GE developed the garages programme in the United States in 2012 to reinvigorate Americans’ interest in innovation, invention and manufacturing. The first international activation of the garages programme took place GE Lagos Garage in 2014 and was so popular that GE will be running another garages programme in Lagos.
Stimulating local economies and supporting the growth of small to medium enterprises is one of the main reasons why GE has invested in the Lagos Garage skills training programme in Nigeria.
The garages are essentially a hub for manufacturing-based innovation, strategy development, idea generation and collaboration, which is aimed at local business owners and entrepreneurs who are relevant to GE’s supply chain. By assisting with the development of the 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 relaunch the Lagos Garage programme because we know there are many small business owners in Nigeria who have the passion to start new businesses, but they don’t necessarily have the know-how,” said Patricia Obozuwa, Director of Communications & Public Affairs for GE Africa.
“We also know that the small business sector creates jobs and opportunities, and we are happy to encourage economic growth in Sub-Saharan Africa by leading important projects such as these,” said Obozuwa.
According to government statistics, Nigeria has an estimated 37-million micro, small and medium-sized enterprises making a significant contribution to employment and the country’s gross domestic product. These small businesses are supported by the Central Bank, the Bank of Industry, The National Economic Reconstruction Fund and the Bank of Agriculture as well as state initiatives such as the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency of Nigeria.
The Lagos Garage, which is being relaunched next month, offers two four-week programmes with joint emphasis on professionalism and entrepreneurship; a one-week programme focused on specific industry sectors; and an intensive programme, which was designed to provide mentoring for start-ups. During the programmes, trainees will learn how to transform their ideas into finished products that can be sold to customers.
The entrepreneurship segments cover necessary elements for start-ups and established businesses, and emphasis will be placed on creating scalable global-standard businesses that can become part of the GE supply chain with the ultimate aim being to export products. Garage participants will also work on real problems and projects which are sourced from GE, manufacturers and importers.
Marketing strategies, which include tactics for driving growth in Africa, as well as the fundamentals of supply chains, 3D modelling, machining and prototyping will also be covered during the training modules by in-house GE talent, guest lecturers, industry experts and business leaders.