As part of its contribution to skills development in Nigeria, General Electric (GE), the world’s premier digital industrial company, recently concluded its four-week GE Lagos Garage programme, a unique advanced manufacturing-based training programme that has helped in the empowerment of countless number of people worldwide.
The training program was conducted by GE in-house instructors, and a host of external instructors, including an external resource person from America’s technology and innovation hub, Silicon Valley who provided participants with expert knowledge and insight on entrepreneurship, business creation, funding, marketing and sales.
The conclusion of the program, which holds quarterly at the GE corporate head office in Lagos, led to the graduation of yet another batch of 26 young Nigerian entrepreneurs from the GE Lagos Garage.
The new graduates joined the programme in the third week of May for the four-week course, which was centred on bolstering their interest in invention, innovation and manufacturing.
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During the programme, the participants worked with a variety of world-class instructors, technical experts and partners, learning how to design and create products to become vital players within an ecosystem of collaboration and innovation. They were taught the core principles of 21st-century entrepreneurship through design thinking, product development, finance, marketing, sales, and customer acquisition.
Patricia Obozuwa, director of communications, GE Africa, said, “GE remains very committed to skills development in Nigeria and we aim to empower all the entrepreneurs that go through the program with valuable skills to help them thrive in their various industries. The GE Lagos Garage, which has been running for almost two years now, is our way of empowering Nigerian entrepreneurs with a keen interest in the next industrial era.”
The participants were drawn among various sectors of the economy including furniture and interior design, Information Technology, health technology, power, agriculture and a host of others.
They include Ifedayo Durosinmi-Etti (Parliamo Bambini), Henry Obinugwu (NetPremise LTE), Ezoukumo Oboro (Tiny Hearts Technology), Afolabi Abdul (Irrify), Stephen Aribatise, Najeeb Yunusa Hassan (CaddWorks), Tawoka Oghenevwegba, Sira Lewis-Wikina (Sira Lewis Jewels, SLJ), Dumebi Chukwuemeka, Kayode Yussuf, Ola Abraham and Ayodeji Ayo-Ajagbe.
Others were Olufemi Ogukeye (Building Integrated Photovoltaic, BIPV), Anthony Emmanuel, Ifeoluwa Osunkoya, Chibueze Chijioke, Ndotenyin Ekanem (Alphab1 Technical Services), Ayooluwa Rufai (MyKolo), Kehinde Ibrahim (Kissignify), Busola Majekodunmi (LETi.lab), and Bello Shehu (Ardesp)
In 2016, GE launched the permanent installation of the Lagos Garage, a hub for advanced manufacturing-based innovation, strategy development, idea generation and collaboration. Till date, 250 entrepreneurs have graduated the program having been trained to use the latest in advanced manufacturing technologies; 3D printers, CNC mills, and laser cutters as well as in business development.