In January, I wrote an article on the Tony Elumelu Foundation Business plan competition. Some people took the leap while others continued as onlookers, maybe because of procrastination or because our psyche has been so bastardised by too many unfulfilled promises from our leaders that we do not trust any opportunity anymore.

Today, 1,000 applicants were announced as winners out of over 93,000 applicants from 55 countries across Africa. For those that applied, the list of finalists is out. If you didn’t make it this time, I challenge you to look for what you missed and try again next year. I can personally guide you.

As a reminder, Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme is an annual business plan competition that provides opportunity for 1000 young Africans to get $5,000 in non-returnable seed capital(grant) and access to a $5,000 convertible loan as funding for their business idea.  2017 Entries opened on January 1, 2017 and closed on March 1.

TEF Entrepreneurship Programme  has a $100 million commitment to train, mentor and fund 10,000 African entrepreneurs in every African country over a 10-year period. Since inception in 2015, the Programme has assisted nearly 2,000 entrepreneurs and created hundreds of jobs across the continent. This is the third year, that means there are  7 more editions ahead.

Today, Tony Elumelu announced winners of the 2017 edition of the programme. Click here to see the final list.

See Transcript of the Announcement below

My fellow entrepreneur;

I am Tony Elumelu and I have good news for you.

We received more than 93,000 applications from 55 African countries,

But YOUR idea stood out as having the potential to not only succeed, but also to scale and transform the lives of people and communities around you.

So you made it into the Programme class of 2017.

Over the next few months, you will receive:

1. online training;
2. mentorship,
3. access to networking opportunities,
4. a platform for meeting African policy makers
5. access to workshops, and
6. the potential to attract other investors.

When you complete the training successfully, you will attend an entrepreneurship forum here in Nigeria, where you will meet other entrepreneurs from across Africa.

I look forward to personally receiving you later this year.

Until then, Congratulations!

List of finalists