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Getting access to seed grants as a small business owner have become a major challenge in Nigeria with financial institution who are becoming unwilling to lend business owner and entrepreneurs Loans to start up and set up their businesses.
In an attempt to curb this irregularities some very brave personalities have stood out amidst all economic downturn to assist the Nigerian people and one of those elegant personalities that we are going to be discussing today is Mr Tony Elumelu.
Who Is Tony Elumelu.
Tony Elumelu was born in Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria, in 1963. He hails from Onicha-Ukwu in Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta State.
He has two degrees in economics from Nigerian universities, a bachelor’s degree from Ambrose Alli University and a master of science degree from the University of Lagos.
Tony Elumelu married Awele Vivien Elumelu, a medical doctor, in 1993, and they have seven children together.
He has four siblings, one of whom is Ndudi Elumelu, a member of the Nigerian Federal House of Representatives. He is the cousin of legendary Nigerian reggae artiste, Ras Kimono.
Tony Elumelu is also a Nigerian economist, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. He is the chairman of Heirs Holdings, the United Bank for Africa, Transcorp and founder of The Tony Elumelu Foundation.
Elumelu holds the Nigerian national honors, the Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON) and Member of the Order of the Federal Republic (MFR) in 2003.
He was recognized as one of Africa’s 20 Most Powerful People in 2012 by Forbes magazine.
His net worth has been estimated to be over US$700 Million as of 2015 as listed by Forbes.
About The Tony Elumelu Foundation.
The Tony Elumelu Foundation is an African private-sector-led philanthropy focused on empowering African entrepreneurs. Programme is the $100 Million commitment by the Elumelu family to empower 10,000 African entrepreneurs over a 10-year period.
The goal is to create at least 1 Million jobs and contribute over $10 billion in revenue to the African economy.
Following his retirement from United Bank for Africa in July 2010, Elumelu founded The Tony Elumelu Foundation. His stated objective was to prove that the African private sector can itself be the primary generator of economic development..
The Foundation is charged with the mission of driving Africa’s economic development by enhancing the competitiveness of the African private sector.
Mission and Vision Of the Tony Elumelu Foundation.
The Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme is the $100million commitment by the Elumelu family to empower 10,000 African entrepreneurs over a 10-year period.
The goal is to create at least 1million jobs and contribute over $10billion in revenue to the African economy.
Through its flagship Entrepreneurship Programme, the Foundation empowers African entrepreneurs and the entrepreneurship ecosystem across 54 African countries.
The Foundation has empowered 7,531 entrepreneurs thus far.
The Programme is built on a 7-pillar model, a unique holistic system of effective and intensive support to the African entrepreneurs, consisting of startup enterprise toolkit, online mentoring, online resource library, meet-ups, TEF Entrepreneurship Forum, seed capital and alumni network.
How To Apply for the Tony Elumelu $5000 Seed grants.
I am very pleased to announce to entrepreneurs who have not heard of this opportunity before in their entire lives and is willing to give their business an opportunity to be among the beneficiaries or previous applicants who have tried in time past but did not get any luck that the The Tony Elumelu Foundation has scheduled the opening of its portal for 2020 applicants on the 1st of January 2020.
All aspiring entrepreneurs should therefore take note of the following requirements and follow the mentioned steps below.
1. The program is open to all citizens and legal residents of any one of the 54 African countries.
2. Applicants must be 18 years old and must not be considered a minor in their country of residence.
3. All businesses must be business ideas or an early stage company, in the range of 0 to 3 years old.
Why you will not win the Tony Elumelu $5000 Seed grants.
Despite the openness of the Tony Elumelu Foundation most people still find it hard to pitch and win the Tony Elumelu Foundation grant and here are the few reasons why you will not win
1 .Late Submission
It has been discovered that when the portal opens for registration. Alot of people rush in and starts the registration process but and the first, second page.
They save and promise to continue later but eventually comes back two days to the deadline.
Don’t do that please.
The Grant is becoming more competitive. Applicants increase in number yearly. So, this year will not be different.
My advice be among the set that registers and submit within the first week of the portal opening. Won’t guarantee your selection, but gives you an edge over late comers, most especially when you have a killer-idea.
2. Unrealistic Financials
If you are already in business – that is your idea is a year or two old already.
Then, you must be able to articulate accurate figures of what you are selling, including your cost of operation, selling price, profit margin and all other vital information.
And if you are at the idea stage. Your financial assumptions must make sense – reasonble projections not building castle in the air e,g I will make 1billion after 5month (what are you selling?) Be realistic – what are you selling, how much are you selling, profit after sales etc.
3. Lack Of Social Impact
Tony Elumelu Foundation is not an investment company who want to share profit with you.
And so, they are concern about your impact dimension.
How many lives will you touch – and how are you touching them.
So, be clear to explain your impact metrics.
How many people will you impact directly and indirectly. Add the numbers, they matter. You will have better chances if you impact 100 people and above.
Story writting is a crucial part of the application. Because it somehow exposes your humanity in the procoss. It shows whether you own the idea or business.
Show’s if you truely care about impact of just the money.
So, it’s not enough to have a great idea or business. If you must win the $5000, you must have a great story to back up your idea to really win.
4. Zero Value Proposition
This is big and that is why is last on my list. If your value proposition is weak or fake. Forget winning the grant.
If what your idea or business is offering is what 2000 other persons are offering then no point – just go and work for the other guys
So, you have to bring something unique to the table.
Lot of people can be running a cat fish farm – whats different about yours?
The difference is the key to successful application. SO, FIND IT.
And my bonus ….. infuse technology to your idea and or business no matter what it is. They selection committee care about tech-inclusiveness in your idea.
Whether it be a website or a mobile app just make sure something techy is included.
2020 TEF Updates.
This year the Tony Elumelu has taken a u turn and they decided to change their style a little bit, in case you are a previous applicant and you have applied in the previous years then you might be shocked to discover that the application strategy has changed.
Anyway dont fear be of Good cheers, the organizers of the TEF wants to screen entrepreneurs more deeply than they usually do.
So after applying you might get this kind of email saying that you are an
- Green Horn
Here are what they mean.
What does my assigned training path mean?
Based on your answers to the assessment questions, the system profiles you and places you in the appropriate training path as follows:
• Greenhorn – This means you are a starter according to the business start-up profiling. You will go through the general training on TEFConnect. You will, however, not be eligible for mentorship or seed capital.
• Innovator – This means that you have been profiled to be an intermediate entrepreneur. You have a good potential to be a successful entrepreneur. You will go through the Intermediate training modules and you will be assigned a mentor during the program. Based on your performance through the training program, you will stand a chance to pitch your business in person to the set of judges for final selection to receive seed capital.
• Disruptor – This means that you are or identified to be natural or a seasoned entrepreneur. You will go through the Advanced training modules and you will be assigned a mentor during the program. Based on your performance through the training program, you will stand a chance to pitch your business in person to the set of judges for final selection to receive seed grant.