Story By: Rahamatu-Lahi Zakaria || Sanatu Zambang
Northern Innovation Lab (NIL) held its annual Startup Summit on the 31st of August 2022 at the Walewale Social Centre on the theme ‘’ Digitizing Agriculture for Sustainable Business Development and Job Creation in Walewale’’.
The Summit which is in its 4th edition saw eight teams pitch their ideas to a three panel of judges. Each team presented a solution using web development to tackle agricultural problems in their community. AgriCom was chosen as the winner while Agritech and Peace Innovation was chosen as the 1st and 2nd runner-ups.
These three teams were given cash prizes and certificates. They will also join their colleagues to take part in the incubation process where they will further be given skills and other assistance to develop their idea into entire businesses that would seek to address agricultural problems in their community and also provide job opportunities for the teaming youth.
The majority of beneficiaries of this year’s cohort were nursing mothers and senior high school leavers. Speaking with the Co-founder for NIL, Mr Alfred said it was not a deliberate action by the hub to have more nursing mothers in this cohort. According to him, they have always strived to empower everyone in the community that they find themselves in.
Two things he says guide them in the recruitment process thus, availability and commitment level of the applicant. As an organisation that believes in equality, the hub has a nursery to accommodate nursing mothers and their babies.
They believe that if these women are ready to learn, they should be ready as a hub to support them with whatever they have to retain them and empower them to be ICT literate. Surprisingly for them this year, the nursing mothers showed more commitment and were available for the training process in web development.
Applicants after going through the interview session and getting selected were taken through basic ICT training before the main training programme which is web development. According to the hub, they understand that not everyone has the luxury of having access to computers and hence lacks basic computer knowledge. To make their work easy, the hub starts its training by equipping the beneficiaries with basic ICT knowledge before any other training is given to them.