How Paradigm Initiative trained over 600 youth in ICT and Entrepreneurship in 2017

In its 2017 Annual Report, Paradigm Initiative, a Nigerian social enterprise in the ICT sector, revealed how it provided training in ICT and entrepreneurship to 667 youth in 2017.

The Lagos-based social entreprise graduated 248 trainees in 2017 alone, who successfully completed its 10-week intensive LIFE training programme at its three centres — in Ajegunle, Lagos State, in Aba, Abia State and in Dakata, Kano State.

The organisation further trained 96 through its newly-introduced LIFE@School programme, while another 332 female beneficiaries participated in various digital readiness workshops organised by the organisation, thus bringing the total number of beneficiaries of Paradigm Initiative’s digital inclusion efforts in 2017 to 667.

Since its debut in 2007, Paradigm Initiative’s LIFE programme, which is dedicated to empowering young people in underserved communities with skills in life, ICT, finance and entrepreneurship has now trained over 5,000.

But Gbenga Sesan, the Executive Director of Paradigm Initiative believes that its success should be measured based on impact and not numbers.

“We are glad to see that more under-served youth are getting connected to opportunities through our digital inclusion and digital rights programs,” Sesan says.

Besides the impressive numbers, the organisation also recorded definitive impact on its trainees. For example, Tosin Abolaji, the organisation’s Digital Inclusion programme manager highlights that the LIFE programme is usually the trainees’ first productive contact with a computer.

Subsequently, they are introduced to the use of computer, Office Suite, web and graphics design, and programming languages, among other things, which eventually leads to internship opportunities where they use their skills either as employees or as entrepreneurs.

“We don’t just provide free training, we also follow up with alumni to help them put their newly-acquired skill/knowledge to productive use,” he adds.

In preparation for the 2018 cycle of training, the organisation recently replaced all the desktop computers at the training centres with new, high-functioning laptops, while the centres also received new power generating sets. The organisation said its investment in the new equipment is to ensure its students learn under the best of conditions.

According to Favour Obiorah, an alumnus of the training program, “The LIFE programme has made a very big difference in my life, because I can now design websites for business owners. I know now how to write out a business plan, map market strategies and how to target the market for me to succeed as an entrepreneur.”

The organisation plans to continue to work with its partners such as Intel Corporation, through its “She Will Connect Initiative” to reach as many youth as possible across the country.