With centers of technological advancement and development being established across the globe, the emergence of innovation hubs has become quite an interesting trend.
The United States of America is reportedly home to the greatest hub of innovations and digital transformation – Silicon Valley. With brands like Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, and many others, massive tech firms have seriously contributed to the growth of the American economy.
Nigeria is not left behind. We have begun to position ourselves as critical players in this age of innovation and technological advancement. Young and dynamic entrepreneurs have emerged in the tech space seeking to provide solutions to the challenges we have in our economy today. Today there are several innovation hubs in every region of the country. Interestingly, the federal and state governments are exploring the development of innovation hubs as incubators and catalysts of technological advancement.
In 2019, the Innovation Support Network (ISN Hubs) was born as the collective dream of several hubs across the country. There was a need for an organized community of hubs in Nigeria that embraces members with the goal of promoting innovation through collaboration amongst hubs and entrepreneurs across the country.
ISN is a not-for-profit Business Member Organisation that started with 75 hubs but is now made up of over 100 entrepreneurship, impact, innovation, and technology Hubs across Nigeria. We support our member hubs in the following ways:
- We champion policies, drive collaborations and promote structures that help grow the innovation hubs ecosystem in Nigeria.
- We provide capacity development programs that enable hub operators to enhance their entrepreneurship support services.
- We facilitate the identification exchange, use of commercial best practices for workspaces, incubators, makerspaces, and accelerators.
- We engage with local, national, and international policymakers on the role of hubs in supporting the creation of social and commercial value to the Nigerian economy.
- We provide access to opportunities for collaboration between Corporate entities and Hubs across the country.
- We provide access to competencies in Product Development, UI/ UX, Digital Skills, Coding, Machine Learning, AI among others.
We also lend our support to corporates in the following ways:
- We pair corporates with Nigerian tech innovations which improve productivity and effectiveness. This creates a demand for homegrown solutions and helps to make these businesses sustainable.
- We support corporates in their development of innovative technologies to enhance effectiveness, support their adoption of technology, and/ or to pivot into other solutions.
- With our nationwide presence, we are able to support corporates in the development and execution of physical as well as virtual tech-based Corporate Social Responsibility activities and events.
In the 2020 report by the Nigerian National Bureau of Statistics, it says that the country’s GDP contracted by over 6%, just in the second quarter of 2020, despite the COVID pandemic. This was made possible by tech innovations and so goes to say, there are opportunities; and if the maximum buying of green tech is to be believed, then we are well on our way to developing more platform-based enterprises that would catalyze the market to advance economic development, exploiting mobile penetration that we have achieved so far to create more digital jobs and inclusion.
lSN Hubs is helping to make this and many more, a reality as well as working hard to enable a thriving business environment for tech entrepreneurs and innovation hubs across the country.