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The Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme (TEEP) is empowering a whole new wave of African entrepreneurs. Since its launch in 2015 by Nigerian billionaire philanthropist Tony Elumelu, TEEP has provided training, mentoring, and seed funding to over 15,000 startups and small businesses across Africa.
The goal is to empower 10,000 entrepreneurs over 10 years, creating millions of jobs and generating billions in revenues. For any aspiring or early-stage entrepreneur in Africa, TEEP is an unparalleled opportunity to gain the skills, knowledge, connections, and capital needed to turn ideas into reality.
This eBook provides a comprehensive guide to applying for the 2024 cohort.
You will gain insights and learn strategies for crafting an outstanding application, maximizing your participation if selected, and ultimately growing a successful, impact-driven business.
Chapter 1: Understanding the TEEP
The Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme (TEEP) was founded by African investor Tony O. Elumelu through his $100 million commitment to empower 10,000 entrepreneurs and catalyze economic growth across Africa.
TEEP’s mission is to nurture emerging African entrepreneurs into successful business leaders through training, mentorship, and early-stage funding. Its goal is to accelerate job creation, innovation, and prosperity by backing ambitious founders with high-growth potential.
Chapter 2: Preparing a Winning Application
The TEEP application process is rigorous and competitive.
In fact, it is more difficult to earn a TEEP grant than to gain admission at Harvard University. Each year, tens of thousands of eager entrepreneurs apply for just a few thousand spots.
For context, the combined 2020/2021 cohort received over 200,000 applications for just 4,000 spots (that’s a 2% acceptance rate), and TEEP evaluated applicants through multiple rigorous stages. 70,000 were selected for online training and submission of a comprehensive business plan. 15,000 passed to the pitch stage before the final review.
So you must put your best foot forward.
To submit a winning application, (and by extension, a chance to be selected among the 4,000), you need to deliver excellently across three key components:
- The video pitch
- The executive summary, and
- The business plan.
Use the recommendations in this chapter to drive clarity, not conformity (because your goal is to stand out). The strongest applications express business viability and a touch of personal conviction in equal measure.
Follow the guidance shared here to effectively showcase both in the three key components.
Chapter 3: Defining Your Business Model
A well-defined business model is crucial for communicating the viability and profitability of your venture to TEEP evaluators. The strongest applications do not just share an idea but prove it is executable through a deliberately conceived business model.
Your model outlines how you create value for customers and convert payments into profit. By mapping core components like target segments, value propositions, and revenue streams, you demonstrate a strategic understanding of how to build a sustainable enterprise.
Without defining these building blocks, your application will seem more hypothetical than operational. Evaluators will question whether you have truly vetted your concept and developed an actionable commercialization plan.
An undefined model casts uncertainty on fundamental aspects like:
- Who specifically will buy your offering and why?
- How will you get your product to market?
- What incentive exists for users to continuously pay for your solution?
Chapter 4: Before You Submit
You’ve poured passion into every application component, from video pitch to business plan. Now it’s time to refine, proofread, and make your application components cohesive.
This chapter’s all about helping you put together an application that’ll totally wow the evaluators.
Chapter 5: TEEP Application Timeline & Checklist
The Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme (TEEP) 2024 application cycle kicks off on January 1, 2024. Aspiring African entrepreneurs have until March 31, 2024, to submit their completed applications.
The program unfolds in five stages:
- Application Phase
- Training & Mentorship Phase
- Business Plan Submission Phase
- Pitching Phase
- Seed Capital Phase
This chapter provides an in-depth timeline of key dates and deadlines to guide you through the full TEEP 2024 journey, from application to funding disbursement. Understanding the schedule of events will help you plan and maximize your prospects of success.