Multinational conglomerate General Electric has ventured into the Nigerian incubation space with the launch of The Lagos Garage, a hub for advanced manufacturing-based innovation, strategy development, idea generation and collaboration.

Co-located with the GE Lagos offices in Victoria Island, the Lagos Garage will offer a year-round series of skills training programs focused on building the next generation of Nigerian entrepreneurs. Participants will be trained to use the latest in advanced manufacturing technologies – 3D printers, CNC mills, and laser cutters – in the first-ever fabrication lab in Nigeria. They will also learn how to apply the core principles of design thinking, product development, finance, marketing, sales, and customer acquisition in real-time to their ventures.

"Innovation and technology are fundamental for Africa to better compete in a global framework", GE Nigeria President & CEO Dr Lazarus Angbazo said at the launch. "Innovation needs to be tailored to the specificities of local needs, and GE is pleased to encourage this through skills-building initiatives such as The Lagos Garage."

The programme is intended to support the Nigerian Government’s localization, skills development and job creation efforts.

GE created the Garages experience in March 2012 to reinvigorate interest in invention, innovation, and manufacturing. Programs have included custom projects, curated speaker sessions and workshops amidst a fully equipped advanced manufacturing space. This program went global with two workshops in Lagos in 2014 and has since grown to include several countries in Europe and the Middle-East.

The popularity of the program led to GE’s decision to commission a permanent space for the training of young Nigerians in advanced manufacturing and business development. By assisting with 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.

GE is proud to launch the Lagos Garage, a hub that is dedicated to accelerating the impact of some of Nigeria’s most promising entrepreneurs. We have set up a learning environment that is different from the traditional. We are combining both the classroom and the real-world – providing hands-on training in advanced manufacturing. Patricia Obozuwa, Director of Communications & Public Affairs, GE Africa.

While on the program and upon graduation, The Lagos Garage will provide the participants access to a robust mentorship network, supporting entrepreneurship with the aim of driving growth across all sectors of the Nigerian economy.

Cover Image: Panel discussion at the opening event of The GE Lagos Garage.

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