Tony Elumelu Foundation, Biography and Quotes

The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF)

The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) is the biggest philanthropic outfit in Africa. This foundation, founded by Dr Tony Elumelu and his wife Dr A. V Elumelu, boasts of empowering over 15,000 Africans by providing business grants and mentorships for young aspiring African entrepreneurs and also supporting 1,200,000 Africans in 54 African countries. The Tony Elumelu Foundation was established out of Dr Elumelu’s theory of Africapitalism. He has been dedicated to this cause of annihilating poverty in Africa by funding young and aspiring African entrepreneurs.


The foundation has partnered with several international organizations organisations not excluding the United Nations Development Programme, the African Development Bank, the International Committee of the Red Cross, GIZ, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc etc just to achieve this dream of Africapitalism.

The foundation also has a business platform through which she provides mentorship, webinars and a marketplace to young entrepreneurs called TEFConnect.

TEFConnect has 1.2million subscribers, over 25 business opportunities and over 9000 mentors in 54 African countries.

Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme

The Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme was launched by TEF in 2015 to provide $100,000,000 to 10,000 Africans throughout 10years. This program is a yearly program that is designed to identify, mentor and fund Africans.

This entrepreneurship program has so far provided a $5,000 entrepreneurship grant with 12 weeks of business management training and easy access to mentors.

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The foundation has provided over half a million jobs directly and directly via its Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme.

How to apply for the 2023 $5000 Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Program

The Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme is available to entrepreneurs across the African continent. It empowers successful candidates with $5,000 for business startup or business growth as the case may be. If you are an aspiring businessman or businesswoman or you run a business that isn’t more than 5years old in any business sector in Africa, this opportunity is for you.

Eligibility Requirements for the Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme

  • Business must be an idea or at least 5years old.
  • Applicant must be an African and business must be (or designed to be) located in Africa.
  • Applicant must be at least 18 years old.
  • The application must focus on only one business.
  • The application must be free from plagiarism i.e unique. A copied application is always rejected.
  • Business must not negatively affect society (lives and environs).
  • Business or business idea must be solely for profit-making.

Start your application now by clicking on this link 🔗.

“I have come to understand that the most important thing I can do to advance our development is to help replicate my success in others and to evangelize the cause of entrepreneurship”

Tony Elumelu Quotes

Who is Dr Tony Elumelu?

Dr Tony Elumelu (CON) is a business magnate, investor and philanthropist. He is the Chairman of the United Bank for Africa (UBA) Group, Heirs Holdings, Transcorp and The Tony Elumelu Foundation. He was born to Dominic Elumelu and Susan Elumelu in Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria alongside his younger brother, Ndudi Elumelu, 23 February 1965 (58 years) and his three other siblings. Ndudi is a legislator in Nigeria’s Federal House of Representatives. Tony is from Onicha-Ukwu in Aniocha North LGA Delta State.

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Tony Elumelu Education

Tony studied at the Ambrose Alli University and was honoured with a bachelor’s degree in Economics and obtained his master’s degree from the University of Lagos. And Bayero University Kano awarded him with the prestigious Honorary Doctor of Business degree.

By investing in local economies and creating local jobs, they are also increasing the pool of those who can afford their products and services

Tony Elumelu Quotes

Tony Elumelu Career Journey

Dr Tony’s interest in business came slow and steady. His mom ran a restaurant and he usually go there to help during holidays. As he worked in the restaurant, he sometimes think about how much more money his mom will make if she ran her business on a larger scale. But he never took that taught seriously because his primary dream is to become a banker.

In his service year as a corp member of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), after his university education, he joined Union Bank and began to see business columns of newspapers interesting. He started pondering how to start up an SME like a bakery and run it successfully. This is when his ‘business mindset’ started to subconsciously suppress his ’employee mindset’.

Next, he started with a side hustle, his ‘Babaringa’ business. Babaringa is a popular local costume that is majorly worn in northern Nigeria. So he would buy this cloth and also hand-made mats and sell them to his friends in southern Nigeria. He made a little money to support the stipends NYSC was paying him at that time. From thence he ventured into real estate and read more business columns but this time, international business magazines like the US Fortune. This assisted him in building a world-class corporate outfit in his business.

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After NYSC in 1985, he chose to continue with his sales business, got contacts, and made good profits for himself. He later went back to the banking industry and joined the defunct Allstates Trust Bank as an Analyst. At 26, he became a branch manager at the bank, making him the youngest branch manager in Nigeria at the time.

Tony and his friends popularly known as “the cowboys of banking”, in 1997, found an opportunity in Crystal Bank and didn’t think twice to procure it and renamed it Standard Trust Bank. This purchase brought about his first step to success. He successfully returned the struggling bank to profit within a short time as CEO, the youngest Bank CEO at that time. Standard Trust was in the top 5 banks in Nigeria under his leadership.

United Bank for Africa (UBA) Group

Dr Tony Elumelu, in 2005, acquired the UBA Group and was installed as GMD/Chairman UBA Group. He turned the bank into a pan-African bank expanding its base to 20 other African countries. He also took the bank outside Africa to France, UK and USA before relieving his GMD role while maintaining his role as Chairman of the global bank.

Heirs Holdings

Dr Elumelu established Heirs Holdings a corporation for his family. This is not a bad idea because every man wants to leave a legacy for his family. Not just a legacy, Heirs Holdings, as a corporate investment outfit, has provided job opportunities for young graduates to flaunt their skills in the corporate world.

Heirs Holdings was established in 2010 to be the face this business mogul uses to invest in other industries. Through Heirs Holdings, Tony has succeeded in expanding his business portfolio to Energy, Hospitality, Oil & Gas, and Power. In 2021, Heirs Holdings invested over $1billion to acquire a 45% operating stake in Oil Mining Lease 17 from Shell, Total and ENI.

“The kind of challenges we face on the continent require not only vision but also patience and perseverance.”

Tony Elumelu Quote

Tony Elumelu Family

Tony Elumelu married Dr Awele Vivien Elumelu, a practising medical doctor in 1993. The duo has seven children together namely; Oge, Ogor, Onyiye, Ugo, Nneka, Tony and Toby.

How old is Tony Elumelu?

Elumelu who was born on 22nd March 1963 is currently 60 years old.

Tony Elumelu Net Worth

Dr Elumelu is currently worth $700million according to Forbes. In 2015, he was top 50 richest men in Africa. He made the majority of his money from banking and real estate. He is one of the iconic businessmen in Nigeria alongside Dangote, Otedola and Adenuga.

Awards and Recognition

2003Member of the Order of the Federal Republic MFR. A national honour of the Federal Republic of Nigeria
2012Commander of the Order of the Niger CON. Another national honour of the Federal Republic of Nigeria
2016Daily Times’ Nigerian man of the year
2018 All-Africa Business Leaders Awards (AABLA) Philanthropist of the Year Award
2019National Productivity Order of Merit Award
2020TIME magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of 2020

“The kind of challenges we face on the continent require not only vision but also patience and perseverance.” 

Tony Elumelu Quotes


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