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Empowering African Entrepreneurs – TEEP

TEEP – Making a remarkable difference in Africa.

There was a palpable buzz of excitement and nervous anticipation as TEEP applicants from across the African continent awaited the release of the list of 1000 African entrepreneurs accepted into the annual Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme (TEEP).

First, I must disclose (and brag) that my brother was accepted this year and my sister is one of the distinguished alumni of this esteemed program that remains the $100 million entrepreneurship core of the Tony Elumelu Foundation – one with a clear mission to identify and mentor the next generation of African entrepreneurs.

The Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme (TEEP) is an annual 12-month program fully committed for the next ten years, to mentor and support African entrepreneurs from ideas and dreams to real, concrete business plans and strategies. At graduation, each successful participant gets an endowment of $5000 seed money. TEEP in its projection aims to create 10,000 new African entrepreneurs, 1 million new jobs and $10 billion annual revenue across the continent over the next decade.

Each program cycle begins with applications from January 1st until March 1st. The life-changing ‘list’ reveal comes later in March. The applications are from prospective start-ups across Africa and economic sectors like Agriculture, ICT, Housing, Media, Education, Transportation, Textiles, Manufacturing, etc. An independent, expert Selection Committee with TEEP reviews all the applications and select the 1000 best applicants to join the program as certified #TEEP Start-ups. From over 45,000 applicants across 54 African countries, here is the TEEP 2016 list of entrepreneurs and future business moguls.

The Visionary – Tony O. Elumelu, CON (Commander of the Niger)

According to the TEEP, He is the founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation and Chairman of Heirs Holdings Limited, an African investment company with interests in financial services, power, oil and gas, agribusiness, real estate, hospitality, and healthcare.
He is the Chairman of UBA Group and Transcorp Plc — the largest conglomerate in Nigeria and the creator of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, dedicated to catalyzing entrepreneurship across Africa. He also sits on the boards of Global United Nations, World Bank, USAID, the global advisory board of the Sustainable Energy for All initiative (SE4ALL), the Aspen Institute, the National Competitiveness Council of Nigeria, among many others.
Mr. Elumelu is the creator and leading proponent of the philosophy of Africapitalism, which advocates for private sector engagement in Africa’s development.


TEEP Success Stories

The TEEP Blog highlights many of their successful alumni and shares their stories and journeys, as exemplifications of hard work, creativity, ingenuity and the enduring spirit of progress. Get inspired by the stories of entrepreneurs such as:

  • Timothy Murithi, CEO of Seritex company from Kenya rears silkworms and plants mulberry trees. He has since increased the production capacity of his company by 2%. The company now has two rearing houses – each with the capacity to cater to 100,000 silkworms.
  • Vicky Udomi, CEO of Soakeez from Nigeria, after graduating from TEEP, also participated in the Cherie Blair Foundation Road2growth Business Programme, produces Soakeez – a ready to drink garri (grated, dried cassava) packaged with peanuts or coconut chips, milk and sugar. With her success, she has acquired a delivery van and 15 acres of cassava farm.

My sister, Nsikan Benson Essien (CEO of Netima Republic) has always been a serial entrepreneur and opened her fashion and apparel company after her stints at Zenith Bank and UBA. Her newest venture Netima Happy Feet is a result of her tenure with TEEP and Lagos Business School. She encouraged my brother Hon. Idopise Essien who after serving as a State Representative to the House of Assembly, fanned the embers of his entrepreneurial spirit and started a pineapple plantation and other agricultural ventures, which earned him a place in this current list of TEEP selected entrepreneurs.

Congratulations to those ready to tee-up for the hard work ahead and to Mr. Tony Elumelu. His vision and legacy will live on, as one who at the pinnacle of success has reached back and set the course for the new generation of entrepreneurs in Africa.
Check out TEEP’s website for application and programme requirements. Each year presents another opportunity for a brand new set of enterprising minds – as this current class of TEEP business men and women will graduate with the knowledge and proficiency needed to change their lives, Africa and by extension, the world. Onward!


Author: A Danesi

A. Danesi is a writer, a business and marketing consultant with an MBA in Financial Management. “I love people, writing & crunching numbers…in that order – Please Like, Connect, Comment and Share. Thanks for hanging out!”

Categories: Business in Africa, Finances & Money, Insights, Mindset, Reviews

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