2019 TEF-UNDP Entrepreneurship Programme Finalists
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the global development network of the United Nations, has partnered with the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) — Africa’s leading philanthropy committed to empowering entrepreneurs — to train, mentor and financially support 100,000 young entrepreneurs in Africa over 10 years towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the African Union’s Agenda 2063.
The TEF-UNDP Sahel Youth Entrepreneurship Programme, which is expected to mobilize support for businesses, aims to generate millions of new jobs and contribute at least $10 billion in new annual revenues across Africa.
This was announced today at the 12th Extraordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union (AU), where TEF Founder, Tony Elumelu and UNDP Regional Director for Africa, Ahunna Eziakonwa joined African Presidents at the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Business Forum, where the agreement was signed. The President of Niger, H.E Mahamadou Issoufou joined UNDP and TEF to launch the programme.
The partnership will target young Africans in under-served communities, starting with the Sahel, given the region’s opportunity as the youngest population in the world with 194 million people under 25 years of age (64.5% of the total population). The TEF-UNDP Sahel Youth Entrepreneurship Programme will be implemented through TEF’s flagship Entrepreneurship Programme, which has already benefited 7,520 local entrepreneurs across 54 African countries in just five years of existence. Similarly, the programme builds on UNDP’s YouthConnekt initiative. The aim is to increase job creation through dynamic entrepreneurship and create sustainable economic growth that anchors the development of communities and states.
The applications will be run on TEFConnect, the largest digital networking platform for African entrepreneurs and forms will be available in any of the branches of the United Bank for Africa (UBA). Following the end of the application window, an initial longlist of 5,500 applicants will be selected to undergo the 12-week business training. After the training, the final shortlist of 2,000 applicants will be announced to join the previous 2019 TEF cohort.
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What is the TEF-UNDP Youth Entrepreneurship Programme?
The TEF-UNDP Youth Entrepreneurship Programme is a partnership between the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) to empower 100,000 additional entrepreneurs over 10 years from across the African continent.
Do all shortlisted entrepreneurs get the seed capital?
No. Only final announced candidates in December will receive the seed capital of $1,500, $3,500 or $5,000 depending on the decision of the judges following the pitch competition.
What were the criteria for shortlisting the qualifying entrepreneurs?
All eligible online and offline applications submitted in line with the criteria were reviewed and judged on 3 core criteria, which are: Feasibility, market opportunity and business growth potential.
What is the programme timeline for the TEF-UNDP Sahel Youth Entrepreneurship Programme?
- 81,000 applications were received by August 20
- 5,240 have been shortlisted this in October to receive business training
- 2,500 will be shortlisted for the pitching competition in November
- Final 2,100 who will receive seed capital will be announced in December 2019