With barely 16 days to the close of the 2021 Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) Entrepreneurship Programme, senior managers of the Foundation today urged young African entrepreneurs to apply for support to enable them grow and sustain their businesses.
The Tony Elumelu Foundation (www.TonyElumeluFoundation.org), Africa’s leading philanthropy empowering African entrepreneurs is accepting applications on www.TEFConnect.com for its 2021 TEF Entrepreneurship Programme.
Speaking at a virtual media encounter, Madam Nkem Onudiwe, Head Marketing and Communications at TEF, said this year’s entrepreneurship support, would help lift up business beneficiaries of the programme.
The 1,000 successful businesses would receive a world-class business training, mentorship, non-refundable seed capital up to $5,000, and global networking opportunities, she added.
The programme is open to entrepreneurs across Africa, both new start-ups and existing young businesses, operating in any sector.
The Tony Elumelu Foundation’s $100million Entrepreneurship Programme, launched in 2015 to empower 10,000 entrepreneurs over 10 years, is now entering its 7th year and has empowered to date, over 9,000 young African entrepreneurs from 54 African countries.
After the announcement of this year’s 1,000 entrepreneurs in early March 2021 will bring the total number of beneficiaries to10,000. The entrepreneurial journey of the new entrants will begin.
They will be on the journey to becoming full-fledged Tony Elumelu Foundation’s Entrepreneurship Programme. They are just people with the ideas, Onudiwe, said.
She explained that of the 1,000 prospective entrepreneurs, most of them are in their idea stage. So, after being chosen, the Tony Elumelu Foundation does a due diligence on the 1,000 selected entrepreneurs.
The purpose of the due diligence, according to her is first to establish the true identity of each entrepreneur to confirm who the person is, and he or her business idea.
Secondly, to induct them into the TEF programme, and thirdly, to let them know the various documentations they need to be provided to the Foundation.
After going through the due diligence stage, they will be registered online on the TEF Hub which is the largest virtual ecosystem for African entrepreneurs. It currently has over 1 million subscribers.
From here, the 1,000 selected entrepreneurs will start a 12-week training programme in the first week of May to equip these start-ups with the basic skills required to launch and run their businesses at early growth stage.
It covers several topics including starting and scaling a business, business development, marketing strategy, effective management, product design etc.
During the same period Madam Onudiwe, said, each of them will have a mentor assigned to them. The TEF Entrepreneurship Programme model, according to her provides a credible technology-enabled platform for access to world-class mentors from across Africa and international.
These mentors have faced similar challenges and are able to steer up the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme startups on a successful path. “These mentors’ role is to guide them on the journey of entrepreneurship”.
Besides these, during the 12-week and beyond, we have webinars to further train and share tips, lessons, best practices, and the general words of encouragements, she added.
In addition to this, a bespoke compendium of materials, case studies, videos, tasks, templates and interesting articles.
This includes the 12-week series on the Tony Elumelu (TOE) Way, shared concurrently. It expounds the core business values of the Founder, Tony Elumelu, with an aim to building the right character in the entrepreneurs.
After the 12-week training programme, Madam Onudiwe; Madam Somachi Chris-Asoluka, Director of Partnerships and Communications at TEF; and Keside Anosike , Communications Manager at TEF eloquently said the entrepreneurs are required to write their business plans at the end of the 12-week training session.
Their business plans are reviewed by Accenture, a leading global management consulting and professional services company which provides strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations services, which gives the 1,000 selected entrepreneurs feedback on the business plans which they will be implemented, she told the website.
So, all these steps culminated into the annual TEF Entrepreneurship Forum which has been described as the largest gathering of entrepreneurs in Africa. It is normally held in Lagos, Nigeria in the month of October.
But because of the covid-19 pandemic, it is not clear whether there will be TEF Entrepreneurship Forum this year.
TEF normally uses the forum to create networking opportunities for the young entrepreneurs, further skills enhancement, engagement with policy makers, and building new relationships for themselves.
Having successfully gone through the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme, each entrepreneur receives two tranches of seed capital, totaling $10,000. The first stage non-returnable seed capital of $5,000 is given to each entrepreneur. While the second $5,000 is either a loan or equity, and is tied to clear milestones in a well-articulated and relevant business plan.
After successfully going through the whole TEF Entrepreneurship Programme, all the selected 1,000 entrepreneurs receive certificates personally signed by Mr Tony Elumelu, Founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation. They also receive entrepreneurship toolkits.
The Foundation’s long-term investment in empowering African entrepreneurs is emblematic of Tony Elumelu’s philosophy of Africapitalism, which positions Africa’s private sector, and most importantly entrepreneurs, as the catalyst for the social and economic development of the continent.
Is a Free VPN Safe to Use? Exploring the Risks and Benefits
In our current digital age, online privacy and security have become an importantt concerns for internet users around the world. With the increasing prevalence of cyber threats and data breaches, people are actively seeking ways to protect their online activities. Virtual Private Networks, or VPNs, have gained popularity as tools that promise safeguarding your digital footprint. While there are many VPN options available, free VPNs, in particular, have garnered significant attention due to their accessibility. In this article, we will explore the risks and benefits of using a free VPN, with a focus on free VPN for Windows.
Understanding VPNs: What Are They?
Before delving into the world of free VPNs, let’s understand what a VPN is and how it works. A VPN is essentially a service that establishes a secure, encrypted connection between your device (in this case, your Windows PC) and a remote server. This connection masks your IP address and encrypts your internet traffic, making it difficult for third parties, such as hackers or government agencies, to monitor your online activities.
The Benefits of Using a Free VPN
Enhanced Privacy: One of the primary advantages of using a free VPN is the boost in online privacy. Your internet service provider (ISP), websites, and even potential cybercriminals won’t be able to track your online behavior when you’re connected to a VPN.
Bypassing Geo-Restrictions: Free VPNs often allow users to access geo-restricted content. For example, if a streaming platform or website is only accessible in certain regions, a VPN can make it appear as though you’re browsing from an eligible location.
Protection on Public Wi-Fi: When you connect to public Wi-Fi networks, your data becomes vulnerable to interception. A free VPN can add an extra layer of security when you’re using unsecured public Wi-Fi at cafes, airports, or hotels.
The Risks Associated with Free VPNs
Data Logging: Many free VPN providers track and log user data. This can include your online activities, websites visited, and even personal information. This data may then be sold to third parties or used for targeted advertising.
Inadequate Security Measures: Some free VPNs might not implement robust encryption protocols, leaving your data vulnerable to breaches or leaks.
Limited Features: Free VPNs often come with limitations, such as slower connection speeds, data caps, and fewer server locations. These restrictions can hinder your online experience.
Malware and Adware: Some free VPN services have been found to include malware or adware in their software, potentially infecting your device.
Uncertain Jurisdiction: Free VPN providers can be based in countries with lax data privacy laws, which means they may not be obligated to protect your data.