Every day SMEs emerge with amazing ideas capable of transforming the nation’s economic landscape. With their ability to revitalize the economy and spur nationwide growth, exclusive attention – the kind that stimulates conversations and strategies for growth – must be showered on them.
Connect Nigeria sponsored by Union Bank and other organisations have set out to achieve just this through the Top 100 Emerging SMEs campaign. The campaign which was set up to strengthen SMEs around the country came to an end in June 2018 after months of voting to single out a total 100 SMEs from a nominated list. Among the SMEs that came out triumphant in the campaign is 360 Creative Innovation Hub – a co-working space initiative that caters to fashion designers in particular and other creatives through collaboration and innovation.
360 Creative Innovation Hub
360 Creative Innovation Hub was founded by Achu Blessing Ebere, an enterprising individual who saw the need for Co-Working spaces for the sectors in the creative arts and the impact they could have on these sectors. With the rate at which the fashion industry in Nigeria had grown, this would indeed be the perfect timing for 360 Creative Innovation Hub to come on board to build a community for fashion designers and other creatives in a bid to promote their growth and efficiency.
In her own words, “Why can’t we have a co-working space for the fashion designers? How do we build a sharing community for fashion designers as well as other creative people? And that’s what led to 360 Creative Innovation Hub”. Today, 360 Creative Innovation Hub, is up and running in the SME ecosystem and has the potential to transform the fashion industry to a large extent.
So how does this is 360 Innovation Hub’s strategy to create this umbrella for fashion designers and creative entrepreneurs work? Simple! Sensitize the Nigerian youth on the intricacies of the fashion business in Nigeria and the vast opportunities available in the fashion value chain and equip them with the technical know-how they need to hone their creativity. 360 Innovation Hub does this by providing fashion businesses with value chains that centre on the following services:
- Branding, marketing, and publicity opportunities
- Small business technical assistance
- Commercialization assistance and Financial planning
- Business registration
- Networking opportunities for startups
- Generating local content, building MSMEs and developing skills.
- Business assistance for the designers to connect with and submit applications to stakeholders, and
- Retail opportunities to pitch the designer’s collections to buyers and investors.
With this objective 360 Creative Hub has in place, it caters to young creatives who fall within the age range of 20-35 years.
Seeing how far this SME has come, including winning the Top 100 SME campaign, there is no doubt that it set for success and has the capacity to succeed. “By the year 2025, we see our 360 Creative Hub has produced at least 50 global brands from local communities throughout Nigeria who can conveniently compete in the global market”, says Blessing.