A non-governmental organization, The Future Project, in partnership with Microsoft on Tuesday, announced the launch of Accelerate LABS, aimed at bolstering the country’s economic development through enterprise development and technology incubation.
This announcement was made during its launch in Lagos which was tagged, ‘Activating the Small and Medium Scale Enterprises.' The project, which is not the first of its kind, is aimed at equipping 2,500 youth across the six geopolitical zones in Nigeria through training and deployment of funds to build “socially inclined, high profit, and highly competitive enterprises capable of impacting the economy positively.”
Ifeanyi Amah, the Chief Technology Officer of Microsoft Nigeria, who was represented by Hakeem Adeniji-Adele, disclosed Microsoft’s intention to focus on supporting viable and scalable businesses that would spur economic growth in Nigeria.
“Microsoft recognizes the creativity and intelligence of young Nigerian minds, which fully informs our support for this initiative to empower startups in realizing their full potentials, while also boosting the local economy through education, employment, and entrepreneurship,” Mr. Hakeem said.
“With this project, we are leveraging on the demand for better and effective technology to teach young Nigerians how to better themselves, their families and their communities,” he added.
He explained that each geopolitical zone would be represented by a host state that will serve as a hub to incubate these businesses.
PREMIUM TIMES learned that Accelerate LABS will be in three streams, with the training of the first stream starting this September, and covering a period of three months.
Also, each stream will include three weeks training session, four weeks mentoring session, three weeks research and practice, and a demo day for pitching of business ideas to prospective investors.
The keynote speaker, Tonye Cole, founder, Sahara Group, admonished young entrepreneurs to develop resilience and patience during tough times, emphasizing that their objectives will be difficult to achieve unless they “find their rightful places in the society and invest in themselves.”
The Deputy Chief Operating Officer of The Future Project, Bukola Adebakin, said that The Future Project is expanding on Accelerate LABS to build and empower young citizens who are willing to contribute to the development Nigeria.
“With the new businesses that will be supported through training and funds, there are immense opportunities to create jobs and also provide young entrepreneurs wider access to useful knowledge and strategies in building more successful businesses,” he said.