The announcement was made during an event held at the Tony Elumelu Foundation’s headquarters in Lagos, Nigeria on 15 March, which was attended by several African political and business leaders.
This partnership is the first Google.org Fellowship in Africa and will offer enormous opportunities for Africa’s digital community. Nine full-time Google employees – including software engineers, UI/UX researchers and policy experts – will work with the Foundation to design and build an upgraded version of the TEFConnect platform. TEFConnect is already home to over one million African entrepreneurs and offers tailored tools, market partnerships and access to coaches and investors to small businesses.
This fellowship builds on an initial $3m grant by Google.org to support the 2021 TEF Entrepreneurship Programme by empowering an additional 500 African women to start or scale their businesses. The TEF Entrepreneurship Programme is a $100m initiative that has supported over 15,000 African entrepreneurs and is the largest entrepreneurship programme in Africa.
Tony Elumelu, co-founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, said: “We are pleased to continue to share our unique ability and platform to identify, train, mentor and fund young entrepreneurs across Africa with like-minded institutions like Google.org who share in our commitment to empower young African entrepreneurs.
“It will be exciting to see the ways in which the refreshed TEFConnect platform will continue to provide a space for growth, personal development, and meaningful exchange for African entrepreneurs. In line with our founding philosophy of Africapitalism, we believe that entrepreneurs are the catalyst for the social and economic development of the African continent.”