The TEF Forum: Sharing Stories of Impact

Introduction

Founded on the principles of Africapitalism, the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme isa 10-year, $100 million commitment to identify, train, mentor, and fund 10,000 entrepreneurs from across the continent.

Since 2015, the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme has empowered 4470 African entrepreneurs, across 54 countries to institutionalize luck and democratize opportunity.  In 2019, the programme scaled to select 3050 African entrepreneurs!

To support them on their entrepreneurial journey, the Foundation has given them the tools, the networks, the mentors and the funding to transform Africa.Today, the Tony Elumelu Foundation is at the forefront of technology innovation and is recognized as a thought leader on African Entrepreneurship around the world. Over the five years that I lived in Nigeria and travelled across 50 of the 54 African countries as the CEO of the Foundation, I met Africa’s exceptional talent, pursuing incredible dreams, re-imagining history, entrepreneurial pursuits, and humanitarian work across the continent.

Storytelling

The emergence of African entrepreneurs shaping their own destinies and the destiny of the continent is a compelling story. From the start of the programme, I incorporated documenting this story and the stories of the alumni as part of changing the African narrative.

In 2015, working with David Monfort, talented photographer and documentary director, I produced the first of three long form documentary films. We used the archive footage and content from the 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 TEF Entrepreneurship Forums of presentations, masterclasses, panel discussions, interviews with TEF entrepreneurs and mentors tell a story of the genesis of this audacious 7 Pillars of the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme.

The 7 Pillars of the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme is comprised of the 12 Week Start-up Enterprise Toolkit; Mentoring; Resource Library; Meet-ups; Entrepreneurship Forum; Seed Capital investment and Alumni Network.

I invite you to watch these films as you prepare to attend 5th Edition of the TEF Entrepreneurship Forum 2019:

  • The 2015, Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurs: Transforming Africa documentary tells the story of one man’s vision to harness the ingenuity and creativity of Africa’s entrepreneurs and once refined, unleash it as an engine of growth on the continent.
  • The 2016, Empowering African Entrepreneurs documentary continues the story of the vision behind the Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme to train, fund and mentor 10,000 African Entrepreneurs across the continent to create jobs and generate wealth.
  • In 2018 we turned our attention to the TEF entrepreneurs, to document their entrepreneurial journey through Empowering African Entrepreneurs…..A Story of Impact, featuring 12 Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurs from the 3010 who have passed through the ground-breaking Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme since 2015.

The three documentaries are a visual account of the four TEF Entrepreneurship Forums and serve as a valuable resource for the thousands of entrepreneurs who have applied but were not selected as well as all TEF stakeholders and members of the TEF network.

Over 2 million people have viewed these three documentaries worldwide. I invite you to see the resilience displayed by these African entrepreneurs in developing their businesses, generating revenues, and creating jobs across the continent.

Other resources that we have used to share the stories of these phenomenal entrepreneurs include:

  • Over 500 Alumni Stories—from 30 countries and 27 Nigerian States—published on the TEF website and across the TEF social media platforms.
  • The TEF Audio Stories, featuring over 100 TEF Alumni, with a listenership of over 6000 people, where they discuss their businesses challenges and talk about their experience with the Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme.

On the 1st April 2019, after 5 amazing years, I stepped down as the CEO of the Foundation. Now in my capacity as the TEF Advisory Board Member, I am looking forward to attending the 5th Edition of the TEF Entrepreneurship Forum, to meeting the over 3,050 entrepreneurs selected in March 2019, the past alumni and great mentors who have supported the selected entrepreneurs since 2015.