The Future Project and Microsoft Nigeria launch Accelerate LABS to support Nigerian startups

The Future Project, in partnership with Microsoft Nigeria, has officially announced the launch of Accelerate LABS, an initiative to bolster the country’s economic development through enterprise development and technology incubation. The event was held at the Oriental Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos on 31 August 2017.

Themed ‘Activating 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 training and funds to build socially inclined, high profit, and highly competitive enterprise capable of impacting the economy.

Speaking during the launch, Director, Public Sector, Microsoft, Hakeem Adeniji-Adele, stated Microsoft’s intention to further focus on supporting viable and scalable local businesses that would spur economic growth in Nigeria.

“Microsoft recognizes the creativity and intelligence of young Nigerian minds, which fully informs our support of this initiative to empower startups in realizing their full potential, while also boosting the local economy through education, employment, and entrepreneurship”, said Hakeem. “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.”

Each geopolitical 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 Future Project is expanding on Accelerate LABS to build and empower young citizens that 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,” said Bukonla Adebakin, Deputy Chief Operating Officer, The Future Project.

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”.

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