General Electric (GE) and the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) have announced a partnership that would allow up to 25 Tony Elumelu EF Entrepreneurs to participate in a dedicated 4-week advanced manufacturing training program every year at GE’s Lagos Garage – a hub for advanced manufacturing-based innovation, strategy development, idea generation and collaboration.
The partnership results from the mutual interest of both organizations to foster economic growth and empowerment in Nigeria by building a skilled workforce and driving entrepreneurship development in the country.
Expressing her thoughts on the collaboration, GE Director of Communications & Public Affairs Patricia Obozuwa said: “We are happy to collaborate with a reputable organization such as the Tony Elumelu Foundation on this skill building initiative. There is a lot of alignment between TEF and GE’s commitment to the development of Nigerian entrepreneurs and we look forward to seeing some great success stories from TEF participants on the training program.”
Speaking on TEF’s commitment to empower Nigeria’s entrepreneurs, Parminder Vir OBE, CEO, TEF said: “We welcome the collaboration with GE, world’s top 10 most innovative companies, to spur the growth of the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurs, Nigeria’s new innovators. This program will help them to further develop their products and business models as a follow up to the Foundations’s Entrepreneurship Programme.”
The training program will, among other things, expose participants to a wide spectrum of topics that are essential for manufacturing and design in the 21st Century; sharpen teamwork, communication, and creativity skills of participants; promote excellence in the practice of design and manufacturing within and across professions; expose selected entrepreneurs to real-world design and manufacturing problems, bring concepts to reality and cultivate the entrepreneurs’ ability to express, evoke and shape experience through design and manufacturing.
GE created the Garages program in March 2012 to reinvigorate interest in invention, innovation, and manufacturing in America. This program went global with two workshops in Lagos in 2014 and in December 2016, GE launched a permanent space, co-located with their Lagos offices dedicated to the training of young Nigerians in advanced manufacturing and business development. By playing a role in 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.
The entrepreneurs in this class will exclusively come from the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme, its 10-year, US $100 million commitment to identify, train, mentor and fund 10,000 entrepreneurs, capable of changing the face of business across Africa.