Nigerian billionaire Tony Elumelu (pictured) has announced the selection of the first 1,000 African entrepreneurs he will sponsor for his Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Program (TEEP), according to the Tony Elumelu Foundation.
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TEEP was conceived in order to empower 10,000 African entrepreneurs to start their respective businesses and galvanize the continent with at least 1 million new jobs and $10 billion in added revenue over the next 10 years.
The top recipients of TEEP hail from all 52 countries in Africa, with specialties in fashion, ICT, education, agriculture, and more.
The top 5 most-represented countries of the selected group come from Uganda, Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, and Kenya.
Of the recipients, Mr. Elumelu says, “The selection of these 1000 entrepreneurs brings us closer to our ultimate goal – to drive Africa’s economic and social transformation from within and to radically intensify job creation in Africa.
“Though I have never met or spoken to any of the winners, I am confident that due to the rigorous criteria and selection process, these entrepreneurs are Africa’s hope for the future. I will continue to invest my experience, time, influence, and resources to see them succeed. I am embarking on this journey with these entrepreneurs hopeful and inspired.”
The 1,000 selected entrepreneurs will continue through the programme cycle over the next nine months. This cycle includes an intensive online training curriculum, mentoring, and participation in a two-day entrepreneurship boot-camp and the Elumelu Entrepreneurship Forum. The over 19,000 entrepreneurs who were not selected will be invited to join the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Network where they will be able to further hone their entrepreneurial knowledge and skills.
Last year, Forbes Magazine ranked Mr. Elumelu as the 26th richest African; he is reportedly worth $1 billion.
Elumelu’s business program also makes him the largest donor to African small business in history.