The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) has revealed plans to unveil the inaugural 1,000 finalists from those who have registered interest in the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme (TEEP). A total of 20,000 candidates from 52 countries across Africa tendered their applications to participate in the programme before the portal was closed on March 1, 2015.
The list of successful candidates will be posted on the Foundation’s website on the 24th of March. “Together, we’ll join forces to support Africa’s next entrepreneurial success stories, and shine a spotlight on their transformative business ideas,” TEF stated on crowd-speaking platform, Thunderclap.
A vast majority of aspiring entrepreneurs are interested in exploring the Agricultural sector. “[…] the top one is agriculture, which I think is also very interesting because if you think of where agriculture was as a sector in Africa about five years ago, it was seen as something about poverty, treachery, young people certainly won’t want anything to do about agriculture,” Former Tony Elumelu Foundation CEO Dr Wiebe Boer told Ventures Africa in an interview recently.
Boer believes that the 1000 finalists will show the world that Africa has great new ideas, incredible innovation and better entrepreneurs. “[…] it is going to create a movement, I think that is beyond what we even imagine and those one thousand that we pick every year, by bringing them together and networking them will actually contribute toward that intra-African trade and intra-African interaction in a very specific way.”
The positive response from the onset is proof that despite various trade barriers, Africa still remains fairly integrated. Based on the various skills and businesses identified so far, the target of one million jobs created over ten years has moved from over-reaching to realistic.