The Future Project, Microsoft Nigeria launch Accelerate LABS to Support Nigerian Startups
A non-governmental organisation, the Future Project, in partnership with Microsoft has officially announced the launch of Accelerate LABS, an initiative 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 goal of the project is to equip 2,500 youths across the six geo-political zones in Nigeria through trainings and funds to build socially inclined, high profit, and highly competitive enterprise capable of impacting the economy.
Speaking during the launch, Ifeanyi Amah, the Chief Technology Officer, Microsoft Nigeria, who was represented by Hakeem Adeniji-Adele, stated Microsoft’s intention to further focus on supporting viable and scalable businesses that would spur economic growth in Nigeria.
“Microsoft recognises the creativity and intelligence of young Nigerian minds, which fully informs our support of this initiative to empower startups in realising 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 further that each geo political zone would be represented by a host state that will serve as a hub to incubate these businesses. Accelerate LABS will be in three streams, with the training of the first stream starting this September, and covering a period of 3 months.
Each stream will include 3 weeks training session, 4 weeks mentoring session, 3 weeks research and practice and a demo day for pitching of business ideas to prospective investors.
The Deputy Chief Operating Officer, 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.
Giving his keynote speech, Founder, Sahara Group,Tonye Cole, 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”.