Are you are a budding entrepreneur in Nigeria looking to fund your innovative idea or business?
If yes, then you should apply for the 2022 Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) grant of $5,000.
This article is a timely reminder for all serious budding entrepreneurs to apply ASAP.
There are a lot of things that $5,000 can do for any serious entrepreneur in Nigeria. $5,000 is just over 2 million Naira if converted using the official CBN dollar exchange rate.
Now, imagine getting 2 million Naira for free to fund your business or innovative idea.
Just imagine that.
In Africa and especially Nigeria, it is hard to come by free 2 million Naira to run your business. You’d either have to put up a collateral or give some equity to get that amount of funding for your business.
So, if you were thinking that the 2022 TEF entrepreneurship grant of $5,000 isn’t for you, please think again!
If you have a viable business idea that can make money and employ people, and you are able to communicate that idea so that someone else can understand it, then you should apply for the 2022 TEF grant.
Here’s how to apply for the 2022 TEF Entrepreneurship Grant
To apply for the 2022 TEF grant, simply go to tefconnect.net and register. That is the essential first step.
Once you’ve signed up on the website, click on the “application” link, select your language and agree to the terms and conditions.
Business Profile & Assessment
Once you’ve agreed to the terms and conditions of the programme, you’ll be redirected to give a summary of your business profile and idea.
You’ll then have to take a 45 minutes assessment test which is a combination of personality and cognitive test.
To take this test assessment, make sure you are in a convenient environment where you can focus and do the test to the best of your ability.
Once you are done with the assessment test, you would be categorized based on your performance and test score.
Here are the four categories that applicants are classified in.
- Prep Category: This means you do not have the skill set needed to start a business. You will go through the general training on TEFConnect. You will however, not be eligible for mentorship or seed capital.
- Start-up Category: This means you are a starter according to the business start-up profiling. You will go through the beginner training modules and you will have access to world class mentors during the programme.
- Innovator Category: This means that you have been profiled to be an intermediate entrepreneur. You have a good potential to be a successful entrepreneur. You will go through the Intermediate training modules and you will have access to world class mentors during the programme.
- Disruptor Category: This means that you have been identified to be natural or a seasoned entrepreneur. You will go through the Advanced training modules and you will have access to world class mentors during the programme.
Once you have been categorized, you will have to wait till the application closes by March 31st 2022. After that, you will be contacted on how to go about the training.
How to win the 2022 TEF Entrepreneurship Grant
The fact is that only those entrepreneurs that are prepared and willing to go the mile would win the 2022 TEF grant of $5,000. It is a rigorous process which ensures that only the right entrepreneurs are awarded.
But you can improve your chances of winning the 2022 TEF grant by doing a few things right. You have to be the right entrepreneur with the right business if you want to win the $5,000 grant.
Here are a few things you can do:
Have an Innovative Business or Idea
The truth is that the TEF entrepreneurship grant is focused on finding the most disruptive ideas and business.
If you have a generic business that is not competitive or disruptive enough, then your chances of winning the 2022 TEF grant would be slim.
Know your Business
In the TEF grant application, your business knowledge will be tested rigorously. So, you need to know your onions. You cannot copy your way to the grant or get someone to help you.
You have to know your business and know how to communicate it. The profiling, assessment test and the multiple choice questions will test you on every area of business such as product development, marketing, competitiveness, branding, supply chain, etc.
You have to show that you can run and build a business efficiently, to be able to qualify for the TEF grant.
Scale the Quiz
After the commencement of the TEF program, the quiz is the first point of disqualification.
You’ll go through some course modules which would require you to answer some quiz at the end of each module.
Fail the quiz, and you’re disqualified. Pass the quiz and you’re qualified for the next stage.
Your quiz score would also be used to determine your eligibility for the grant at the final stage.
So, if you really want to win the 2022 TEF grant, then you must be prepared to do well in the quiz.
Develop a Clear Business Plan
Your business plan submission is the second point of disqualification.
If your idea isn’t strong or innovative enough, then you may not go through to the pitching stage.
Also, if your idea isn’t clear enough, then it would be difficult to scale through.
What you need is to develop a clear business plan that describes an innovative business that can stay competitive with strong products and services.
Provide that and you’ll increase your chances of getting to the next stage and getting the $5,000 grant.
Give a Strong Business Pitch
If you make it to the pitching stage, then it shows that your business idea is the kind of one that could get funded by the TEF grant.
Essentially, it means that you’re worth investing in, you only need to communicate your strong points and convince the judges to invest in your business.
The more you are able to strongly communicate the problem your business solves or the need it fills, the more you can convince the judges that your business is worth funding.
The most important part of going through the 2022 TEF program is for the experience. More entrepreneurs come out of the TEF programme with more knowledge about themselves and their businesses.
So, even as you’re giving your best and doing all you can to qualify for the $5,000 grant, the programme could serve as a medium for learning and improving yourself as an entrepreneur.
So, even if you don’t get the grant fund, you could still apply the knowledge you gain in the programme to improve yourself and your business in the long run.