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Adanian Labs trains, onboards Nigerian entrepreneurs on Ayoba platform

Nigeria’s SME sector has received a boost as Adanian Labs successfully wraps its SME Accelerator program with Ayoba in Nigeria. In his address, at the…

Nigeria’s SME sector has received a boost as Adanian Labs successfully wraps its SME Accelerator program with Ayoba in Nigeria.

In his address, at the Ayoba SME Accelerator, Nigeria 2023, exhibition, graduation, and awards ceremony in Lagos, the Regional Head of West Africa, Adanian Labs, Killian Mayuwa, disclosed that 42 entrepreneurs successfully graduated from the program having successfully undergone a six-month training at Adanian Labs.

According to Mayuwa, the training was in line with the Labs’ concerted effort to empower small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with the transformative potential of artificial intelligence (AI).

In his address, Mayuwa said that a comprehensive training program was meticulously crafted, leveraging a blend of interactive workshops, hands-on tutorials, and personalized coaching sessions.

Speaking further, he explained that the SMEs were immersed in a dynamic learning environment tailored to their unique business needs.

“Through practical demonstrations and real-world case studies, participants gained invaluable insights into the diverse applications of AI tools across various operational domains. From streamlining inventory management to enhancing customer engagement strategies, the training equipped SME owners and employees with the knowledge and skills necessary to harness AI technologies effectively.

“By fostering a culture of innovation and adaptability, this initiative not only empowered SMEs to thrive in a rapidly evolving digital landscape but also fostered a community of forward-thinking entrepreneurs poised to capitalize on the limitless opportunities afforded by AI.” He said

Furthermore, he encouraged small and medium enterprises to strive to survive their first two years of operations.

He noted that it was challenging to operate as a startup in Nigeria and even tougher for them to undergo capacity-building programmes.

“The idea was started in June last year to get SMEs in Nigeria to interact with technology, to allow them to get more customers. Most SMEs die because they do not have customers,” Mayuwa noted.

During his speech, he mentioned that the training was a collaboration between Ayoba and Adanian Labs, with support from various organisations such as the United States Consulate in Nigeria, MTN, and Fidelity Bank.

He added that the 42 SMEs that completed the programme after undergoing training in technology, customer relations, bookkeeping, etc., were onboarded on the Ayoba platform, which has over 30 million active users across Africa.

According to Mayuwa, over 1,000 SMEs applied for the programme, but 50 of them were shortlisted, while only 42 graduated at the end of the day.

“The SMEs that are here today are focused and ready to go,” he enthused.

Meanwhile, the Head of Ecosystem Development, Ayoba, Sheila Yabo, stated that the organisers of the Ayoba SME Accelerator had always thought that Africa was ripe for the use of technology to enable it to achieve exponential growth.

“Any of the participants have grown significantly since we started. We are digitalising Africa. I cannot wait to see many of the entrepreneurs join our platform,” she noted.

Ayoba is an open platform for creators and publishers to boost third-party innovation, developed by MTN in South Africa.

Speaking at the event, the U.S. Consulate Deputy Political and Economic Chief, Kenise Hill, represented by Kelechukwu Onyeke, noted that startups are the lifeblood of every thriving economy.

“They are the ones who go to places we are all afraid to go. They can adapt and chart a new course,” he mentioned.

He described SMEs as job-creating machines that may be small but have great growth potential.

“They are the solutions that change life and have a lasting impact. They are creating a culture of resilience. They show us that we don’t have to wait for change; we have to be the change,” Hill declared.

One of the participants, the founder of Rae’s Clothing, Ifeoma Anselem, disclosed that the Ayoba SME Accelerator programme was tailored towards the individual needs of each SME.

“I got to know that people are ready to hold your hands. They taught us how to structure our businesses and how to access funding,” she enunciated.

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