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Hub Management 101 – Abuja Edition

The Hub Management 101 is an event tailored for hubs looking to transition from pre-incubation to full acceleration and incubation, stakeholders in the hub society, aspiring government officials and hub owners who are interested in the entrepreneurial ecosystem.

The maiden edition kicked-off on Wednesday June 20th, 2018 with registration and then introduction of Hub managers, intending hub owners and entrepreneurs by Mercy Olorunfemi. Present were representatives from Aiivon Innovation Hub, Insiteful Solutions, Enspire Incubator, Ventures Foundation, The Nation Newspaper, Blue Sapphire hub, Aspillos Foundation, Olotu Square, Afrilabs, nHub Nigeria, Young Innovators, and Digital Solutions International.

The first session was facilitated by the Founder of Network of Incubators and Innovators in Nigeria, Bankole Oloruntoba. In his first module, he differentiated between a co-working space and an incubation hub. He highlighted activities these two carry out in maintaining accelerated growth and impact in the lives of people in the innovation ecosystem. Further on, he discussed on the various start-up stages where he said there are several stages a start-up must pass through. They include the idea stage, early stage, growth stage, pivot stage, late stage and mature stage.  He opined that a hub manager must be able to listen, be empathetic and have the ability to bring resources together. In setting up a hub, he disclosed that there are seven major focus types. They include industry specifics, gender/mixed specifics, age specifics, commercial/developmental, challenge specifics and virtual/physical.

Later on Nkoyo Efretei, a Human Resource expert from Insiteful Solutions had a group session with participants on how to identify their purpose (vision and mission). In identifying these, the questions to be answered were; what will personal success mean to you? What will hub success mean to you? What obstacles are freaking you out? To buttress on this, Emmanuel Ihim, a Human Resource also from Insiteful Consults had a session on talents to build in setting up a hub. He disclosed some of the skill set of people that a hub manager or intending hub owner should work with.

The Day 2 of this event took another quite interesting dimension. Mr Bankole Oloruntoba discussed on the subject matter Business Model Canvas. He described the five phases in making up a business model canvas which include examination, understanding, ideation, experimentation and distil.  He iterated that the critical DNA of a business model is the ability to finger out how to deliver value to the customers and to capture value (in revenue and service). Another important aspect of business modelling discussed was the value proposition. He affirmed that needs and wants vary. So, a hub manager should be able to make start-ups understand what they are delivering and solutions they provide. Other aspects of business modelling he talked about were customer relationship, revenue stream, key resources, key activities, key partners and cost structure. He disclosed that the hub manager should be able to understand the language format of customers; formal, informal or semi-formal. As a hub manager, you should understand the value at which your customers are willing to pay he said. In setting up a hub, you should recognise your key partners and the key activities they perform he further restated. He further disclosed that a hub manager or intending hub owner should share information constantly and engage in activities that will help in delivering the hub’s value proposition.

Furthermore, Rizwaan Khambata, an entrepreneur and communications consultant from Good Up Tanzania had a session on understanding a target audience. He stated that the essential building blocks of effective communication include the pitch, the person, the ask, the problem and the proof. He opined that a problem statement should be explained with a story of change and the impact made should be shown. Achievements made should be celebrated and should be measurable, accurate, achievable and concise. At the end of this session, there was a pitching session where participants used the fore mentioned essential building blocks as a template.

On the last day of the training, participants were made to do a recap of all that have been learnt in the course of the training. Thereafter, there was the Brain Trust session. In this session, participants were made to learn from each other by sharing challenges their various hubs face and after brainstorming as a team suggest solutions to the challenge identified.

At the end of the event, closing remarks and appreciation were said by NINe team led by Mr Bankole Oloruntoba. Certificates of attendance were later issued to all participants.

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