The Tony Elumelu Foundation

The grant for a better Africa

Posted by Mokshada Taurah & Jeffry Damien Yeung Ki

Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurs Transforming Africa - The Trailer

An entrepreneur may be keen on pursuing his business goals, he may be having an optimistic outlook for his future endeavors but if he fails to address the key issue required to start his business then there may be slow progress or no progress at all. Building a startup is not an easy task and cash flow management is key to the smooth running of the business. However, what is more difficult is to find investors who would be willing to invest in the business.

Just like any other business sets on finding its investors, so did AVR Plato. AVR Plato happen to come across the Tony Elumelu Foundation which has as mission to believe that the private sector is the key to unlock Africa’s economic potential, a mission that aligns itself by coincidence to the ambition of our co-founders. It has as vision to help the small and medium enterprises as they face obstacles when growing their small and medium enterprises into national growth companies and their national growth companies into African multinationals. The 3 E’s – Execution, Enterprise and Excellence are the core values of the Tony Elumelu Foundation.


The (TEF) Tony Elumelu Foundation is an African non-profit organisation and was founded in 2010 by Tony Elumelu, a Nigerian entrepreneur and philanthropist. It has established its image as promoting African entrepreneurship and empowering entrepreneurs to be a catalyst for the social and economic development of the African continent. Throughout the years, TEF has consolidated its programmes and initiatives by introducing the Elumelu Professionals Programme, Nigeria 50 and the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme which is a decade long $100 million initiative designed to give training, mentorship and seed capital to 10,000 entrepreneurs with start-up business ideas they want to execute in Africa.

Back in 2018, after a failed attempt the previous year to secure a grant with the foundation, the company was chosen amongst 215,000 applicants to be in the 1000’s beneficiaries. However, this was a long road before we could be selected. In fact, it was a journey like no other. After weekly project deliverables and mentoring, our business plan had to be vetted by Accenture, only then the company would be able to get the grant. We received 10,000 USD as grant which we have promptly invested in the company and in our projects. But that not all, the TEF also made our co-founder Shameer C.M Ramdin and Alumni which is a huge opportunity for networking and growth.

Shameer MIT certificate

Where there is a will, there is a way, if you can’t find an opportunity locally, you can still search around, who knows you might knock the right door. It should however be noted that we had applied to fifty different grants and competitions and it has been the Tony Elumelu Foundation that has been helpful. “Genius is 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration.”- Thomas Edison.

Other article sources: Des start-up mauriciennes subventionnées par une fondation nigérienne