By Etuka Sunday
The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), is calling on eligible Nigerians to apply for its technology innovation and entrepreneurship scheme, a capacity building programme for Hub managers, young Nigerians and innovative startups to spur digital job creation and economic growth.
Concerned with the fact that Hubs and Startups in Nigeria suffer from issues of capacity deficiency such as ability to support start-ups, poor infrastructure and high cost of running their operations especially amidst COVID19 Pandemic. As such, there is the need to build support systems that will aid in reducing the barriers of entry for startups while increasing the capacity of hubs and startups to create new bankable products and services.
Also worried by this development and in line with President Muhammadu Buhari administration’s plan to create 100 million jobs in 10 years, NITDA initiated a scheme to provide opportunities for building the capacity of both Hub owners and start-ups, to ensure massive creation of technology entrepreneurs and jobs within the Industry.
In line with the Digital Economy policy, the programme is designed to ensure that Hub managers have the required skills set to support digital startups and build innovation ecosystems in their localities; build capacity of Hubs to support startups and build local innovation ecosystems; encourage innovation and entrepreneurship and increase technology and entrepreneurship skills among aspiring and existing entrepreneurs.
The objectives of the scheme are to build the capacity of Hubs to support startups and build local innovation ecosystems; Encourage Innovation and Entrepreneurship; Increase technology and entrepreneurship skills among aspiring and existing entrepreneurs; Increase digital skills capacity among Nigerian youths; Encourage local content solutions-based products/services; and increase the potential for job creation in the innovation and technology sector.
The Head, Corporate Affairs and External Relations, NITDA, Mrs Hadiza Umar said, the programme under the scheme comprises of Hub Upskilling; Technical Capacity Building, Incubation and Internship Programmes.
The hub managers that will be selected are to sign an agreement with NITDA to train upcoming hub managers within the region they come from, and equip with the skills to run a hub, support innovative startups and build an innovation ecosystem in their localities.
This is a programme designed to support ideas stage startups to move from Ideas to market. It will be implemented in partnership with the hubs that were part of the programme. The participants will be assigned to hubs, where they will get access to infrastructure, such as internet connectivity, power supply and a rich network of other innovators. The participants will also be matched with mentors and guided by coaches as they build out their products and services.
At the end of the training period, participants will be required to choose if they would like to start a startup or if they would like to get a job. Those interested in starting a startup will be moved into the Incubation program, while those that need a job will be moved to the job matching/internship program.
Those that opt for this track will be placed in 6-month internship opportunities with the startups in the incubation program or in other organizations to allow them to hone their skills and gain practical work experience in the process.
Interested and eligible candidates should please apply via https://scholarship.nitda.gov.ng/tiess
The portal is now open for application and will close at 12:00am on 24th of July, 2020.