Orange Niger and its local partners have setup CIPMEN, a business incubator, designed to encourage the creation of new and innovative companies in the country.
This is Group’s third incubator launch after the company successfully started the CTIC incubator in Senegal and the Ebène project in Mauritius.
According to the global telecommunications company, the Orange Group, 85 per cent of SMEs fail within their first two years however 80 per cent of companies that undergo an incubation process are still operating after five years.
(READ MORE: Africa's SMEs require an enabling business environment)
CIPMEN was therefore created to help SMEs from their launch phase until they become profitable.
“The purpose of CIPMEN is to help innovative SMEs grow on a market where many companies fail to see the light of day, and to bridge the gap between the informal sector and the larger national and international companies,” said the group in a statement.
(READ MORE: Access to funding still a sizeable obstacle for SMEs)
“Niger offers few suitable support mechanisms for upcoming businesses, despite the central role that companies play in creating jobs for young people, helping to form a middle class, and in creating and redistributing wealth.”
The incubator will help companies in future-oriented sectors such as Information and Communication Technologies, renewable energy and the environment,” continued the statement.
The group added that CIPMEN is a pilot programme which should enable the launch of other regional initiatives in Niger.
(READ MORE: Orange sells its Ugandan operations to Africell)