The opening sessions for Accelerate Labs, an initiative by The Future Project in partnership with Microsoft Nigeria to galvanise and boost youth entrepreneurship in Nigeria, was held across the six geopolitical zones in Nigeria from 18 – 28, September 2017.
Starting the eleven-week accelerator program for stream 1, 2017 at different zones in Abuja (North Central), Bauchi (North-East), Kaduna (North-West), Edo (South-South), Anambra (South-East) and Lagos (South-West), the events had in attendance industry leaders including Professor Adesoji Adesugba, Vice-President, ICT Abuja Chamber of Commerce; Bishop Feb Idahosa, President, Ben Idahosa University; Mr Femi Oye, Co-founder, SME Funds, among others.
“About 3,987 applications were received for the first stream of the sessions, with 150 participants selected per zone through our SME jury. We are excited to be part of their success stories and look forward to working with them to build competitive and viable businesses,” said Bukonla Adebakin, Deputy Chief Operating Officer. “This can fundamentally change the lives of many youth and reduce unemployment in the country as we gear towards entrepreneurship and drive inclusive economic growth and development.”
The opening session in the six geopolitical zones concluded with the commencement of the 3 weeks taught session, mentorship, research classes and demo week for all participants of the Accelerate Labs project across regions.
“Microsoft Nigeria is proud to support this important initiative that brings together a diverse group of youth entrepreneurs entering the accelerator program,” said Olusola Amusan, Philanthropies Lead, Microsoft Nigeria. “Entrepreneurship has always played a critical role in the development of countries and reduction of unemployment, we believe at the end of this program a significant positive impact will be made in our economy,” he added.
Photos from the opening sessions are below: