Twenty Nigerian entrepreneurs will enjoy mentorship under the ‘Cloudpreneur Project’ aimed at providing participating startup with entrepreneurship, Cloud and ICT training. The 20 start-ups will be chosen from an initial 100 that will be trained in the project organised through a collaborative effort of Fate Foundation, Mara Mentor and Microsoft.
“Microsoft is committed to improving youth skills for both entrepreneurship and employability across Africa,” says Kabelo Makwane, Managing Director of Microsoft Nigeria. “Our efforts in Nigeria started with the launch of the Employability Portal in 2013, which provides a platform for youth to learn leadership skills and network with other leaders. Now through the Cloudpreneur Project, we hope to enable and empower young business owners, so that they can contribute to the social and economic growth of Nigeria.”
“Our efforts in Nigeria started with the launch of the Employability Portal in 2013, which provides a platform for youth to learn leadership skills and network with other leaders. Now through the Cloudpreneur Project, we hope to enable and empower young business owners, so that they can contribute to the social and economic growth of Nigeria.”
The Project will be open to 1 000 applicants who have been in business for 1 – 3 years. From these applications, 100 successful participants will be chosen. These participants will receive a four-week long training on business management, including training on: sales, technology, entrepreneurship, marketing, communication and start-ups management. Following this, 30 of these 100 participants will be provided with startup models and, finally, the top 20 performers will be mentored on how to build their own Cloud-based business.
Kabelo noted that cloud technology has the potential to transform competitiveness amongst startups and SMEs. This, he said, was Microsoft’s reason for encouraging the adoption of the Cloud through the project.
Commenting on the project, Habiba Balogun an Executive Director at Fate Foundation said: “Fate Foundation is delighted to partner and support Microsoft in its Cloudpreneur initiative which aims to empower entrepreneurs in the Tech-related business to not only improve and hone their skills and knowledge via an intensive training under the assured guidance of Microsoft but also to be equipped to run successful businesses and create employment via Fate Foundation’s proven Entrepreneurship Training.”
Balogun stressed that technological innovation translated into economic activity is the future for Nigeria.
Hetal Shah, Director of Operations at Mara expressed the organization’s delight at being able to being its expertise in entrepreneurship support and mentorship to the Cloudpreneurs Project.
“As an initiative focused on enabling, empowering and inspiring entrepreneurs, we believe this is an opportunity for young Nigerians in technology to get the training, support, and mentorship needed to build or grow cloud-based businesses,” Shah said.
He urged young people to embrace the culture of entrepreneurship in line with global trends.
Microsoft launched a similar initiative, known as the Cloud Startup Academy in Morocco in 2014 in collaboration with the Association of Women Entrepreneurs in Morocco (AFEM) and INWI in Morocco in June 2014. The Academy takes 50 Moroccan women through a six-month programme, where they receive accelerated training on the Cloud to help them launched Cloud-based solutions. While the Academy is open only to women – particularly young graduates and job seekers – the Cloudpreneur Project is open to both male and female startups across Nigeria.
Applications for the Cloudpreneur Project opened on Friday 20th of March and will close on Sunday 19th of April 2015.