Digital Development Hub (DDHub) is a Tech-based Innovation Hub designed to support the establishment of commercial startups and social impact that leads to development through innovation and creativity.
Founded by Abdulganiyu Rufai Yakub in Nigeria’s centre of commerce, Kano state, DDHub provides entrepreneurs and technologists the opportunity to boost their developer skills, while supporting them in navigating multiple challenges experienced when creating a business through incubation, acceleration, training and mentorship.
Chatting with the techbuild team, Yakub stated that the Kano-based hub was founded to foster economic development through innovation as well as address social issues through technology and innovation.
“We serve as communities, workspaces, and research centres attracting, retaining and building talent while encouraging collective action. We run consultancies, civic technology advocacies and other social impact projects.”
According to Yakub, DDhub is empowering and creating job and income raising opportunities for youth, the self-employed (including Startups) and existing micro, small and medium (MSMEs) enterprises within the following focal sectors: Information Communication Technology, Agriculture, Civil Society, Energy and creative industry.
Overall, Digital Development Hub is aiming to:
- Increase overall productivity of MSMEs resulting in improved competitiveness of targeted local goods and services
- Encourage and increase regional innovation activity across Nothern Nigeria and Sub-Saharan Africa
- Support Development Partners organizations with technology solutions that improve their intervention efforts in Africa
- Provide an example for workable collaboration that will trigger uptake, scale and crowding-in by other investors and entrepreneurs
- Ability to complement, leverage and build on existing innovation-related support activities and efforts, unless there are shown to be uncompetitive or distorting the market
Innovation and entrepreneurship
Speaking on how hubs foster innovation and entrepreneurship in their local communities, Yakub stated that hubs bring together, ideators, technologists, business developmentalists, social and commercial investors, matchmaking them for mutual benefit and prosperity of the nation.
While suggesting recommendations for improving Nigeria’s technology, innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystems, Yakub noted that NITDA/Ministry of communication and Digital economy should treat hubs in a similar way CBN treat commercial banks in the sense that hubs should not be allowed to fails at all circumstances.
Challenge and milestones
Funding, erratic power supply and lack of human resources have been the biggest challenges faced by Digital Development Hub according to the founder, however, the Kano-based hub isn’t deterred by the prevailing circumstances.
The hub as stated by Yakub as incubated lots of commercial and social impact startups, while training a good number of individuals who are currently utilizing our training to earn living.
The founder also explained further that he is most excited by Relearn an initiative of DD Hub that brings together young people and subject them to rigorous hands on skill training on tech, animation, ideation, critical thinking R and D as well as product development.
“We succeeded in producing a number of upcoming startups and developers through this program”
Stating further, he also mentioned that another of its initiative, Tech Fellowship has been running for the past five years like the Relearn program. Both of these programs have been exclusively for youth with a special focus on women participants who attended the programs free of charge.
Government and ISN’s role
On how the government can support innovation hubs, Yakub commented that this can be achieved by equipping the hubs with all necessary tools for smooth running.
While on ISN’s role, the founder added that the organization has supported member hubs with networking between industry players.
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