How to Win The TEF 2020 GrantKehinde LAWAL
Hi! To our loyal fans. The weekend his here and I have brought good news for YOU!
It’s about the 6th Tony Elumelu Foundation(TEF) Grant, a program that award $5000 to over 3000 African entrepreneurs every year.
I’m sure you don’t mind getting additional funds to bootstrap or grow your business, and that’s why I want you to apply here.
What if I give you the most genuine advice that will help you win the 2020 TEF application.
You see, as a 2019 TEF Grant beneficiary, I must confess that certain things actually made my application scale through over 200,000 other applications.
These things are not rocketing science but they will go a long way to to make your application unique.
So without wasting much time, let’s get to the deal.
How To Win The TEF grant?
Basically, wining The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) Grant requires 3 steps.
The first step is believing you can WIN the grant!
You see! A lot of people don’t even believe they can win the grant. They just apply because everybody else is applying. This a very wrong MINDSET. Once your belief is killed, your hope of winning will be diminished.
You GET what you EXPECT.
This application is a long and tedious process. If you don’t believe in yourself. You won’t even complete it talkless of winning.
The second step is that you need to be ready to do the work required to win the grant.
You see, the TEF Grant is very different from every other grant out there. You need detailed and well research information about your business. Many people would easily give up instead of getting the required information.
The most important thing here is your Business Idea.
It must be realistic in the sense that you have started the business and you’re already generating revenue. TEF only want to fund businesses that have begun operation and only needed money to scale. Also, although this note a must, you should choose a business is one of the following category/industry:
- Information Technology; and
Please and please, don’t choose a business in the Cryptocurrency or Blockchain space. They are mainly considered as an investment and not businesses. TEF won’t fund you to invest, they themselves are investors.
Another thing you need to take note of your business idea is CLARITY! You should be able to explain what you do in 1 or 2 sentences. Don’t jumble things together.
The best way way to fill your application is to always answer the question within the first two sentences. You can then go on to explain it. Most people start the explanation and later answer the question in the last sentences. I don’t think this works. TEF is not really after long explanation, they can figure out good and real applications without you explaining much.
In addition, I kind of realise that it’s easier to get funding when you yourself have a business that’s already generating income. Make sure you have made some sales in the idea you’re putting in your application. No sale is no investment, except if your idea is spectacular!
TEF believes that if you’re generating sales, then you already figured out many things like:
- How to handle customers, competition etc.
- They also believe that if you could fund your business to where you’ve already generating sales then you’re serious about it, and you just need little capital to expand it.
So ask yourself this question, is the business idea I’m presenting already generating income?
If yes, you’re good to go with it. If not, then you might need to consider changing it.
Once you have a business idea that you’ve already started and is generating income, the next thing is how you present it to the TEF, and that’s where clarity comes into place.
If you make clear your watchword in the application, then your business idea/presentation will be very simple to understand and comprehend.
You also need to state the following in clear and simple sentences because you’re likely to repeat it over a couple of sections in the application.
1. What are you trying to solve?
2. How do you want to solve it?
3. How do you want to make money from it?
For instance, let’s say my idea is LUMOS electricity.
Below is the answer to the above questions:
1. We are providing affordable electricity to the average Nigerian family through Solar Panel and battery.
2. We intend to pay the initial cost of material and installation upfront, and the customer is expected to pay us a monthly fee over a period of 5 years after which they own the LUMOS pack. The time value of money is figured into the monthly payment package.
3. We need a bunch of marketers to sell the products and technicians to install the products and carry out frequent maintenance.
This seems clear enough, and the investor or the person giving the grant will be happy and willing to look further into your application.
Actually, any Idea can be funded by TEF once it’s realistic and you can present it clearly.
I advise you to have more than one products. three is a good number of products you can sell.
The third step is having GOODLUCK!
Yes, you do need good luck. There is over 200,000 application, and only 3000 will be chosen.
A little luck might be what you need, and you can get it through praying to God or being kind to other people. Help other people achieve their goal, and may eventually be among the successful TEF entrepreneurs.
1. You can apply so far you’ve started the business and you have products and paying clients.
2. You must add a video to your application. And in the video tell them your product, current sales and what you will use the money for.
3. Have more than one product. Mine was 3 products or 3 ways of generating income.
4. Take time to write your application. 2 to 3 weeks of writing and reviewing is good before you make your final submission.
5. You must know your numbers or financials. That’s your fixed and variable cost, your selling price, and your profit for all your products.
6. You must also know your marginal cost, that is how much does it cost you to produce your goods as the quantity increases. A good business will have lesser cost as the quantity produced or sold increases.
- Your fixed cost is like the cost of land, office rent etc.
- Your variable cost is your production cost, otherwise known as expenses incurred in production.
- Your total cost is your fixed cost + variable cost.
- Your revenue is your total income from sales.
- Your profit is your revenue – your total cost.
- Your average cost is your total cost divided by the total number of product produced.
- Your average price is your total number of sales/total quantity of product sold.
These are just basic maths/financials that if you explain it clearly in your application, it would boost your chance of being chosen.
7. Finally, you need to review your application. Each time you review, you should try to add more clarity to it. I did over 8 reviews in my application.
If you employ the above tips, I’m sure you would eventually be chosen.
I want you to understand that everybody has an equal chance of winning the grant, you just have to do the required work that will get you chosen. Your business idea must be profitable, it must also be generating income.
Also, being chosen doesn’t make you a great entrepreneur or a better entrepreneur than your colleagues. It’s just an opportunity to level up your game, so if you’re not already improving yourself or putting your best into your business, you’re doing yourself a disservice. Tony Elumelu Funds won’t help you.
I strongly believe we’re all putting our best into our respective businesses, and we’re not just waiting for TEF fund.
Thank you very much for taking the time to read this article.
Kindly drop your questions below.
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