September 20, 2019
By Hassan Gbassay Koroma
The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), leading entrepreneurship programme for African youth, is set to launch the world’s largest digital platform for African entrepreneurs and the African entrepreneurship ecosystem call (TEFConnect).
The TEFConnect will be officially unveiled at this year’s TEF Forum slated for October 25 at Federal Palace Hotel in Lagos, Nigeria.
The Tony Elumelu Foundation, the largest entrepreneurship programme in Africa, was launched in 2015 with the aim of empowering over 10,000 African entrepreneurs and create a million jobs across Africa.
The Foundation is focused on promoting the positive role of entrepreneurship in driving Africa’s social and economic development and in doing so, they hope to accelerate the spread of economic prosperity and social progress throughout Africa, strengthening the African entrepreneurial ecosystem.
The Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme, which has attracted over 300,000 African entrepreneurs as applicants, trained and funded 4,460 to date, is further democratising access to opportunities.
The TEFConnect is an open source platform which will provide bespoke tools and content to catalyse business development for millions across the continent, through technology and directly applicable content.
Positioned as the “Facebook for African Entrepreneurs”, the TEFConnect platform is a contemporary, intuitive, informative and user-friendly go-to entrepreneurship space that provides five specific benefits to its users, among others.
The one-stop digital home for entrepreneurship ecosystem players, including entrepreneurs, incubators, investors, academia and the private sector, providing news, informative resources, entrepreneurship events and opportunities.
The TEFConnect is creating the space to allow African entrepreneurs to transact across countries and regions in Africa’s largest digital marketplace, with traffic reaching millions of consumers.
The programme would also give access to free business tools such as financial planning calculators, business plan generators and marketing templates, access to the Foundation’s Entrepreneurship Programme Application Form, Enterprise Toolkit and business mentoring by global business leaders and to also enable entrepreneurs to promote their businesses to potential investors and other entrepreneurs for cross-border collaboration.
Speaking during the launch of TEFConnect, Chief Executive Officer of the Foundation, Parminder Vir OBE said Tony Elumelu Foundation was simply about empowering African entrepreneurs.
She said they first launched the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme to provide 10,000 African entrepreneurs, over a period of 10 years with seed capital, mentorship and training, adding that they convened the full entrepreneurial ecosystem at the TEF Forum to start engagement and deliberate discussions to change the narrative of Africa.
He said they were now scaling their impact by connecting African entrepreneurship ecosystem on a single platform.
According to the Founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, Tony O. Elumelu, in the four years, since the launched of the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme, they have shown that entrepreneurship can change a continent.
He said they have invested in people and processes and that they have already helped create business successes and brought policy makers into the entrepreneurial dynamic, adding that in many ways, they were scratching the surface.
“This year, we are broadening our scope, taking the conversation to where interaction is increasingly occurring the digital realm. By connecting African entrepreneurs globally on TEFConnect, we are further unleashing the true potential of our entrepreneurs and transforming the continent,” he said.
Meanwhile, the 4th TEF Forum will convene Africa’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, including the broad investor community, government and policymakers, leading developmental organisations, private sector representatives, the media and partners.
This year’s Forum will also feature an interactive dialogue between the President of Ghana, HE Nana Akufo-Addo and President of Kenya, HE Uhuru Kenyatta, moderated by TEF Founder, Tony Elumelu.