On Tuesday, March 14, 2023, the Hubi & Vinciane Foundation inaugurated its ‘Ariziki’ incubation centre in N’Dali. The new 234-square-meter centre on a 1.6-hectare site is an essential lever for developing entrepreneurship among Benin youth.
The centre was named “Ariziki” which means wealth and prosperity in Bariba, Dendi and Peul, three languages spoken in northern Benin. The Secrétaire Général de la Préfecture du Borgou, Sanni Bio Bayé, had the honour of officially opening the incubation centre. Martin Deroover, Head of Service for Development Cooperation at the Belgian Embassy in Benin, had travelled specially from Cotonou to attend the opening.
Adam Malla Issifou, head of the centre and director of the NGO Cooperation for Sustainable Impact, was also present at this solemn moment. The delegation of our Foundation in Belgium consisted of Gilles de Kerchove, Pascale Van Assche and Ingrid Hofkens, respectively, president of the board of directors, delegate director and member of the board of directors.
The incubation centre focuses mainly on strategic and high-growth sectors such as agriculture and, more specifically agroecology, information and communication technology, digitalization and tourism. Young entrepreneurs find a stimulating and inspiring working environment there. They can go there for one to three years of mentorship programs and various training programs that strengthen their entrepreneurial competencies.
In her speech, Pascale Van Assche underlined that the Foundation has been active for more than 40 years in the department of Borgou and, more specifically in the municipalities of Tchaourou, Parakou and N’Dali. The Foundation focuses on health, balanced nutrition, agriculture, agroecology, entrepreneurship and education. With the establishment of the Ariziki incubator, the Foundation wants to give young entrepreneurs additional backing. After all, entrepreneurship is an essential alternative to Benin’s lack of employment opportunities.
Gilles de Kerchove elaborated on the mission of the incubation centre. It will support young people in setting up their businesses, provide training on entrepreneurship and supervise innovative entrepreneurial projects.
Mr Martin Deroover emphasized the Belgian Embassy’s willingness to support the Foundation’s activities.
Mr Sanni Bio Bayé pointed out that establishing the incubation centre is entirely in line with the vision of the Benin government. He urged the young entrepreneurs to take full advantage of the centre’s offerings.
During the ceremony, the new Benin NGO CIPD was also officially announced – CIPD stands for Coopération Pour un Impact Durable.
Tèkê dancers and word artists provided the musical and festive framework.