Microsoft Nigeria and The Future Project have held the final series of Demo Days for the Accelerate Labs initiative to support young businesses in Northern Nigeria, with pitch presentations and award ceremonies held in Abuja (North Central), Kaduna (North-West) and Bauchi (North-East) on 20, 21 and 23 June, 2018.

Launched in August 2017, the programme is intended to empower 2,160 entrepreneurs between the ages of 18 – 35 through technological resources, trainings, mentorship and seed funding needed to build socially-responsible businesses in their communities.

In a statement released by The Future Project, Bukonla Adebakin, the Project Lead said, “Through intensive trainings, we engaged over 8,000 participants in Nigeria on the methods to build and sustain their businesses, with focus on pitch presentation, funding proposals and client relations. There are extensive opportunities to transform the country through innovation and dedication, and these participants are capable of impacting their communities through their socially inclined and highly profitable enterprises”.

Thousands of participants were registered under the initiative this year, with the Demo Days also providing an opportunity for entrepreneurs to sell their ideas, exhibit products for purchase, and also pitch ideas for possible investment.

Additional Demo Days will hold in Enugu (South-East) on 28 June, 2018; Edo (South-South) on 29 June, 2018, with the final event to be held in Lagos (South West) on Saturday, 30 June, 2018.

The initiative is blended in structure through Online and In-Class trainings, supporting different sectors ranging from Technology, Fashion, Education, Agriculture, Transportation, and others to stimulate economic development through enterprise development and technology incubation.