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By What Criteria Are the Applicants of Tony Elumelu Foundation Funding judged?

Saturday, January 12, 2019

/ by Apeh Ikechukwu

The Tony Elumelu entrepreneurship foundation (TEF) is an empowerment program established in 2010 by Tony Elumelu which is focused on investing in businesses and startups owned by Africans.  We would be looking at the criteria used by the Tony Elumelu Foundation for judging applications submitted by African entrepreneurs.



It is a 10-year program that is committed to investing over $100 million each year in identifying, training, and funding ten thousand entrepreneurs across Africa.
The application for this year’s program started on the 1st of January, 2019 and ends on the first day of the month of March. Over the years, so many people have been wondering the criteria that they use to judge applications and how they select winners.

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

Earlier this year, the foundation on their Instagram handle, brought out a list of the criteria used by their judges to select businesses that benefit from their program. Below are the criteria used by the Tony Elumelu Foundation for selecting businesses in no particular order:

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.


Scalability: 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.


Feasibility: 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.

Last words:
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.
It is important also for you to note that your business might be rejected even if it meets the criteria above based on some other grounds. Some of which are:
  • If the business is more than 3 years old
  • The business is not based in Africa
  • The business owner or the application does not meet the other eligibility criteria for the selection.
  • You do not provide a clear description of what you intend to pass across in one or more sections of your application.

If you meet these criteria and the eligibility criteria, then your business is likely to get selected. Remember to share with your friends so as to make guided applications and get the chance of your business being selected.


You can also ask any question as concerned with the criteria used by the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) in selecting businesses for funding using the comment box below and we would get back to you immediately.


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