The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), an African founded and funded 21st-century philanthropic organization committed to entrepreneurship development, ushers in an additional 1,000 African entrepreneurs. Applications were received from over 93,000 entrepreneurs across 55 African countries – over 100% increase from 2016, and nearly quadruple of the 2015 application numbers.
Proving that African youth are indeed interested in feeding the continent, Agriculture led the pack with nearly 1 in 3 successful applicants. The next most popular sector was ICT (11%) and then manufacturing (9%), evidence of a paradigm shift away from extractives to a more sustainable mindset that embraces industrialisation and diversification. Africa’s largest economy, Nigeria, is home to 50% of the 2017 cohort, with regional powerhouses Kenya, Ghana, Uganda and Cameroon following respectively.
The successful entrepreneurs will benefit from the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme’s 7 Pillars – a toolkit of support including business training, mentoring, access to networks and funding of up to $10,000 – as they develop their business concepts to contribute to the transformation of the continent. As Founder, Tony Elumelu CON, is often quoted as stating, “No one but us Africans will develop Africa.”
Speaking on the Foundation’s impact in 3 short years, CEO, Parminder Vir OBE, revealed: “We recently sampled 600 of our existing 2,000 entrepreneurs to understand the extent of our Programme’s impact. We discovered they have turned our investment into real returns with 1,297 jobs created so far.”
For a full list of the selected 2017 Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurs, visit