The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) was founded in 2010 by Tony O. Elumelu, CON, an entrepreneur, investor and philanthropist who is passionate about Africa’s economic development. They are the leading philanthropy in Africa championing entrepreneurship and entrepreneurs across the continent.
Their long-term investment in empowering African entrepreneurs is emblematic of Tony Elumelu’s philosophy of Africapitalism, which positions Africa’s private sector, and most importantly entrepreneurs, as the catalyst for the social and economic development of the continent.
In 2015, TEF consolidated its various programmes and initiatives and made investing in Africa’s next generation of entrepreneurs and business leaders a priority. The future of the Tony Elumelu Foundation centers on the provision of structured, robust, and multifaceted support to entrepreneurs around Africa through the Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme.
The vision for the Foundation is to unlock the obstacles that Africa’s entrepreneurs face as they grow their start-ups into small to medium enterprises (SMEs), their SMEs into national growth companies, and their national growth companies into African multinationals.
They will continue to support their growing numbers of programme alumni, whose inspirational success stories serve as encouragement to upcoming entrepreneurs and demonstrate the effectiveness of their interventions. As they deepen their reach in Africa, they will continue to enrich these alumni networks, facilitating meaningful conversations and mentor relationships to further assist tomorrow’s business leaders and build an impactful pan-African entrepreneurial ecosystem.
Mission & Vision
The Tony Elumelu Foundation believes that the private sector holds the key to unlocking Africa’s economic potential.
To that end, their mission is to catalyse economic and social development in Africa through entrepreneurship, focusing on three areas:
- The empowerment of entrepreneurs through capacity development, seed capital, mentoring and networking.
- The promotion of thought leadership on entrepreneurship through advocacy and evidence-based research as a guide for policymakers across African governments.
- The creation of an integrated entrepreneurial ecosystem that promotes African entrepreneurship.
The main philosophy of the Tony Elumelu Foundation is based on their Founder’s desire to empower a generation of successful for-profit entrepreneurs who drive Africa’s economic and social transformation. Their guiding principles are derived from an inclusive economic philosophy of Africapitalism, which states that long-term, dynamic African-led private sector investment in key sectors of the continent’s economy will drive economic and social development through its programme and activities. The Tony Elumelu Foundation seeks to “institutionalise luck” and create an environment where entrepreneurship can flourish in a sustained manner.