesses.
As the application portal opens on January 1, 2018, All Africans are encouraged to apply. This is because apart from the $5,000 seed funding (in grant) which you receive, you also enjoy 12 weeks of thorough online entrepreneurship training programme that will equip you with all the skills you need to succeed as an entrepreneur.
Successful entrepreneurs also enjoy an exquisite 3-day boot camp in Lagos, Nigeria where they can meet up and connect with other entrepreneurs, high profiled mentors, business leaders etc. in the most serene and ritzy environment.
GETTING READY TO APPLY FOR TONY ELUMELU ENTREPRENEURSHIP PROGRAMME 2018
Before applying for the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme, it is important to note that the programme is a very competitive one.
In 2017 for instance, over 60,000 applicants submitted entries out of which only 1,000 made it to the awards. With increasing figures recorded over the years since inception in 2015, it only means that the number of applicants for 2018 might reach 100,000 all across Africa.
Therefore, you must take the application exercise very seriously. There are no second or thirds stages in the process. Awardees are selected right from this application process.
So, do your best to ensure that you present your ideas in the best possible way to convince the assessors that your business can indeed transform Africa.
Here are what you must keep in mind while waiting for the opening of the application portal.
Your idea must be impressively disruptive
Only a disruptively innovative idea will attract the attention of the judges. Therefore, refine your idea to ensure that it is disruptively innovative and can obviously stand out of the crowd and survive the competition in the marketplace.
Remember, the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme is for ideas that can transform Africa. The judges will be looking out for fresh ideas, those that would change the status quo and champion the continents emergence.
Your idea must solve a core African need
Businesses are only viable if they meet a need. Making your business address an African problem is very critical to boosting the chances of your business succeeding and getting awarded the grant.
Remember, the overarching aim of this programme is to promote Africapitalism. So, endeavour to weave your business idea around African need so you can capture the African market. That’s why the business grant is for Africans
For the benefit of doubt, a business grant such as what the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme offers, is a financial assistance given to a business enterprise or a startup which the enterprise is not obliged to pay back.
Your idea must be clearly feasible
If you are proposing a business idea, please ensure that your ideas are clearly feasible. Conduct thorough feasibility study and develop a comprehensive analysis of your business.
Most of the questions you will be answering in the process of applying for the TEEP will bother on these analysis.
Please don’t try to impress the judges by making your business look very profitable. Remember that the panel of assessors comprises entrepreneurs and business experts who can thoroughly examine your ideas and detect where you are exaggerating. Keep it real.
Your internet connection should be reliable
The TEEP application is 100% online. You would have to log onto the Application Portal in order to apply. Therefore, ensure that you have a reliable means of accessing the internet.
So, while waiting for the portal to open, get a well-functioning internet enabled device such as smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop computer. You will also need to subscribe for a data plan that will run throughout the duration of the application.
Power supply should be arranged for. You might want to procure a power bank to which you will switch once public power supply is off.
Try linking up with a TEEP alumni if possible
If you know anyone who has won the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme award before, it would be a wise move to link up with them. That way, you will receive first hand guidance on how to put together a winning application.
Unfortunately, the alumni group on Facebook is a closed group and is restricted to only the TEEP alumni, hence you cannot be part of it. However, endeavor to make enquiries.
Most of these past awardees will be kind enough to offer some assistance if you are courageous enough to approach them.
Meanwhile, Entrepreneurs’ Square will provide daily coverage of the entire application process and will assist applicants as much as possible with the basic issues they might have.
However, for issues that go beyond the basic challenges of website navigation as well as explanation of seemingly unclear questions, applicants will be referred to the support team of the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme.
For any enquiries, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or a WhatsApp chat to +2348163052034.
Please note that application for the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme is totally without a charge. Anyone parading themselves as an agent of the Tony Elumelu Foundation and promising you a spot in the final shortlist is a fraudster and is not in any way connected with the Foundation, hence should be disregarded. Doing any business with them is strictly at your own risk.
Good luck as you participate in the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme 2018.