How to apply for Tony Elumelu (TEF) grant 2022

Have you been looking for a guide on how to apply for the Tony Elumelu Foundation grant? then you are at the right place. The TEF grant is among the best business Grants for African Entrepreneurs in 2022. And it is not best just because they give out grants but because they mentor and train all applicants before picking the winners.  This article will guide you on how to apply, and then the requirements and the processes involved. 

What is TEF grant?

The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) started in 2010 is a leading philanthropy empowering young African entrepreneurs across all 54 African countries. Since 2015 the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme has funded African entrepreneurs with business ideas or existing businesses under 5 years with $5000 seed capital, mentorship, business management training and more.

In 2021, the Tony Elumelu Foundation disbursed USD$24.75 million to 5000 African entrepreneurs across Africa for its 2021 Entrepreneurship Programme. TEF remains one of the largest private-sector responses to driving the economic recovery of African youths, women and SMEs given the effects of the covid19 pandemic across Africa. The TEF grant winners are starting and growing trailblazing businesses that have created over 400,000 direct and indirect jobs.

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The 7 pillars of TEF entrepreneurship programme

7 pillars of the TEF are designed to address the basic needs to ensure the success of an African entrepreneur.

  1. Mentoring
  2. 12 weeks of business management training
  3. knowledge resources on tefconnect.net
  4. Meetups
  5. Annual TEF entrepreneurship forms
  6. Seed capital funding
  7. TEF entrepreneurship programme alumni network

Requirements to apply for TEF Grant

It is open to all Africans from all 54 African countries with scalable business ideas or businesses that have existed for not more than 5 years

Applicants must be 18 years and above

Your application must focus on one business only

Your business must affect the environment, lives and property and they must be for-profit and business ideas must be your original work.

The grant is not applicable to research institutions, faith-based organizations, value-adding trading companies, government organizations and businesses outside Africa.

How much is the TEF grant?

The initial seed capital funding is fixed at $5,000 for each person and every applicant takes mentorship and business management training. 

Selection processes for Tony Elumelu grant

  1. Application phase
  2. Training and mentorship phase
  3. Business plan submission phase
  4. pitching phase
  5. seed capital phase

How do I apply for Tony Elumelu Foundation grant?

The TEF programme is an annual programme and registration is usually open for about 3 months. The 2022 registration lasted from the 1st of January to March 31st. You can sign up for our newsletter to stay updated when 2023 registration begins.

Once registration starts;

  • After registration, you will be moved to the training stage
  • During the online training stage, ensure you have a very high score
  • Then you will be asked to submit your business plan
  • If you are selected you will be moved to the next stage which is the pitching stage
  • The winners will be selected from applicants that make a good pitch and also meet other criteria depending on the sponsor’s consideration

TEF 2022 deadline 

The TEF grant 2022 application deadline is 1st March 2022. The application for 2022 is currently closed and the names of the TEF grant 2022 winners will be published soon. You can apply for the TEF grant which will start in early 2023. 

How to win Tony Elumelu Foundation grant 

After your training and mentorship programme which is open to all applicants the two phases that will determine if you will get the grant or not are the business plan and pitching phase. The possibility of being selected for the pitching phase depends on your business plan. So you must draft a professional and innovative business plan. Let me take you through some tips on writing your  business plan 

When writing your business idea you should consider the following; 

  • Feasibility of the business 
  • Market Knowledge: you should have knowledge of the market, the difficulties, customers/clients and competitors of the business idea. 
  • Financial understanding: have a financial understanding of the necessary requirements of running the business including costs, taxes and profits. Also, ensure that your business plan fits into the funding which is $5000. 
  • Scalability: Your business idea should be able to create jobs and wealth and also have a positive impact on your community, country or continent. Business ideas that are designed to solve problems in society stand a high chance of being selected.
  • Your idea must be unique: If you design your business plan to run like every other regular business you will not be selected. Your idea must have a unique innovation that distinguishes it from others. For example, if you want to do a fish pond and you don’t state how yours will be different from others, it will not fly. I advise you to write a business idea that is either a new innovation, not common in your community or very few in your country. 
  • Lastly, Your business idea should show that you did the 12 weeks of online training and that you have a great understanding of what you were taught. 

How to pitch for Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) grant

The pitching phase is the final phase before you get selected for the TEF grant. You have to prepare months ahead for this. You may not be picked if you have a good business plan without a good pitch. Before your pitch, make sure you carry out deep research about your business idea both online and offline. Know the market, know all the advantages and disadvantages, know the limitations of the business and have a marketing strategy, and prepare for every possible question that may be thrown at you.


The competition for the TEF grant is usually very high so your pitch should be excellent because you might even give a good pitch and still not get selected. In fact, the panel usually have a tough time selecting winners every year. However, if you have followed the tips I listed in the article you stand a high chance of getting selected, the TEF grant 2022 registration is closed, but you can still apply early next year. 




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