Sirius Africa, a company many years in the making, grew out of the Youth Empowerment Movement and the national quest for more career and job opportunities for all, for more technological innovation, as well a heightened sense of community among young people. Over the past decade, the people at Sirius Africa have looked on, as Lagos, Nigeria, has been transformed into a major cultural African melting pot, a center of explosive entrepreneurial growth and a technological hub. For These reasons, the company has chosen Lagos as the location for a project designed to provide an outletf or youthful creativity, as well as to connect young entrepreneurs with national and global investors.Sirius Africa is dedicated to providing a much needed infrastructure for these professional liaisons to occur, with the ultimate goal of improving Nigeria’s economic and business climate.
To be more specific, Sirius Africa provides a platform which it calls the “Creative Media Center,”Nigeria's first youth entrepreneurial ecosystem for those with an interest in the entertainment and fashion industries.
The goal is to provide a facility
1)where such individuals are free to realize themselves artistically;
2) that provides access to the state- of-the art technologies required to ensure maximal results on whatever project that they embark on; and
3) where they can promote themselves and their businesses to investors and audiences on a global scale.
Too many of Nigeria’s most talented young peopleare currently being drawn into the conflict- ridden industry that is the oil business, entrance into which is usually a lost cause without access to the right connections. Today, the average age of a Nigerian citizen is the mid 20's, and people in that age group are highly involved with pop culture and the latest fads. The people at Sirius Africa believe that the platform they offer is one which young people have long awaited.
In sync with the reforms being introduced into the Nigerian school system, Sirius Africa will provide educational programs for the growing number ofyoung people interested in the entertainment and fashions sectors. This, and the successful businesses and projects that the Sirius Africa facility helps to create, should provide more jobs for job seekers.
The people at Sirius Africa believe that the timing is perfect for an effort like this. Major industry giants like Blackberry and +Samsung have found the Nigerian consumer market to be very profitable. It has been estimated that the country has over 100 million cellular phones, and with its booming youth population, this number will continue to rise. And because Nigeria is on the cutting-edge, numerous Asian and European firms now have footholds in the country. Some examples of thriving international firms with a strong presence in Lagos include Porsche, Nestle and the KFC Corporation.
As “idea entrepreneurs” our aim is to secure a meeting with international corporations with major investments in Africa to discuss our business blueprint and develop a fruitful business relationship that will lead to a joint venture and ultimately theconstruction of Sirius Africa. This would benefit not only the individuals and companies involved, but the country’s economy as a whole. Since the 1990s, Nigerian filmmakers have employed pioneering filmt echniques, including the filming of an entire movie on a cell phone camera. Nollywood has grown by leaps and bounds, and is now #3 in the industry internationally. In addition, the country now has multiple television channels, with programs broadcasted in the United Kingdom via Sky TV.
Sirius Africa seeks to capitalize on the success of the industry to provide even more quality programming. Nigeria continues to be on the front line of fashion as well as entertainment. Many international fashion firms have collaborated with Nigerian fashion designers to produce successful lines. For example, Temple Muse opened a flagship boutique in Lagos in 2008 that sells high-end designs developed by both international designers and local talent.
Sirius Africa plans to encourage such collaborativef ashion projects by providing designers with an international platform. Sirius Africa’s top-of-the-line photo studios offers designers the opportunity to photograph and showcase high-end fashion designs.In addition, we wish to provide pop-up shop outlets for domestic/international designers.
We consider Sirius Africa to be a Youth Entrepreneurial Ecosystem. The culture behind Sirius Africa is a global movement consisting of young entrepreneurs, students, and professionals alike on 4 continents and counting.
The Transcorp Hilton Hotel in Abuja is currently one of the country’s most celebrated locations for conferences, but what these facilities do not provide Sirius Africa will. The Transcorp Hilton facilities are expensive and do not enable entrepreneurs to reach out to large numbers of people. The Creative Media Center, on the other hand, makes it possible for entrepreneurs and artists to share their talents with a global audience.
The limited amount of angel investor funding available in Nigeria means that young entrepreneurs and artists require a new model if they are to make their innovative ideas a concrete reality. Sirius Africa will provide this infrastructure and a centralized place where artists can meet potential investors.
In order to become members with access to all the facilities, individuals will pay a small annual fee, which also will allow them to bring four other colleagues at any one time to the facility. This additional perk will help create a more vibrant atmosphere and lead to further collaboration.
Furthermore, Sirius Africa will offer member entrepreneurs and artists access to cutting- edge technologies, educational programs that promote new and innovative technologies in the arts and talent management services.
The Creative Media Center will contain music production, dance and acting studios, as well as a multi-purpose theater that seats a thousand guests.This space is intended for comedy, improvisational acts, and open meetings modeled after the TED Conference.
The facilities will also include a multi-purpose room for meetings and fundraisers, and several business centers where members can draft proposals. Therewill also be several common areas, equipped with comfortable seating where artists can relax and collaborate informally with other colleagues.
To conclude, the atmosphere entrepreneurs and artists will experience in Sirius Africa’s Creative Media Center will be closer to what we call a “creative happy hour” rather than that of a corporate business.
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