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UK-based professor opens entrepreneurship centre in Oyo

UK-based professor opens entrepreneurship centre in Oyo

It is complete with an incubation hub, an accelerator space, a studio for content creators, two training rooms, a multipurpose hall and a restaurant.

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A new social enterprise has opened in Oyo, south-west Nigeria, to help enhance entrepreneurship.

The Enterprise Republic, occupying a purpose-built house, was formally launched on Saturday, bringing together government officials, community leaders, and young entrepreneurs.

“The establishment of Enterprise Republic, which has been years in the works, is our modest effort to tackle the menace of youth unemployment and underemployment, and the various problems associated with it,” said Seun Kolade, a Nigerian professor in the United Kingdom.

“It is no magic wand, but it is nevertheless a committed effort to provide a space for aspiring and nascent entrepreneurs to acquire new skills, develop their ideas, create value for society and capture value for themselves. We have now created a facility that can train and support hundreds of entrepreneurs at full capacity. This facility will be open 24/7, powered by solar energy and 24/7 internet access.”

Mr Kolade joined Sheffield Hallam University as a full professor of Entrepreneurship and Digital Transformation this month, a big inspiration to the Black academic community in the UK, where just one per cent of professors are Black. At the last count by the country’s Higher Education Statistics Agency, HESA, only 160 of more than 22 thousand professors are Black.

Mr Kolade previously thought at the University of Wolverhampton and De Montfort University.

Commenting on Mr Kolade’s project, Sulleiman Adediran, a retired university don and now development consultant, said the “landmark” initiative is a response to the need of society.

“He has converted his ideas about getting people to make moves of entrepreneurship as a way of developing the society,” Mr Adediran said.

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Mr Kolade said the centre “is complete with an incubation hub, an accelerator space, a studio for content creators, two training rooms, a multipurpose hall and a restaurant. Over the next few days and weeks, we will be rolling out the first batch of training modules in our Digital Skills Academy.”

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