by Cynthia Obiora.
The 1-month intensive Innovation Readiness training is one of two experiences to be gained as an IFA fellow. As part of the IFA mission, the first phase of the fellowship is training young graduates on soft as well as digital hard skills like data analysis, digital marketing and product management. At the end of the training, every fellow has the opportunity to meet with a startup and get placed for the remainder of the 1-year fellowship, where they can apply creativity, innovation and build work experience on how a startup functions.
I was able to experience the full Innovation Readiness training as an IFA Fellow in the Pilot Program. While gaining work experience at our respective startups, the fellows and I participate in a monthly professional development training where we hone our skills, discuss ideas, opportunities and challenges as well as build relationships in our community. This is done in a series of steps highlighted as:
“I think it’s very important to have a feedback loop, where you’re constantly thinking about what you’ve done and how you could be doing it better.”
– Elon Musk
The monthly professional development sessions are based on having a growth mindset and being able to learn from mistakes. It is also a way Innovate for Africa guides its fellows in ensuring they settle in easily at their new startup. Feedback and experiences from both the fellows and startups are also used by the facilitators to train IFA fellows on areas they feel they may be lagging behind. This helps with possible fellow doubts and helps build confidence in such areas like I experienced when trying to deal with time management and meeting deadlines.
Creating a Plan
The importance of planning is also iterated as we were taught to use a work plan to define and set goals, as well as metrics to measure how efficient one can be in meeting these goals. This helps ensure the fellows can independently handle given tasks and a lot more to contribute to the success of the startup. Myself as well as other fellows were introduced to the 30-60-90 day plan to ensure success in meeting outlined goals at our respective startups.
As an IFA fellow, you shouldn't worry about going through your professional development journey alone, this is why another big part of Innovate for Africa’s post Innovation Readiness training is community. The monthly professional development is also a great way for each fellow and facilitator to come together through social events and group consultancy protocols, catch up and learn something new and exciting about one another. This improves the way individuals view, relate and share ideas with one another. This mutual exchange is key to ensuring that we collectively develop Africa’s Innovation Ecosystem!
So let’s come together to collaborate, communicate, ideate and create possibilities. Join the startup movement today, join Innovate for Africa.
Learn more about our program at: https://www.innovate4africa.org/
Apply to be an IFA Fellow: https://www.innovate4africa.org/fellow
Become an IFA partner today to hire a fellow from our future cycle: https://www.innovate4africa.org/hireafellow
Together we can inspire the next generation of innovators.