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Posted on 30-Jan-2020   |   GCL Hub

COWORKING, TECH AND THE NIGERIAN ECONOMY Pt. 2


b) repurposed space e.g. retail stores, Restaurants Collaboration with members, 
c) city-level collaborations amongst coworking operators; and 
d) incorporation of co-living accommodation. 

Of the four points noted, city-level collaboration amongst coworking space operators’ stands out as having potential for the greatest impact. 

While this is the case, there is however likely one more trend that will gain traction in the not-so-distant future, upon which collaborations will be predicated, and which will be of very great impact in driving the future of the coworking industry. 

It is the idea of specialized coworking hubs. Currently blazing the trail in this regard is Civic Innovation Labs in Abuja, designed to foster innovation and social impact; as well as 360creative and Cre8 hubs in Lagos; 360creative hub carter strictly to the unique startup needs of fashion entrepreneurs, while Cre8 tends to the needs of players in fintech startup. 

At the present, the idea of specialized hubs may seem farfetched, however, it is a concept that will gain prominence in the coming days as more players in the industry will embrace it either proactively or in reaction to market demand. However, it is definitely one factor that will shape the future, impact and relevance of Nigeria’s coworking space.

And this is what brings us to the point about collaboration as the biggest factor, which will shape the industry and eventually the nation and the continent. 

The idea of specialized hubs will foster ‘intra’ collaborations amongst startups and entrepreneurs in a particular sector or niche. With startups in the same industry working out of the same hub, there is likely going to be increased exchange of ideas and although there is bound to be competition, there will also be a greater opportunity for collaborations as founders will identify how areas of strength complement that of another, and will be motivated to build companies that are bigger than the individual sum of the comprising parts.

This will not only happen for startups; it will also need to be the case for operators and stakeholders in the coworking industry. We will be seeing collaborative moves between coworking space providers where they actively seek out ideas and startups in other coworking spaces that can collaborate with those in their to achieve bigger and better outcomes. 

So, in future, we are likely to experience a pivoting in the roles and functions of coworking hubs beyond office space and incubation providers to one of actively facilitating collaborations and defining outcomes; redefining the way and speed in which ideas are brought to life and businesses evolve in their hubs. 

Africa is shaping up to be the toast of the world in terms of tech and innovation no doubt, and Nigeria is at the center of that. The big players globally are beginning to notice and validate the fact. However, if there is anything we need more than ever at this critical moment, it is speed. The speed of our innovative process and the quality of its outcomes will be a factor of our collaboration. GCL Hub, a coworking space in Ikeja, Lagos state, is one hub that is actively embracing and integrating a collaborative business model into its core; fostering interchange of ideas amongst founders in its hub, and currently seeking to foster inter hub collaborations amongst founder from other coworking hubs in Lagos state and beyond. 

With the success of startups such as LifeBank, BudgIT, Flutterwave, Paystack and a host of others that are pulling in millions of dollars in investment into the Nigerian economy on a yearly basis, there is no doubt that Nigeria is not lacking in ideas or brilliant driven and energetic young minds, capable to secure the place of their nation in the unfolding tech driven future.

The gains and prospects inherent in this make it not just a nice-to-have but a must-have for our nation to fast track development and live up to its much tooted potentials. Nigeria and indeed Africa played catch up on the previous industrial revolutions, we could however cash

Posted on 09-Jan-2020   |   GCL Hub

COWORKING, TECH AND THE NIGERIAN ECONOMY 

IN November 2019, the now retired Alibaba.com Executive Chairman Jack Ma, visited Nigeria and neighboring Ghana. His visit is one of the few high-profile visits by top global tech giants witnessed by Nigeria in recent times. The trend seemed to have been started by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in 2016 and later on Jack Dorsey of Twitter. 


These visits were of great significance as they showed that the tech and start up space in Nigeria a sector that is almost entirely powered by young Nigerians is coming of age and visible enough to command the attention and interests of top minds in the world. 


Maybe of more notable significance is the fact that it communicates the sheer brilliance and powers that young Nigerians now wield without and outside of politics. This is particularly so because except in the case of Jack Ma who was attending the Nigerian Digital Economic Summit, the other two visits were facilitated by young Nigerians in the tech space without any involvement or leverage from the Nigerian government. 

As part of Jack Ma’s visit, he held the Africa Netpreneur Prize Initiative which 10 African startup pitch to win a slice of the $1, 000, 000 grant in Accra, Ghana. Temie Giwa Tubosun took home the grand prize of $250, 000 for her startup LifeBank. LifeBank is a healthcare technology and logistics startup based in Lagos, Nigeria, that facilitates the supply of blood, oxygen and other medical products to hospitals. 


LifeBank was started in 2016 and was one of 26 startups that have successfully scaled through CcHub, a tech hub that provides coworking space as well as incubator in Yaba Lagos which is considered Nigeria’s equivalent of Silicon Valley. 


Starting out in 2016 on a lean budget, the idea of a coworking space was ideal for a startup like LifeBank. Typically in a city like Lagos with prime real estate, the heavy upfront cost needed to acquire an office space often price out young entrepreneurs and early-stage businesses. For example, the average business would need to have at least two years of upfront rent, and spend on furniture, basic office equipment and a generator to at least get started. For an average entrepreneur or one that is just starting out, riding on the passion of his idea, this level of investment would drain out the funds meant to start their actual business. As a result most worked out of their homes, or as an alternative, coffee shop, which would at least provide a reasonable environment and Internet, access but which would not be totally conducive for business meetings.


This is where co-working spaces have proven to be genius; a perfect idea in time. From the first initiative at aggregating people of common interest in to a single physical space for the purpose of work in Germany in 1995, to the first official co working space as we know it today which started in San Francisco in 2005 the idea of co-working has grown to become an industry which attracted $1 billion in investment in 2015 alone. 


Coworking spaces provide small businesses and startups a lifeline of sorts. Typically, a coworking space provides plug and play office solution, with furniture, Internet, power, and shared office services (receptionist, printing, mailing, etc.) with flexible payment options in quarterly or monthly installments. The impact this has had on the entrepreneurship and the startup space in Nigeria has been immense. 


Coworking in Nigeria is largely acknowledged to have taken off in 2011; the two pioneers in the space are Venia Business Hub and CcHub, which commenced operations within weeks of each other. While Venia was located on the Island, CcHub chose its location at Yaba on mainland Lagos, and the two operators laid the foundation of what is now known as the Coworking Industry in Nigeria today.


The coworking culture is now a global phenomenon. According to the 2017 Global Coworking Survey, the Coworking Industry amassed over 14,000 Coworking spaces globally in just a little over eleven years, and is expected to grow to over 26,000 international locations by 2020, with over 3.8 million ‘coworkers.’ 


Over the past 7 years in Nigeria, coworking spaces particularly in Lagos has gone from just 2, to more than 70 Coworking spaces operating across various cities nationwide. 

The 2017 Nigerian Coworking Report by Venia Business Hub noted four key trends likely to shape the coworking space in Nigeria as the industry continues to evolve. These are: 

a) increased collaboration between property developers and coworking space operators; <

Posted on 11-Dec-2019   |   GCL Hub

EFFECTIVE WAYS TO RANK YOUR WEBSITE ON SEARCH ENGINES.

Search Engine optimization (SEO) according to Wikipedia is the process of increasing the quality and quantity of website traffic by increasing the visibility of a website or a web page to users of a web search engine.

 

Content marketing and optimization have come a long way since the advent of Search Engines.  Here are some of the ways to build a high-performance website and get top ranking on all search engines.

Posted on 09-Dec-2019   |   GCL Hub

WHY CLOUD COMPUTING IS GOOD FOR YOUR BUSINESS

Cloud computing is the on-demand system of using computer services over the internet. It allows people access to the same kinds of application through the internet.

Cloud computing helps improve cash flow and offers many more benefits.  Many businesses have adopted cloud computing in the past few years to reduce the cost of developing and installing software to improve their operation. Businesses are often puzzled by the thought of moving to the cloud. They are concerned with data loss, privacy risks, susceptibility to external attack, internet connectivity etc. But do these concerns outweigh the advantages of cloud computing? Or are you afraid of the change?

Why is the cloud good for business? Here is some of its benefit.

 

Reduced cost         

The development, installation and running of IT systems  is expensive. You need to purchase the right equipment and hire technicians to install and manage the center. Moving to the cloud saves the upfront cost of purchasing, managing and upgrading the IT systems. Thus using cloud model converts capital expenditure to operational expenditure.

 

Scalabilty

Using cloud computing, businesses can easily expand existing computing resources. You can get additional   storage space or features whenever you need them.

 

Storage space            

The traditional use of file storage, data backup and software programs which take up most of the space will no longer needed as most of the data would be stored in remote cloud servers. Not only cloud frees in-house space but also provides unlimited space in the cloud.

 

Posted on 04-Dec-2019   |   GCL Hub

PRODUCTIVITY: WAYS OF INCREASING PRODUCTIVITY




The productivity of the employees of a firm is important in the success of such firm or
organization.
Being productive can improve our work/life balance, job satisfaction, and our personal
fulfilment and sense of pride over the actual work that we do. The problem is, being
productive is easier said than done. Luckily, there are a few principles you can keep in mind
and put into practice, to be your most productive self.
Here are some ways of improving your productivity or that of your employees.
1. Delegate
Delegation comes with an element of risk, but increased responsibility is important
for improving the morale and job satisfaction of your staff. Give responsibilities to
qualified employees that have a proven track record with success in a certain field,
and trust that they will perform the tasks well.
If you allow employees the chance to gain skills and leadership experience, it will
benefit your company and provide your employees with a sense of achievement and
direction in their own careers.
2. Limit your external distractions.

While smartphones may be one of the greatest innovations of our time, they can
also sometimes feel like the bane of our existence. Many people are addicted to
their phones, where we can find it difficult to completely disconnect from social

media, messaging, gaming, or any other apps and networking programs we use
regularly.
Your phone may be a significant contributor to the reason you are unproductive,
procrastinate too much, and can’t seem to stay focused on any one thing for too
long. Because of this, you need first to identify how bad the problem is. New feature
updates on most smartphones now mean you can see your actual statistics on how
much screen time you’re using, and on what types of activities.
If it’s hard for you to break the habit, use a blocker tool that can limit your access to
certain apps or functions on your phone, set for specific periods, or between
particular hours of the day. So even if you are tempted, you’ll be physically unable to
get distracted by your phone
3. Reduce task switching.

Task switching affect the productivity level by wasting time. Task switching is the
time you waste when you change from one uncompleted task to another. It’s a form
of distracted focus usually driven by an inability to pay attention to any single item
for too long. You can inadvertently succumb to task switching inefficiencies when
you have too many alerts or notifications turned on, and feel a need to address
incoming issues immediately.
4. Focus
One big factor of lack of productivity at work, or even in our personal lives, is a lack
of purpose. When we know not just what we need to get done, but why, we can
become much more motivated. When you see your role in the bigger picture then
you strive to hit a goal, you may often think about the reason you want (or need) to
achieve it. When we lack direction, don’t understand the need for something, or are
confused about a resultant outcome or follow up activity, we lose the sense of
purpose.

5. Have a method for measuring productivity
Every organization or individual should have a way or means of measuring
productivity. It is important to assess if your productivity is improving or falling
behind.
Productivity measurement varies drastically between company, industry, and
individual because productivity doesn’t look the same to everyone. But the

important thing is to have either an industry standard to measure against, or an
expectation set within your organization, or for yourself.