56 Kenyan start-ups make it to the final selection in the highly competitive Tony Elumelu SME training

African startups selected stand to win a seed capital investment worth $5,000.

TEF chief executive Parminder Vir said a review of 600 businesses that had participated in the TEF programme had expanded their enterprises, created more jobs as well as their products’ offering.

“The programme’s impact has since attracted global companies and regional institutions like Microsoft, GE, Ecowas who are keen in sponsoring similar activities across Africa,”  she told a local daily.

The African startups that successfully complete the 12-week programme with the support of their mentors and attend the two-day TEF Entrepreneurship Forum will be awarded a non-returnable investment for further development of their business idea.

Later on EEP startups are continuously monitored on both a portfolio and individual basis to evaluate the startups for follow-on funding and beyond. The qualifying startups can then qualify for a second stage seed capital investment of $5,000 that will be provided as returnable capita.

Nigerian businessman-cum-philanthropist Tony Elumelu cited lack of capital and expertise as some of the reasons for businesses in Africa stagnating in a statement sent to press.

During the second edition of the SME festival, 2017 recently held in Nairobi, lack of finance and ready market were identified as some of the main obstacles facing SMEs in Kenya.

Majority of SMEs in Kenya are also turning into fugitives over lack of timely tax payments and compliance to escape stiff penalties due to tax ignorance.

The successful SMEs were largely drawn from agro-processing businesses (29%), information and communication technology (11%) and manufacturing (9%).

The 2017 Entrepreneurship and Mentorship Programme received 93,000 applications from 55 countries in Africa.

Other successful applicants were picked from Nigeria, Ghana, Uganda and Cameroon.

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