In just over a year, the CoCreation Hub in Lagos has established itself as the pre-eminent place for those interested in technology and social change. The Hub is a place for techies, civil society and citizens to come together and work collaboratively on technology-driven solutions to social problems. For start-ups like BudgIT and Efiko, the CCHub is a source of advice, support and networking. It’s for these reasons that we have awarded the CCHub a grant of £75,000 over three years. £25,000 per year will go towards supporting the Pre-incubation services at CcHUB and its brilliant team. Pre-incubation services at CcHUB entail business advisory support aimed at assisting early stage social technology ventures to build the foundation for sustainable enterprises. It is a proactive provision that consists of a bouquet of support activities including advice, training, mentorship and access to funding through our network of local and international partners. The services are often offered in addition to a managed access to the HUB – a shared working space with state of the art facilities and meeting room. The services include:
- Enterprise: responsive and focused enterprise support, helping high growth social ventures to reach their potential
- Innovation: stimulate innovation in social tech start-ups for growth including exploiting new knowledge, processes and technologies to achieve their objectives
- Investment: helping to create the right conditions for social tech ventures to gain and be eligible for funding
To date the team have worked with 20 different start-ups in sectors as diverse as budget visualisations, education, local culture and social commerce. In addition, their Growth Academy works with early stage mobile tech start-ups to develop skills in business, app development and product launch. Of course, the issues of access to capital, skills training and suitably skilled people remain – but these are issues that entrepreneurs and start-ups face the world over. In the next three years we hope to see some comparatively well established start-ups like BudgIT bloom and graduate, while more tech entrepreneurs begin to enter the Hub’s programmes. Lagos is a hotbed of innovation and entrepreneurship and with the right support we believe that start-ups here can grow and mature into fully fledged organisations. It will be interesting to see the path that Nigeria’s innovative class take over the coming years.