Founder of RLabs, Marlon Parker was in Namibia this week to officially launch Namibia’s version of the RLabs at the Namibia Business Innovation Centre (NBIC). The launch is the culmination of a journey that began a couple of years ago when discussions began on how to bring the RLabs programme to Namibia.
The RLabs programme is aimed at unemployed youth who want to equip themselves with skills on how to use popular social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. With the knowledge they gain at the RLabs workshops, they can become trainers on social media or social media marketers. The training also encourages the students to start their own business by applying their new skills.
“There is no criteria to participate in any of the RLabs workshops, you just have to be unemployed, have time to attend all sessions and always smile,” said Marlon Parker, founder of RLabs.
Since the RLabs concept was first introduced in Namibia, over 50 students have graduated with valuable social media skills that they are now utilising for their own gain. This is largely due to the support from Indigo Trust and local partner NBIC.
One such graduate is Asnath Kambunga who attended one of the first training sessions offered by RLabs. After graduating she became a consultant for Xwama Cultural Village and Traditional Restaurant and is now the RLabs Namibia coordinator.
“The youth should utilise the opportunity that RLabs Namibia is providing. Not only do they learn valuable social media skills, they also get an opportunity to become self-employed,” she said.
RLabs as part of the world innovation week also hosted a workshop on Lean Start-up methodology where local entrepreneurs could re-think their ideas and businesses adopting this innovative approach to building a company. Marlon was also a guest speaker at the official launch of the NBIC’s Mobile Future Lab showcasing the opportunities for mobile innovation across the Namibian landscape.
You can read more about the launch in the Economist Namibia