The Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) has on Monday 2nd February, 2009 begun its ICT Business Incubators Programme with a pioneer set of 16 youth people. The sixteen were selected from the best of the 300 people who participated last year in the Microsoft/USA Government supported Employability Programme that CITAD and LEAP Africa are implementing in Kano. The ICT Business Incubator Programme as conceived by CITAD is aimed at nurturing the young people to become ICT businesses entrepreneurs. The Incubator programme consists of three components. The first is a training programme on ICT Entrepreneurship. This lasts for three month. During the period the participations are in addition to deepening their ICT skills, given training in such ICT skills as website design, video/film editing, ICT equipment maintenance among others. They are also to be couched in Small Scale Business Management and Marketing as well as in communication and negotiation skills. During this time participants are also encouraged to sit for relevant professional examinations such as those organized by the Computer Professionals Registration Council of Nigeria (CPN).
At the end of the three months, they will undergo a 3-month business internship during which they are expected to produce business plans. These business plans would be discussed with a team of CITAD business advisers and once agreed upon, CITAD would then provide the needed business support on grantorship. The beneficiaries will then at the end of the business internship set up his or her business. At this stage CITAD would provide business mentoring support, networking, professional upgrading and virtual office space for the participants. Six months following the establishment of own businesses would be used to incubate and it is expected that at the end of the year the participants would graduate to full business Entrepreneurs.
At the core of the programme is the team work and participants are encouraged to work towards setting up partnerships or cooperatives rather individual businesses. The pioneer group of 16 consists of nine (9) male and seven (7) females.
CITAD is an ICT-focused non-governmental organization which has offices in Kano and Dutse, and an outreach unit in Bauchi State. For more on CITAD, visit www.citad.org.
Y. Z. Ya’u