A week from today, we will be welcoming nearly 5000 African Entrepreneurs from all 54 African countries, into the 2021 Tony Elumelu Foundation beneficiary network. This year, we trained over 200,000 young African entrepreneurs and shortlisted the best performing 15,000 to pitch their business ideas and submit business plans. After conducting thorough due diligence alongside our financial partners, the United Bank for Africa (UBA) Group, the highest-ranked entrepreneurs across our extensive selection process this year, are now eligible to receive the TEF non-refundable seed capital of $5,000 to operationalize their ideas and scale their businesses.
It gives me great pleasure to invite you to the selection announcement event happening on Friday, 12 November 2021. Please click here to watch. The event will be hosted by our Founder, Tony O Elumelu, and will have in attendance representatives from the development, public and private sectors, as well as select TEF alumni, and of course our TEF Partners.
As the leading philanthropy empowering young African entrepreneurs to catalyze economic growth, drive poverty eradication and ensure job creation, we are confident that through our Programme, we are generating economic hope in the youth, leveraging their skills, creativity, and innovation. We know first-hand that it is not really the big businesses that make the difference when it comes to spurring economic growth; it is these small and medium scale enterprises that create jobs and alleviate poverty, whilst bridging the inequality gaps that continue to threaten our social fabric. Our approach empowers young Africans in a dignified fashion, equipping them with the tools, resources, and networks to transform their communities.
What a year it has been for all of us! And what a remarkable way to begin wrapping 2021 up with this Selection Announcement that will bring the total number of entrepreneurs funded by the Foundation to 15,508!
I am excited for the future of our beloved continent, and we hope you are too!