#TEFforum2018: 10 Key Takeaways


Friday, October 26, 2018 4.30PM Otto Abasiekong of WebTV


The Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme the largest gathering of  African entrepreneurs in the globe, successfully hosted its fourth edition on Thursday October 25, 2018 at the Federal Palace Hotel in Lagos. 

Designed with the objective of investing $100m in 10,000 entrepreneurs over a decade(2015-2025)  with a seed capital of $5,000 each the TEF forum has become a notable initiative, for enterprise development in Africa. 

Proshare WebTV brings to you from its coverage, ten (10) key takeaways from the event;


$25m Seed Capital Released for 4,000 African Entrepreneurs

From the opening address by the CEO of the Tony Elumelu Foundation Parminder VIR, OBE it was disclosed that since the inception of the TEF forum in 2015 about $25m has been released as seed capital to 4,000 African entrepreneurs. 

About $10m has been invested in developing the technology infrastructure that will connect the African entrepreneurs, while according to the TEF CEO 62% of the businesses operated by the entrepreneurs are fully operational.


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41% Gender Participation for 2018 Edition

Another interesting report from the TEF forum revealed by the CEO of the Foundation Parminder VIR, OBE  was the improvement in gender participation in the programme. 

For the 2018 set the participation increased to 41%, which means the foundation is making progress in encouraging female entrepreneurs. 

It is expected that by  2019 edition it will hit 50%  which will be a significant step in boosting gender inclusion.


Exploits of the TEF Forum Alumni

The TEF forum Alumni of over 3,000 are making impact across the continent through their business ventures shaping a narrative of innovation and ingenuity in Africa. 

From the remarks of the TEF CEO about 1,500 entrepreneurs empowered by the foundation have created 12,000 jobs in the region. 

At the 2018 event some of the outstanding Alumni of TEF were honoured for the feat they have made in the business space.

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Power-packed Pitching Competition

The TEF forum is a platform that encourages innovative ideas and it was not surprising that this year’s edition, featured a pitching competition.


It was moderated by Mayeni Jones of the BBC and was an opportunity for five (5) young entrepreneurs to pitch their ideas namely;

-Vital Sounovou of Exportunity Benin Republic

-Sandra Onwuekwu of Ecoprune Nigeria

-Jessica Rakotoarisa of Nomad Solar Bag Madagascar

-Mohamed Dhaouafi of Cure Medicare, Tunisia

-Mahassin Quadri of Cash Madam Nigeria

At the end of the exercise Mahassan Quadri of Cash Madam Nigeria emerged the overall winner of the pitching competition. 

It had seasoned panel of judges who are notable entrepreneurs and shaping the African business environment like;

-Angelica Nwandu, Founder Shade Room

-Alessia Balducci, GM Seedspace

-Oluchi Orlandi, Internationally Acclaimed Model and Entrepreneur

-Sam Nwanze, Director Finance & Investments, Heirs Holdings

-Lanre Da Silva, African Fashion Entrepreneur

A Charge from African Leaders

What made the #TEFforum2018 thick and really a remarkable event was the attendance of Ghanaian President His Excellency Nana Akuffo Addo and the special video message from Kenyan President Mr. Uhuru Kenyatta, who both lauded Mr Tony .O. Elumelu, CON for investing in young African entrepreneurs.

They both charged the young entrepreneurs in Africa to rise up the challenge of transforming the continent, through their ingenuity and creativity, while pledging to drive policies that will create an enabling environment.

This once again affirmed the acceptability and recognition of the role TEF is playing, in enterprise development across the continent.

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Strategic Partnerships

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With the fourth edition of the TEF 2018 forum successfully concluded last week, a major takeaway is the growing partnerships with key international agencies in the globe.

The three international agencies that have identified with the Tony Elumelu Foundation include the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), International Committee for the Red Cross and GIZ-German Business Development Agency.

The aforementioned supported the TEF by sponsoring an additional 460 entrepreneurs to the 1,000 selected for the year 2018.

ICRC supported 210 entrepreneurs in areas across Nigeria ravaged by conflict, while the GIZ empowered 200 tech entrepreneurs.

On the part of the UNDP the focus is one of the features of the Sustainable Development Goals 2030, which is Job creation.

Gathering of Politicians

Notable Nigerian Politicians were also in attendance at the TEF forum 2018 which was an opportunity for them to get acquainted with developments in the largest gathering of African entrepreneurs in the region. 

Some of the leaders at the event include; H.E Alhaji Atiku Bagudu, Governor of Kebbi State, H.E Mr Mohammed Abubakar, Governor of Bauchi State, H.E Mr Donald Duke, Presidential Candidate, Social Democratic Party, H.E Mr Peter Obi Vice Presidential Candidate, Peoples Democratic Party, Mr Jimi Benson, Member House of Representatives, Ikorodu, Lagos State, and Engr Haruna Manu, Deputy Governor, Taraba State.


Launch of TEF Connect

One of the major highlights of the #TEFforum2018 was the launch of the “TEF Connect” the largest digital platform connecting African entrepreneurs in the globe. 

TEFConnect will bring together the entire African ecosystem players from entrepreneurs, incubators to investors.


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According to Folarin Aiyegbusi, Business Information Specialist at the Tony Elumelu Foundation, TEF Connect will provide the platform for effective networking across the entire ecosystem, and will also achieve the following; 

-Buy and sell in a thriving marketplace
-Access FREE business tools
-Network with potential investors for funding opportunities.


A Warm Fireside Chat between Eleni Giokos and Dr Awele Elumelu

One of the interesting features at the TEF forum 2018 was the fireside chat anchored by Eleni Giokos of the CNN Market Place Africa with Dr Awele Elumelu a trustee of the foundation, as the special guest.


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The conversation focused on the “The Role of the Private Sector in Furthering Economic Development” in the region. 

Dr Awele Elumelu emphasized the need for public-private sector partnership  in addressing challenges in sectors like healthcare. 

She shared insight into the TEF forum activities and how it is empowering young African entrepreneurs to provide solutions to issues in the continent. 

They discussed the progress in female participation which hit 41% in 2018, Dr Awele Elumelu said "We need to encourage women, empower them and make the work environment more conducive for them. Women have to believe in themselves and men need to believe that women can do great things too”.


The Market Place

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The “Market Place” was another interesting addition to the 2018 edition of the forum and provided an opportunity for the TEF entrepreneurs to showcase their products, network and also engage potential investors. 

It was also an avenue to capture some of the remarkable businesses that have emerged since the commencement of the programme in 2015.


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