Meet the 1,000 Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurs for 2017 whose ideas will transform Africa


On Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017 the 3rd Annual Tony Elumelu Foundation selection announcement took place at Heirs Place, Ikoyi. This announcement, which was done to name the selected 1000 people, takes place every 22nd of March, the founder’s birthday.

“We believe that the road to economic development would come from entrepreneurship. We need to work together as Africans and support these entrepreneurs,” Tony Elumelu said.

According to the foundation, 93,246 African Entrepreneurs applied from 55 African countries, which more than doubled the number of applications received in 2016 and nearly quadruple of the 2015 application numbers. The selection process went through three stages. In the first stage the Tony Elumelu Foundation screened 93,246 applications, in the second stage Accenture Development Partners evaluated 10,135 applications, in the third stage, Tony Elumelu Foundation Selection Committee evaluated 1,100 applications and then finally 1,000 applications were selected.

The selections prove that African youth are indeed interested in Agriculture as the sector led the pack with nearly 1 in 3 successful applicants active in this sector. The next most popular sector was ICT, 11 percent, and then manufacturing, 9 percent. As usual, Nigeria, is home to 50 percent of the 2017 cohort, with regional powerhouses Kenya, Ghana, Uganda and Cameroon following respectively.

According to a statement from the foundation, successful entrepreneurs will benefit from the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme’s 7 Pillars – a toolkit of support including business training, active mentoring, access to networks and funding of up to $10,000 – as they develop their business concepts to support the transformation of the continent. As founder Tony Elumelu CON is often quoted as stating, “No one but us Africans will develop Africa.”

The 2017 Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurs will be trained and mentored in the next nine months. They will use the skills acquired to develop a business plan; after which they become eligible to receive up to $10,000 in seed capital to develop their business concepts.

Meet the new 1,000 entrepreneurs whose ideas will transform Africa




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Iheanyi Igboko is a social advocate, educator and journalist/blogger; working actively in the education and human development sector. He is passionate about promoting access to quality education, increasing youth active participation and engagement, and empowering young people to develop solutions to their problems. He craves unending hopes of a better Nigeria that will meet the hopes and aspirations of her citizens; and committed to building a nation that will seamlessly harness and develop her numerous human and capital potentials.


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