Orange Launches CIPMEN; The First Start-up SMEs Incubator in Niger
On May 26th, in Paris, France, Orange announced its opening the 1st start-up incubator in Niger dubbed CIPMEN. In partnership with local Niger partners, Orange Niger have been working hard to set-up CIPMEN which will serve as an incubator from the small-and-medium-sized business that will encourage innovation and inventions in Niger.
The move behind the creation of this start-up in Niger is based on observations made over time that show that in sub-Saharan Africa. About 85% of SMEs have been failing within the first 2 years since their inception, but those SMEs that are taken through incubation at their inception 80% of them have been still up and running even on their 5th year of operations.
CIPMEN has been created to support Niger SMEs from their launch phase up to when they mature and stable enough to make enough profit that will enable them to sustain themselves. CIPMEN intends to do this by helping innovative SMEs thrive in markets where numerous companies have failed to see the light of the day. Niger will also help in bridging the gap between Niger’s informal sector and the big national and international companies. With the current setup in Niger, there is little to no suitable support mechanisms available for start-up SMEs.
However, Niger stands to gain immensely from the great role SMEs could play on the domestic socio-economic development. SMEs could lead to the creation of more jobs to the youth, help create a bigger middle class as well as creating and redistribution of wealth. CIPMEN will play its role as an incubator in helping Niger SMEs in future-oriented sectors like ICTs, the environment and renewable energy. This pilot project by Orange is expected to enable the launch of numerous regional initiatives in Niger, it was inaugurated back in April 2014 at the first Startup Weekend hosted in Niamey. The event attracted 80 high profiled participants all of whom spent a total of 54 working hours coming up with innovative projects.
OrangeTM has set itself out to be a formidable partner and supporter for all important social and economic developments around Africa. Using its network investments and its growing presence in African emerging countries; for instance in Senegal it has established the CTIC incubator and in Mauritius it established the Ebene project, Orange is setting precedence for innovation and growth in Africa.