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Profile and Dashboard
TEFConnect welcomes the entrepreneurship ecosystem to
discuss, learn, access opportunities and trade on the platform. The
offers four profiles with unique dashboards:
- Accelerators, Incubators and Hubs, Academia, PRivate Organisations and Policy Makers.
The Activity Feed is populated with posts from users with similar interests on the platform, based on their industry sector, region and ‘Preferences’ shared in their personal profile. To further filter your Activity Feed, visit your Profile and select more Preferences.
As TEFConnect enables visibility for all in the entrepreneurship ecosystem, your posts are visible to all on the platform, especially those with similar Preferences to you.
Chats and Messsaging
As the name implies, TEFConnect enables users to engage with other ecosystem players on the platform in closed discussions through Chats and Messages, and in wider forum-like discussions in the Community
Expand the chat icon or visit the Messages page and search for the user you would like to chat with. You could also visit a user’s profile and click on ‘Send Message’ to start a conversation.
Messages are stored on our servers and will be visible to users when they come online.
Currently, you are unable to block other users from sending you messages. However, you can report profiles that are constituting a nuisance on the platform and the Admin will review and take necessary action.
Numerous business tools are offered on TEFConnect to catalyse the business development of entrepreneurs.
A Business Plan Builder, an Inventory Management tool and a One Pager are currently offered as Business Tools for users of the platform. Additionally, more bespoke tools are being designed for TEFConnect and will be released post launch.
The information provided through the Inventory Management tool is visible to yourself, the Tony Elumelu Foundation and potential investors. By submitting this information, you paint a picture of your business to potential investors.
An enormous business directory of ecosystem players. Users of TEFConnect can search for Entrepreneurs, Mentors and Organisations in the Network. Profiles of investors are protected and are not visible in the Network.
All users, except investors, are visible to other users of the platform through the Network.
Investors on TEFConnect can search for entrepreneurs and other ecosystem players they are interested in. Additionally, top performing users on the platform are spotlighted to other users, based on their frequent uploads to the Investor Management tool and activity on the platform.
Powered by UBA Marketplace, users of the platform can buy and sell with one another across the continent.
The TEFConnect Marketplace is a meeting point for those seeking visibility for their products and those interested purchasing products. Powered by the UBA Marketplace, users commence interactions on TEFConnect but the final trade transactions are closed on UBA Marketplace.
The TEFConnect Marketplace is being upgraded to enable entrepreneurs with services showcase their value offerings. Users will be notified once this feature is available.
TEF Entrepreneurship Programme
Launched in 2015, The Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme is the largest African philanthropic initiative devoted to entrepreneurship and represents our 10-year, $100 million commitment, to identify and empower 10,000 African entrepreneurs, create a million jobs, and add $10 billion in revenues to Africa’s economy.
Please visit Programme FAQs for questions around the Foundation’s Entrepreneurship Programme.
About The Programme
Established in 2010, The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) is the leading philanthrophic institution in Africa championing entrepreneurship and entrepreneurs across the continent. The Foundation’s long-term investment in empowering African entrepreneurs is emblematic of Tony Elumelu’s philosophy of Africapitalism, which positions Africa’s private sector, and most importantly entrepreneurs, as the catalyst for the social and economic development of the continent. The Foundation’s flagship initiative, the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme, is a 10-year, $100 million commitment to identify, train mentor and fund 10,000 entrepreneurs, capable of changing the face of business across Africa. www.tonyelumelufoundation.org/programme
Our milestones outlined below, speak for themselves:
- We have provided training, mentoring and funding to 2000 African start-ups from 53 African countries, selected from over 65,000 applications.
- We have invested over $13 million, of which $10 million have gone directly to the entrepreneurs as seed capital.
- We have staged the largest gathering of African entrepreneurs in Lagos, Nigeria.
- We have travelled across Africa with Founder, Tony Elumelu, introducing the TEF entrepreneurs to their political leaders at the highest levels of government, to bring these entrepreneurs and their challenges to the attention of policymakers who can effect changes that will improve the enabling environment, for not just TEF entrepreneurs but for all entrepreneurs in the respective countries.
- We have facilitated TEF entrepreneurs with setting up Alumni Country Chapters and Networks across the 51 African countries.
- The Foundation has leveraged its access to unique data, to produce original reports to support advocacy agenda to improve the ecosystem for African entrepreneurs: Unleashing Africa’s Entrepreneurs: Improving the Enabling Environment for Start-ups; Africans Investing in Africa, collaborated with University of Edinburgh to produce a report on Africapitalism and a Teaching Case Study is being developed by the Bertha Centre, University of Cape Town on the Foundation and its programme.
- TEF is the founding member of SPARK, launched by President Obama in May 2015 at the White House to promote global entrepreneurship and presented TEF at global entrepreneurship forums: MassChallenge UK launch Feb; Global Entrepreneurship Congress Milan, March; Oxford University African Business Conference, Cambridge African Entrepreneurship Conference; to name a few.
- The Founder led a successful outing for TEF at the World Economic Forum, in Davos, Switzerland and the World Economic Forum, Africa in Kigali, Rwanda.
- The Foundation has signed several strategic partnerships including: an MOU with the Nigerian Ministry for Information and Culture to invigorate the Nigerian Creative Industries; ECOWAS; International Trade Centre; Africa Development Bank, Microsoft to name but a few.
- We have built Africa’s largest online platform the TEF Hub, which is the go-to destination for African entrepreneurs.
- Start-up Enterprise Toolkit
- Online Resources
- Elumelu Entrepreneurship Forum
- Seed Capital Funding
- TEF Entrepreneurship Programme Alumni Network
We believe that it is important for the TEF entrepreneurs to build a firm foundation for their businesses through mentorship, as well as the learning and networking tools provided by the Foundation. That way, when we do give them funding, they will be able to use the tools they have learned to put it to better use and maximise the benefits for their business.
The programme is open to all citizens and legal residents of any one of the 54 African countries. The proposed business must be registered and operate in Africa.
Yes. Applicants must be 18 years old and must not be considered a minor in their country of residence. There is no upper-limit age restriction.
Yes. The programme is not open to research institutions, faith based organisations, value adding trading companies, government contractors and businesses not located in Africa. Businesses must not adversely affect the environment, lives and property. Business ideas must be for profit, and must be the original work of those making the submission.
Yes. All businesses must be business ideas or an early stage company, in the range of 0 to 3 years old.
Your application must focus on ONE business only. We advise choosing your best, most feasible/innovative business idea. Selected entrepreneurs are not permitted to apply for future cohorts of the programme, even with a different business idea or name.
Yes. Current employees or their family members from the Tony Elumelu Foundation and affiliate companies in the Heirs Holdings Group and UBA Group are not eligible to apply for the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme, either individually or as part of a team.
Programme Application Process
All applications must be submitted ONLINE through the application platform of the TEF Connect . You must complete an application form by answering a series of mandatory questions. After submission, you will receive a confirmation email of receipt within 1 working day.
Only one nominated person from the business or the partnership may join the programme. You must have consent from all partners, and have and equal or majority share to participate.
The application form is in English, French and Portuguese.
The TEF Connect application platform is open from midnight on 1st January, to midnight on 1st March. It will not be possible to submit any applications prior to or after these dates.
You must answer all the mandatory questions in the application form, and provide accurate and up-to-date information.
There are 1,000 places available annually for the applications that are reviewed by Accenture and ultimately selected by the Selection Committee for a placement in the programme
Programme Selection Process
Selection of the applicants will take place from the close of the Application on March 1st, by the Tony Elumelu Foundation and an independent Selection Committee appointed by the Foundation, against the specified selection criteria.
All applications will be judged on 5 core criteria, which are:
Feasibility of the business idea.
Market Opportunity: knowledge and understanding of the market, customers and competitors for their idea/business.
Financial Understanding: understanding of the basic financial requirements of running a business, costs and revenues.
Scalability: Demonstrates potential for replication and growth of their product or service to create jobs and wealth.
Leadership Potential and Entrepreneurial Skills: Demonstrate leadership potential, capable of attracting people, customers and resources.
No. The TEF Entrepreneurship Programme is a Pan-African programme and open to business ideas from all the 54 African countries from which we will select the best business ideas for the programme.
Successful applicants will be notified on the 22nd of March, via the email address designated in the initial application. The list of selected entrepreneurs will also be posted on the TEF Website.
If Applicants are offered a place in the Programme, Applicants will be expected to:
- 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)
Since inception we have received over 65,000 applications for the limited spaces on the programme, while we can only accept 1000 entrepreneurs each year. Here are a few possible reasons why your application was not successful:
- You did not complete the application
- Your business or idea is more than 3 years old
- Your business or idea is not based in Africa
- Your descriptions in one or more sections of the application was not clearly described
- Your application did not meet other eligibility criteria
- You scored low in one or more of the selection criteria.
Ensure that you review the selection criteria in the next programme cycle and be sure to describe your business plan or idea such that every aspect of the business or idea (i.e. description, market, customer acquisition, financials etc.) is fully covered.
Yes there is a waiting list. If any of the selected 1000 do not claim their places by the set deadline, the next best entrepreneur from the waiting list will be chosen before commencement of the programme cycle.
Yes. We will open the platform for applications on January 1 every year. Each applicant will be required to put in a fresh application. We believe the elapsed time should serve to refresh your interest in your entrepreneurial objectives, and there might be new developments to include in the application.
The name, country and profile of each successful applicant will be made available for PR purposes globally. Each individual will be asked to provide a profile and photo once they join the programme.
The TEF Connect is a closed group, accessible only to the selected start-ups, mentors, alumni, the TEF team and selected partner organisations. Only those within this closed community will be able to view your profile and contact you on the TEF Connect.
All information housed on the TEF Hub is considered safe and secure. Intellectual property shared with the Foundation in your application is completely confidential, and only shared amongst the TEF team, designated reviewers and the Selection Committee who have signed confidentiality agreements.
All parties in the programme are held to the highest ethical standards, however, the foundation is not liable for copyright infringement or intellectual property theft among entrepreneurs and mentors. Any individuals found to be in breach of this will be disqualified.
Feel like contacting us? Submit your question here and we will get back to you as soon as possible.