My roommate at the TEF forum last year won the Tony Elumelu Foundation Business grant with a barbing saloon business. I met with a few ladies who won five thousand dollars with cake businesses, and a lot of other everyday business ideas. I knew a lot of people whose business ideas are assumed to be amazingly innovative, but were not selected. But unfortunately, For applying Tony Elumelu Foundation Business Grant is not just about filling and submitting the online application. Last year, I saw a lot of persons who almost became depressed because their business ideas were not chosen.
The fact is that these persons business ideas are genuinely amazing, realistic, and very much viable. Hence the question; Why were they not picked after Applying Tony Elumelu Foundation Business Grant with amazing ideas?
Firstly, let me acknowledge the fact that over 95% of anyone’s winning factor is a function of God’s grace. Because I do not believe that out of over 93,000 business ideas across Africa, only 1000 makes sense. The fact is that they are only set to sponsor 1000 businesses, so even if they get 5,000 good business ideas, they will have to make more critical decisions to help them select only 1,000. So you can see that it can only be by the grace of God. About 100,000 persons are looking for the same opportunity, and about 50% of these persons believe the same God for the winning grace. And TEF can only take 1,000 persons per year. So you discover that beyond anyone’s spiritual belief, there is so much work to be done.
There are things you must do right to increase your chances of being selected as part of the 1000 persons to benefit from the Tony Elumelu Foundation Business Grant.
How to Fill the TEF Application form rightly.
Note: I do not suggest my style and approach of filling the TEF application form as a one and only perfect way of filling the form. But my suggestions here are basic rules that can help you secure fund from any investor, and it worked for me, so I believe it can work for you if you tailor it right to fit into your business idea.
For the sake of clarity and being concise, I will treat this part using questions on the Application form beginning from section 5
1) About Me:
Here, I would prefer you don’t just introduce yourself, telling us about qualities such as Hard work, Team player, intelligence, etc.
I will prefer you start by telling your own unique story about your background, growing, first entrepreneurship adventure. In-between this, you can infuse your qualifications and qualities. Tell it such that it captivates the reader. Do not drag it, go straight to all the punchlines, remember you have limited number of words to use.
I’m a young man who grew up in the city of Lagos with my parents and three other siblings. An indigence of Imo state, xy local government area, age xy. I grew up in an environment where I saw the need for a better life for myself and people around me. But there was little or nothing my petty trader mother or civil servant father could do. But I continued to desire for a better life, and my curiosity to know more and find solutions increased. I joined a youth organization called Solid Pearls Organization in 2013. There we were inspired by stories of great men who imparted their generation. Since then, the passion to impart my generation increased. I continued by attending seminars and workshops, and that was how I caught the fire of Entrepreneurship. I acquired skills in Computer Repairs and maintenance, and started my first business. Later on, my love and passion for xy made me acquire skills in xy and xy. with that skill; I run an xy, which will serve as a great medium to inspire, educate, inform and entertain Africans.
Note: Replace the xy with your own information.
2) Leadership skills and experience:
This question is often difficult for many young persons to answer very well because they really do not have any form of practical leadership skill or experience at any level. This is the part where I encourage you to engage in capacity development activities and opportunities such as Training, workshops, seminars, internships, freelancing, and volunteering. This will help boost your portfolio, business confidence, and experience.
So back to the question….
This part is where you should tell them any leadership skill you have built over time through training and responsibilities from leadership positions in School, Fellowships, business organization or any other organization. You need to capture the most amazing experience from the various exposures
I started out as a teenage boy in xy drama group. I became one of the best actors and soon became a scriptwriter and xy. My experience about xy and xy started from there. I would write and rehearse with the actors and get the cameraman to record our performance. Then I learned how to handle the camera. I featured on a professional commercial shoot for xy in 2010. I went ahead to learn video editing. I followed great producers like xy, xy, and xy.
Note: replace the xy with your own information.
3) Personal Achievements:
Investors will have more confidence in someone who has been able to achieve something for him or herself with little or no resource. The general assumption is that anyone who can achieve something on his own, would achieve more with some kind of support or boost.
So here is where you get to tell them things you have achieved as a person. It could also be in line with your business. But I would prefer you add more of other forms of achievements. Your achievement should be one that has impacts the society in one way or other.
-It could be your SAED project at Nysc
-It could be an event, invention, research or projects.
-It could even be a couple of jobs which have been done, and you consider to be an achievement.
In 2015, I started an Entrepreneurship network called the Enterprise Breakout Network. This network has organized three entrepreneurship seminars in Owerri. And the Biggest of it was the Imo Startup Weekend, which we organized in December 2016. You can see evidence on our page www.facebook.com/enterprisebreakoutnetwork. In 2014, I started xy business, and that made me the first person to bring an xy presence to Owerri west local government. Since then, I have shot a couple of short films, tv commercials, interviews, and events.
firstly to identify and be part of an excellent entrepreneurship network. To become a Tony Elumelu entrepreneur. I want to learn all that I can, and also access great resources which I believe will be available for me in this programme. this resources must not necessarily mean money; contacts to mentors who are already in the business would be of great value to me. The various leadership and business training available in the programme will help me. And finally, if the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme team gets to read this, then I have succeeded in making my company known to them, so maybe my company could be invited to come cover and report any of their events or better still, Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship
Let’s continue tomorrow. But before I go, let me tell you 3 things that can also boost your chances of winning.
Firstly, all I or any of my co TEF alumni can do is to guide you in appropriately filling the form. No one can take responsibility for your business idea. And the fact is that, even if you fill the Application form properly, but you do not have the creative capacity to build exciting innovation around your business idea, your chances of winning could be slim.
Secondly, the problem your business idea is solving should be a real prevalent one. That makes your business solution very relevant. You need to perfect your skill in business feasibility planning as well. The essence why I decided to share the knowledge of Business Feasibility study with you is Because it is very important to determine if a business will work or not. I have come across many young persons who are just running their business because they feel like running a business and they just look for something which they perceive they could do very well and just jump into it. But it doesn’t work like that in the business world; Most especially when you don’t have enough money to throw around. In the last 6 months, a friend of mine lost close to One Million in a business that failed just because the choice of geographical location was not the best for the business at that moment and he did not have any marketing strategy to argument for that.
So please endeavor do a Business feasibility study for your Business. It is very important.
The truth is that you can’t convince an investor about your business if you don’t have a concrete business feasibility report. You can checkout here a sample of a simple business feasibility study I did for a client.
Note: It could be more complex than that. But let us leave that for the professionals. But for us as small starter, that sample is a very good start.
Lastly, have you developed yourself and the business idea such that even if you did not win the TEF grant, you could still run the business? After all, there are other grants programs that will commence in the course of the year. Trust me; these investors have a way of knowing your capacity from the way you answer these questions.
Currently, we are building a great community of Entrepreneurs on Telegram. The name of the Organisation is ‘The Youth Entrepreneurs’ Netrwork (TYEN)’. Its an organisation where we bring together all and intending entrepreneurs in the world in other to share ideas together, pass contracts within our community and follow up until success is achieved. Registration to the Club is totally free and we assure you Success with TYEN. We don’t only discuss on measures for Applying Tony Elumelu Foundation Business Grant at TYEN, we discuss many other Business grants with successful tips in all; JOIN OUR NETWORK TODAY AT NO COST
The wise men will always say, show me your Network and I shall tell you your Net worth.The Youth Entrepreneurs network is the Key. Become part of the network and see your net worth blooming higher for a well analysed idea.
BONANAZA! BONANZA!! BONANAZA!!!
Let me seize this opportunity to invite you to my 2 days strategic meetup.
‘The Process Project‘
Date: February 16 and 17, 2018
Time: Morning session: 9 am
Even session: 3:30
Offline Venue: Owerri City (details will be sent to registered participants)
Online Venue: WhatsApp group.
Participation fee: 2,500 Naira only. Organizer: Chuks Anurunkem, current Alumni TEF
The event is a strategic meet up that aim to help young people kick-start the process involved in actualizing great amount of personal, business and career success by the end of the year.
The meetup will feature training on:
• Life hacks
• Personal portfolio development
• The Art of creative thinking.
• Business feasibility study.
Strategic sessions on
• Creative thinking development
• Building professional network
• Building personal and professional portfolio
The event is open to 100 people only. 50 person for the morning session, and 50 for the evening session.