â€ŽAdedayo Akinwale in Abuja
As part of efforts geared towards utilisation of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to boost small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs), The Future Project and Microsoftâ€Ž have commenced one year training for 2,160 young entrepreneurs across the six geo-political zones.
The Deputy Chief of Operating Officers, The Future Project, Miss. Bukonla Adebakin, while speaking at the training programme in Abuja, explained that â€Ž’The Accelerate lab’ programme was designed to help SMEs who want to start business or who have started business from upward of six months to one year and help in giving them the required skills to continue the business and also sustain it.
According to her, the programme, which was also organised in partnership with Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) and other organisations, was also aimed at helping businesses grow to the extent that they are capable of impacting the GDP of the country.â€Ž
“The Accelerator programme is like a co-working space that will serve as a office for young entrepreneurs basically starters and co-share with people who are into similar businesses. The hub is to make things easier for them as an entrepreneurs,”
Adebakin said, adding, “We are training 2,160 across the six geo-polical zones. Abuja is the place chosen for the North â€Žcentral. We have three streams, and each stream is going to be for twelve weeks. We hope that at the end of the three streams cumulatively across six zones we would have trained 2,160 entrepreneurs.”â€Ž
The Vice Presidentâ€Ž, ACCI ICT Hub, Prof. Adesoji Adesugbaâ€Ž, said the programme was part of for ACCI ICT Hub, and that the current president initiated the setting up of the ICT hubâ€Ž two years ago.
“The most important thing is that we realised the fact that today’s business is being driven by technology and there is a need for us to be able to assist our members as well as the public as far as technology driven businesses are concerned,” he said.
Adesugba said: “One critical aspect of the hub is that today’s technology has demographics for agesâ€Ž, and younger people are involved in it and so we have been able to link up with people with similar ideas such as this programme, Accelerate Lab and Microsoft to collaborate with them to train young people on how to be able to use technology to drive their businesses and it is part of our mandate to create capacity among people who would use technology.”
“By this, we will be able to service our members, as well as the larger public and that is why we are involved in this,” he added.
He said the North central is expected to train 150 young entrepreneurs, through the training programme.
â€ŽOne of the participants, Mr. Shedrack Nwekeagu
believed that achieving ICT development in Nigeria is possible.
“We have the youths that are into different businesses. I have a business, is more like publishing but am going into e-books. I dream to have a school without books. All what I want is to have apps where all our books will be installed, sent out to schools, and stored in their data baseâ€Ž, from where they could be accessed by pupils and students,” Nwekeagu said.