The Milton Margai Technical University (MMTU) on Tuesday 7th March 2023 launched an Incubation Hub with support from the government of Sierra Leone, SLEDP with funds from the World Bank, SMEDA, and CTI at the Resource Center, Goderich Campus.

The Incubation Hub is a collaborative and entrepreneurial facility that supports the development of ideas from basic concepts, into viable business ventures. It is specifically designed to foster entrepreneurship and small business development during the critical start-up phase.

In his statement, Dr. Alhaji I. Sankoh, Director of Research at the University, gave a brief overview of the project, outlining the success made, challenges, and future expectations.

He noted that out of the three beneficiary universities from the project, MMTU is the only public university, adding that, CTI was contracted and has trained 15 staff on entrepreneurship skills, organized two pitch nights and one hackathon in addition to making nine successful businesses.

He encouraged students to develop ideas to produce employers and not job seekers highlighting that MMTU would take the lead to advance the country.

He further stated that part of the project funds was utilized to refurbish the building as well as procure the equipment and reiterated that they want the center to become a national Innovation Hub but appealed for more equipment due to a large number of students to cater for as they want to make them relevant to the country.

Dr. Modupeh Taylor-Pearce who represented CTI observed the sense of hope and expectation in students, that the past should not be prologue, noting that the Incubation Hub would be the birthplace of one of the greatest companies in Africa.

He furthered that many students have dreams of doing business, hoped that many of them would become millionaires, and appealed to them to take good care of the facility.

He also urged the students to help their colleagues and pledged 10 copies of his book named “Business Bomber” to the center which would help them create ideas.

Mrs. Mary Jalloh, who represented the Sierra Leone Economic Diversification Project, disclosed that the project was funded by the World Bank to diversify the economy as the country has been too dependent on mining, especially diamonds, over the years, underlined that Sierra Leone has a lot of potentials one of which is human capital development but reiterated that innovation and entrepreneurship would help to advance the country.

She also recalled that the first pitch night was a success, appealed to the students to think critically adding that the selection process of the three beneficiary institutions was very competitive, urged them to come to the center to test their ideas informing that nine students now have startups from the pitch night and encouraged MMTU to partner with other institutions.

She assured continued support and mentorship to MMTU to become a game changer as the Incubation Hub is a state-of-the-art center with zoom and other facilities.

Earlier in his welcome statement, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Director of Academic Affairs, MMTU, Dr. Mohamed Alie Jalloh reiterated that the college puts a premium on the event, the reason for the presence of all the senior administrative and academic staff including the Chancellor, and revealed that MMTU is the first public university to have an Incubation Hub.

Shiaka S. Sannoh of the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency lamented that Sierra Leone lacks entrepreneurship skills and that the agency is promoting institutions of higher learning since 2019, he noted the Incubation Hub is a solution center and that the proposal presented by MMTU was one of the best.

The Vice-Chancellor and Principal of MMTU, Dr. Philip John Kanu asserted that he is very grateful for the day and that he is determined to weed out bad eggs in the institution.

He revealed that some of the objectives of MMTU include making students relevant to create jobs for themselves to improve the economy as well as create partnerships with similar institutions.

He further affirmed that the country is over-dependent on mining and enlightened that only businesses would improve the economy by training job creators, the reason the MMTU has introduced short courses in various skills and appealed to partners for continued support for students to find solutions to problems.

According to Dr. Kanu, the President himself has reiterated the need for human capital development and diversification of the economy and also commended the President for transforming the institution into a Technical University for which MMTU has a vital role to play to transform the country. He warned lecturers against female students who are not their wives.

The Chancellor of MMTU, Dr. Victor Kabia expressed delight in the development, cautioned students to be attentive, create a difference and take advantage of the opportunity offered by the Incubation Hub, that they must not stop learning and making continuous improvements as well as leave a legacy concluding that MMTU is the best college.

Mr. Papa Njai, Coordinator of Short Courses, MMTU, chaired the program while the vote of thanks was rendered by the Students’ Union President, Mr. Mbatilo Gormoh, who assured that they would judiciously utilize the facility.