The Federal Government is reportedly partnering with WEMA Bank to establish MSME Tech Hubs in seven states.
The initiative is said to target 1 million youths and 500,000 MSMEs, providing them with grants and digital training. According to reports, the FGN/ALAT Digital and SkillNnovation Hub will first be launched in Lagos and Borno States, with Katsina, Cross River, Anambra, Oyo, and Kano to follow later.
The agreement for this collaboration was reached after a recent meeting between representatives of the bank and Vice President Kashim Shettima in Abuja.
Reportedly, the program aims to empower young entrepreneurs by offering tailored financial products, training, and support to help them build sustainable businesses for Nigeria’s economic growth.
Another objective mentioned in the reports is to support tech-savvy youths interested in digital innovations and aspiring to drive technological advancements, providing them with financial solutions, training, and access to strategic partnerships. The initiative also reportedly seeks to empower young employees to become integral parts of Nigeria’s workforce, especially those deployed through the NYSC.
As per the reports, the FGN/ALAT Digital and SkillNnovation Hub will serve as a centralized platform to provide cutting-edge digital skills, mentorship, and networking opportunities for tech-savvy youths and young entrepreneurs in Nigeria. The focus is reportedly on promoting entrepreneurship, skills development, and integrating young employees into the workforce, aiming to employ one million youths in the digital economy and upskill SMEs who can contribute directly to the country’s economy.
The reports suggest that the training curriculum at the FGN/ALAT Digital and SkillNnovation Hub will include software engineering, product management, business analysis, cloud computing, and product design, with a goal of training 1 million young adults. Additionally, 500,000 SMEs across Nigeria are said to receive mentorship from experts, while coaches will reportedly train and upskill them for business growth and development.
As part of the scheme, the reports state that grants will be provided under a collaborative arrangement between the Federal Government and WEMA Bank. It is reported that N500 million has been allocated to support SMEs and techpreneurs.
According to the reports, Olusola Abiola, the Director of Information at the Office of the Vice President, announced these details on August 5th, 2023.
The 7 States for FG/WEMA Bank To Set Up MSME Hub include:
3 🟤Cross river
FGN/ALAT Digital & SkillNnovation Hub: Program includes:
1 Software Engineering
2 Product Mgmt
3 Business Analysis
4 Cloud Computing
5 Product Design
About Digital Skill
A digital skill refers to any ability or proficiency related to using digital technologies and tools effectively. These skills encompass a wide range of competencies, from basic computer literacy to more advanced capabilities in using software, applications, and online platforms. Digital skills may include computer programming, data analysis, digital marketing, graphic design, web development, cybersecurity, social media management, and many other areas that involve technology usage and digital communication. In today’s increasingly digital world, having digital skills has become essential for individuals, businesses, and organizations to remain competitive and thrive in various industries.
Digital skills are of paramount importance in today’s fast-paced, technology-driven world. They offer numerous benefits to individuals and businesses, particularly MSMEs (Micro, Small, and Medium-sized Enterprises).
Here’s how digital skills can help MSMEs:
- Enhanced Productivity: Digital skills enable MSMEs to adopt modern tools and technologies, streamlining processes, and improving overall efficiency and productivity.
- Access to Global Markets: With digital skills, MSMEs can leverage e-commerce platforms, online marketing, and international trade opportunities, expanding their reach to global markets.
- Cost-Effective Marketing: Digital marketing allows MSMEs to reach a targeted audience at a lower cost compared to traditional advertising methods, enabling them to compete effectively with larger competitors.
- Data-Driven Decision Making: Digital skills enable MSMEs to gather and analyze data, providing valuable insights that aid in making informed business decisions.
- Improved Customer Engagement: Digital tools like social media and online customer service platforms facilitate direct and personalized communication with customers, enhancing engagement and loyalty.
- Agility and Adaptability: Digital skills enable MSMEs to adapt quickly to changing market trends and customer preferences, giving them a competitive edge.
- Innovation and Creativity: Digital skills foster innovation, allowing MSMEs to create and offer new products, services, or business models that cater to evolving customer needs.
- Collaboration and Networking: Digital platforms facilitate collaboration and networking opportunities, connecting MSMEs with potential partners, suppliers, and customers worldwide.
- Access to Financial Services: Digital skills can enable MSMEs to access online banking, digital payment solutions, and alternative financing options, improving financial management and access to capital.
- Future-Proofing: Embracing digital skills ensures that MSMEs remain relevant and prepared for the digital transformation that is shaping the business landscape.
How SkillNnovation Hub can help the youths:
- Digital Skills Training: The hub provides specialized training in software engineering, product management, business analysis, cloud computing, and product design. This empowers youths with in-demand digital skills that are essential in today’s technology-driven job market.
- Entrepreneurship Support: SkillNnovation Hub supports young entrepreneurs by offering tailored financial products, training, and mentorship, helping them build sustainable businesses and contribute to Nigeria’s economic growth.
- Networking Opportunities: The hub creates a vast network of like-minded individuals, mentors, and experts, enabling youths to connect, collaborate, and access potential opportunities for career advancement and business partnerships.
- Career Development: Through mentorship and training, the hub enhances the employability of young adults and helps them become an integral part of Nigeria’s workforce, including those deployed through the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).
- Upskilling SMEs: SkillNnovation Hub extends its support to Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) by providing mentorship and upskilling opportunities. This helps SMEs grow, innovate, and add value to Nigeria’s economy.
- Access to Grants: The hub collaborates with WEMA Bank to allocate N500 million in grants to support SMEs and techpreneurs, offering financial assistance for their business growth and development.
- Fostering Innovation: By equipping youths with digital skills and fostering an entrepreneurial mindset, the SkillNnovation Hub encourages innovation and creativity, empowering young individuals to drive technological advancements.
- Digital Economy Employment: The hub’s focus on training 1 million young adults in digital skills aims to bridge the digital skills gap, making youths more employable in the fast-evolving digital economy.
In summary, digital skills are vital for MSMEs as they offer a competitive advantage, increase efficiency, open up new market opportunities, and drive innovation. By investing in digital skills, MSMEs can position themselves for sustainable growth and success in an increasingly digital and interconnected world.
However, the SkillNnovation Hub is a digital initiative aimed at empowering young individuals, particularly youths, with essential skills and knowledge to thrive in the digital economy. The hub serves as a centralized platform that offers cutting-edge digital training, mentorship, and networking opportunities for tech-savvy youths and young entrepreneurs in Nigeria.
Overall, the SkillNnovation Hub plays a crucial role in equipping Nigerian youths with the knowledge, tools, and resources needed to succeed in the digital era. By nurturing entrepreneurship, promoting skills development, and fostering a supportive ecosystem, the hub empowers youths to be active participants in the growth and progress of Nigeria’s digital economy.