The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) has announced the selection of the first 1,000 African entrepreneurs for the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme (TEEP).
The Nigerian billionaire has decided to fund 1,000 budding African entrepreneurs as part of a $100m initiative to boost the continent’s private sector.
Mr Elumelu said the entrepreneurs were Africa’s “hope for the future”.
TEEP is a multi-year programme of training, funding, and mentoring, designed to empower the next generation of African entrepreneurs. The programme will identify and help grow 10,000 start-ups and young businesses from across Africa over the next 10 years.
These businesses will in turn create 1,000,000 new jobs and contribute $10 billion in annual revenues to Africa’s economy.
Mr Elumelu was last year listed by the Forbes magazine listed Mr Elumelu as the 26th richest African, worth $1bn.
Elumelu’s donation is the largest by a businessman towards the development of small businesses in Africa.
The winners were drawn from various industries ranging from agriculture and education to fashion and ICT.
All five African regions – North, East, Southern, Central and West Africa are represented, as well as all major language blocs – Anglophone, Francophone, Lusophone, and Arabic Africa. Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, South Africa and Ghana had the highest number of winners.
The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), official launched the programme in January by inviting entrepreneurs from across Africa to apply for the programme.
More than 20,000 entrepreneurs from 52 African countries applied to the programme.
He plans to spend $100m to support 10,000 entrepreneurs over the next decade, and to create one million jobs through the initiative, the statement said.