The Edo State Government-backed Edo Innovation Hub, a cluster for innovators and inventors in Benin City, has trained at least 724 entrepreneurs in less than three months of operation and has now drawn up a sustainability plan that will see the private sector drive activities at the cluster.
Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, at the launch of the hub in June, noted that the government is priming youths to evolve and strengthen the technology ecosystem in the state. He added that the state is going to leverage on technology for job creation and enterprise development.
In a statement, Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Job Creation and Skills Development, Mrs. Ukinebo Dare, said that the facility houses the South-South Innovation Hub with two halls, five training rooms, six fully-furnished co-working spaces, four rooms with a total of 100 computers, offices, conference rooms, outdoor workspaces, among others.
She said of the 724 entrepreneurs, “200 females are being trained by Microsoft and Tech4Dev; 32 persons participated in LinkedIn MeetUp sessions to build a vibrant business community and leverage networking for local and international businesses; 49 budding app developers participated in Curators University’s Artificial Intelligence boot camp; 23 developers were trained by Hotels.NG on coding and app development.
“Other partners include Makers Academy, who trained 40 students on robotics; Pan Atlantic University University’s Enterprise Development Centre, trained 59 entrepreneurs on entrepreneurship and innovation; Siemens, Impact Hub conducted pre-hackathon orientation for 25 aspiring entrepreneurs in the power sector while Microsoft took 50 teachers on Basic Digital Literacy for Teachers.”
She said that there is a sustainability plan in place to ensure that the private sector takes the lead in the growth of the state’s technology ecosystem, adding that trainings and business incubation would continue at the facility.
She added that ATC Nigeria donated three fully equipped ICT centers in Benin, Irrua and Ekpoma, to deepen the penetration of tech-driven development across the state.
Explaining that a good number of the firms at the hub have expressed interest for long-term partnership with the state government, she said that the state government is exploring the option of a trust fund to sustain the hub.