Tony Elumelu, Founder, The Tony Elumelu Foundation and wife, Awele Vivian Elumelu, explain how they’re aiming to create millions of jobs in a decade by focusing on funding for startups and entrepreneurs.

Africa News24 (AN24) understands that The Tony Elumelu Foundation is an African non-profitable organization established in the year 2010 based on the belief that with the right support, entrepreneurs can be empowered to contribute meaningfully to the development of Africa.

The foundation is aimed at creating a 10-year program that is committed to investing over $100 million each year in identifying, training, and funding ten thousand entrepreneurs across Africa.

What criteria are used by the Tony Elumelu Foundation for selecting businesses?

Leadership potential and entrepreneurial skills:

Businesses that are selected are those that demonstrate leadership potential, capable of attracting people, customers, and resources on their own. This involves both the business owner and the business. Is the idea you are trying to get funding for capable of having steady streams of customers patronizing you? How do you intend to pilot the affairs of the business?
If your answer to these questions is true, then you are likely to be selected.

Market opportunity:

Do you as the business owner understand the market, customer, and competitors for the idea or business you want to get funding for? This is seen on how well you describe the market, the competitors and the customers in your application. If you seem not to have in-depth knowledge about all these, the judges get to find out and you know what that means?
So, before application, make sure you have all the necessary knowledge about this and then, put them in writing, showing how passionate you are and boom! You are likely to be selected.


Does the idea or business you are trying to get TEF funds for, demonstrate the potential for replication and growth for its product or service to create jobs and wealth? Does it have the ability to be done in several places and employ people? If yes, then you are likely to get selected.

Financial understanding:

Do you understand the basic financial requirements of running a business, costs, and revenues? This is easily seen in the way you do the calculations in your application. Most of the time, people who want to start businesses don’t know the basics of finance, costs and revenues of the business they want to start and they tend to fold up within the first year of operation.


Is the idea or business you are trying to get the Tony Elumelu Foundation funding for feasible? Most times, we tend to submit ideas that we know can either not be done in this part of the world or that are just impossible.

All Africans are given equal opportunities of getting the funding and so, you too can get it even if you are not from Nigeria where Tony Elumelu comes from. All the 54 African countries are welcomed so far as the idea meets the aforementioned criteria.

If you meet these criteria and the eligibility criteria, then your business is likely to get selected.

You can also ask any question as concerned with the criteria used by the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) in selecting businesses for funding by clicking HERE.