In a move to empower young people to boost the socio-economic activities in Nigeria, Microsoft Inc, the Fate Foundation and Mara Mentor have launched the ‘Cloudpreneur Project’ to provide participating startups with entrepreneurship, cloud and ICT training.

The project will be opened to 1000 applicants who have been in business for 1-3 years. Out of these applicants, 100 successful participants will be chosen and will receive a four-week marathon training on sales, technology, entrepreneurship, startups management, communication and business management.

“Microsoft is committed to improving youth skills for both entrepreneurship and employability across Africa. Our efforts in Nigeria started with the launch of the Employability Portal in 2013, which provides a platform for youth to learn leadership skills and network with other leaders. Now through the Cloudpreneur Project, we hope to enable and empower young business owners, so that they can contribute to the social and economic growth of Nigeria,” Kabelo Makwane, Managing Director of Microsoft Nigeria explained.

After the training, 30 of the 100 participants will be accorded with startup models out of which the top 20 performers will be guided on how to build their own cloud-based business.

Habiba Balogun, Executive Director at Fate Foundation narrated further about the project:

“Fate Foundation is delighted to partner and support Microsoft in its Cloudpreneur initiative which aims to empower entrepreneurs in the Tech-related business to not only improve and hone their skills and knowledge via an intensive training under the assured guidance of Microsoft but also to be equipped to run successful businesses and create employment via Fate Foundation’s proven Entrepreneurship Training. Technological Innovation translated into economic activity is the future for Nigeria and we commend Microsoft for being part of enabling wealth creation in Nigeria.”

Unlike a similar project, Cloud Startup Academy, that was executed in Morocco last year, which was only opened to women; the Cloudpreneur project however, is opened to all.

“It is pertinent that young people embrace the culture entrepreneurship in line with global trends, and with increasing wave of cloud computing, Mara Mentor is happy to partner with Microsoft to empower cloud-based entrepreneurs and their ideas,” Hetal Shah, Director of Operations at Mara added.

Applications for the Cloudpreneur Project opens on Friday March 20 and closes on April 19, 2015.

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Olumuyiwa Coker | Author