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12 Weeks IGHUB-FORD Foundation ABA Incubation Project Launch Event

“Innovation and entrepreneurship play an ever-increasing role in growing Africa’s emerging technology ecosystem.”

Now according to a research conducted by the GSMA Ecosystem Accelerator, there’s been a sporadic growth of innovation and tech hubs in Africa lately, twice as more in the past two years. Though Lagos has been named amongst the top 3 cities with Nairobi and Cape Town being the other two, as one of the cities dominating the Sub Sahara growth narrative, Innovation Growth Hub has been sighted to be causing a lot of disruption in the Aba business and startup ecosystem.

On the 3rd of December, Innovation Growth Hub Africa otherwise known as IGHub Africa launched the 12 WEEKS IGHUB-FORD FOUNDATION ABA INCUBATION PROJECT LAUNCH.

The 3 winners of the recent Made in Aba Hackathon challenge event that took place on _, have been taken up by IGHUB Africa as an incubation platform in partnership with Ford Foundation to be incubated for three (3) months including 4 other startups randomly chosen, starting on Monday, 3rd of December 2018.

The startups; THE FOOTWEAR ACADEMY (TWA), CLINTONEL INNOVATION CENTRE (CIC) and OGWUGO FOODS who are the top three winners of the Made in Aba Hackathon challenge are to be joined by four other startups randomly chosen, namely: INAAGA, SALESBAY, TOUCHABLE, IGMART and … and be incubated for the next three months at Ighub Africa centre.

Speaking at the launch, the CEO of Innovation Growth Hub Africa said that his passion is to help small businesses move from idea to global businesses. He has also been seen a couple of times saying that no startup will die under his watch and this is the passion that drives him in his pursuit to make global businesses out of every startup in the south east, most especially in Aba, Abia state.

He also mentioned that the challenges affecting the growth of these startups into global and trans-generational businesses is due to the lack of digital skills which he has tirelessly together with his team tried to eradicate. His partnerships with Facebook, Google Digital Skills, Google My Business, IBM Africa which has so far exposed over 5000 Aba youths to digital skills has continued to propagate the goal to digitize Abia.

In the event, the Ford Foundation Program Officer, Prof. Paul Nwulu expressed their joy to participate in the growth of Aba by providing grant for these home grown startups. He also said that the Bank of Industry Nigeria (BOI) have also expressed their willingness to work with them to support this project. He concluded by encouraging the great job that the CEO of IGHUB Africa has been doing so far.

George Ononiwu a representative from TBWA, an advertising and marketing agency, highlighted that the indication of their interest to work with the government in the Made in Aba Hackathon challenge was because the saw the project as a beautiful one as it has hinges on a core and fundamental aspect of their basic business objective; rebuilding brands however in this case, is the rebuilding of the Proudly Made in Aba brand. He also mentioned that the world is in love with the idea as they got about 7000 emails and favourable feedbacks from their marketing activities on this campaign.

The SSA to the Abia state governor on Job creation and Youth Development, Chinenye Nwaogu in his speech said, “i am proud of the Governor for pushing through with the Made in Aba Project. He the Governor has always had the goal to put in Aba entrepreneurs and this Made in Aba project is just the beginning of great businesses to spring from Abia.” H e however said that Aba is one of the cities in Nigeria that has an enviable impression online when businesses here are projected and with the support of international organizations, we can only be sure that more growth is on the way.

“In 2015, i was convinced that the shortest route to development in Abia is by rebranding the Aba business narrative, which is what led to the Made in Aba project.” His Excellency, Dr. Okezie Victor Ikpeazu, the Governor of Abia state said in his speech at the Launch.

He expressed heartily his joy in what was being done by IGHub Africa. He said that enablers like Daniel Chinagozi, the CEO of IGHub Africa, is one of the great men leading and doing the much needed work in achieving the great economic Aba business ecosystem dream and get the world’s attention. He said that in 2015, He went on to commend the CEO by saying that it will be impossible for the world to see what Aba has without his tireless effort to build the Aba business ecosystem. “i am happy, proud, amazed and challenged by what is happening here. I won’t pray to be ph; i would rather be an Aba than Ph…God has endowed us individually and separately.”

In a closing speech, Daniel Chinagozi, the founder and CEO of the Innovation Growth Hub Africa, thanked the Governor for honouring the 3 months incubation launch event with IGHub and Ford Foundation. He also thanked him for his efforts and support towards building a suitable business landscape to overcome core business challenges in Abia, future-proofing the businesses and most importantly, producing continuous success stories.