By Dipo Olowookere
Leading multinational, General Electric (GE), has officially launched the permanent installation of the Lagos Garage, a hub for advanced manufacturing-based innovation, strategy development, idea generation and collaboration.
Co-located with the GE Lagos offices in Victoria Island, the Lagos Garage will offer a year-round series of skills training programs focused on building the next generation of Nigerian entrepreneurs.
Participants will be trained to use the latest in advanced manufacturing technologies; 3D printers, CNC mills, and laser cutters in the first-ever fabrication lab in Nigeria, driving innovation in the country.
They will also learn how to apply the core principles of design thinking, product development, finance, marketing, sales, and customer acquisition in real-time to their ventures.
“Innovation and technology are fundamental for Africa to better compete in a global frame work” said President and CEO of GE Nigeria, Dr Lazarus Angbazo.
“Innovation needs to be tailored to the specificities of local needs. “GE is pleased to encourage innovation in Nigeria and support SME development through skills-building initiatives such as these” he added.
GE created the Garages experience in March 2012 to reinvigorate interest in invention, innovation, and manufacturing in America.
Programs have included custom projects, curated speaker sessions and workshops amidst a fully equipped advanced manufacturing space. This program went global with two workshops in Lagos in 2014 and has since grown to include several countries in Europe and the Middle-East.
The popularity of the program led to GE’s decision to commission a permanent space for the training of young Nigerians in advanced manufacturing and business development.
By assisting with the development of the advanced manufacturing ecosystem in Nigeria, GE hopes to create jobs, build local knowledge and capability, and encourage technology-based innovation in the manufacturing sector.
“GE is proud to launch the Lagos Garage, a hub that is dedicated to accelerating the impact of some of Nigeria’s most promising entrepreneurs. We have set up a learning environment that is different from the traditional. We are combining both the classroom and the real-world – providing hands-on training in advanced manufacturing” said Patricia Obozuwa, Director of Communications & Public Affairs for GE Africa. “We’re looking forward to seeing great ideas that come to the GE Lagos Garage being transformed into practical business models that ultimately create more jobs in Nigeria.”
While on the program and upon graduation, The Lagos Garage will provide the participants access to a robust mentorship network, supporting entrepreneurship with the aim of driving growth across all sectors of the Nigerian economy.
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