How Enye is Shaping Nigeria’s Tech Future Through Giving
Nigerian tech nonprofit Enye launched its first software engineering program in 2017 to offer young Nigerians more than just a coding boot camp. Four years on, Enye is delivering on that promise.
On 15th May 2021, Enye celebrated the culmination of its 5th cohort with a Demo Day event showcasing the work of 10 founding and engineering teams over a 2-month program.
Through 5 cohorts, over 70 software engineers have gained training and mentorship through the software engineering program. The Founders Program, which runs concurrently with the Engineering program, helps early-stage founders build out the Minimum Viable Products of their startups for free.
The 5th cohort of the program admitted ten founders and 30 software engineers who worked together to build products in the finance, fashion, logistics, healthcare, construction, and real estate industries.
Each cohort lasts for eight weeks and, using fundamentals of design thinking, Agile methodologies, and product life cycles helps cohort members upskill. Engineers undergo intensive training in full-stack development, serverless architecture, peer-programming, distributed working, testing and CI/CD, idea sharing and conditioning programs. Founders gain technical teams, project management support, advisory and operational consultancy for free to tackle real-world problems in health, education, transportation, financial, and other socially impactful areas.
The Enye team consists of a core suite of 3 directors: Uche Nnadi (Executive Director), Manny Ezegwuala (Technology Director), and Michael Paccione (Financial Director). The core team is supported by an operational unit, a mentorship team, and a marketing team.
On why Enye’s model is mentorship and support rather than pedagogy, Enye CEO says that “Mentoring is basically giving a platform and a framework for people to apply critical thinking, and then apply said framework to their own way of problem-solving.” In the beginning, the Enye cohort only catered to software developers looking to upskill. Over time, the Founder Program was gradually incorporated into the cohorts.
The programs have evolved over the years, adapting to the local demographic to meet enthusiastic product-minded engineers and founders at their unique pain points. At Enye, software engineers must be able to be part of the ideation process and the development life-cycle; this is why they work closely with founders and a dedicated project manager in building progressive solutions.
For the future, Enye is empowering founders and product engineers to build out intelligent solutions that can hold their own anywhere. The next major phase of the Enye project will build on the foundation that the past five cohorts have built. By mentoring founders for investment readiness and facilitating access to VC funding, Enye is giving founders and engineers the right tools and skillset to run successful businesses that help grow the tech ecosystem in Nigeria.