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According to UNDP statistics, Somalia has a poverty rate of 73% where the unemployment rate is 67% with 70% of its population is under the age of 30 years and the adult literacy rate is over 40%, the country definitely needs a lot of innovative solutions.

Thus, we created IgnitePreneur – a new term developed by us here at Hano Academy. For us, IgnitePreneur means igniting the power of entrepreneurship in deserving communities to improve their livelihoods.

This is a one-stop-shop (IgnitePreneur) which has already serviced over 4,298 people since 2016, through these 4 innovative pathways:  

  • Skills training through Hano Academy

Hano Academy offers training programs in different skillsets including marketable technical & vocational skills training and life skills that either enable marginalized communities to start their own ventures or secure employment.

  • Linkages to jobs through Baadigoob and Khibrad Recruitment Agency 

Baadigoob is an online & offline platform for connecting skilled people and employers together through freelancing basis. Baadigoob offers an active call center where employers call to request for services or skilled laborers. Baadigoob also serves as a platform for e-commerce (online marketplace) for buying and selling goods online. On the other Khibrad Recruitment Agency links up job-seekers to white collar jobs. 

  • Business Startup Incubator

The startup business incubator provides mentorship, training, networking and Business Development Services through Hano Social Innovation Hub. Jobseekers learn key business and technology skills, for starting, managing and running businesses profitably, while leveraging on technology and entrepreneurial skills.

  • Access to micro-business finance and business investments

New entrepreneurs and SME with great business ideas are provided access to micro-business finance and investments through the Social Innovation Hub and Maan-Maal TV Entrepreneurship Program. At the Maan-Maal TV participants pitch their business ideas in front of experts of various backgrounds and successful businessmen and women where brilliant ideas are further refined and invested.


Theory of Change

The main goal of the Ingitepreneur initiative is to offer an effective response to human capital development mechanism through empowerment, education and employment for sustainable livelihoods. The project seeks to improve income generating capacity of marginalized communities in Somalia.


  • Increasing accessibility to technology, skills and finance to support sustainable livelihoods of the marginalized communities
  • Building a business eco-system and creating jobs and networks to support sustainable livelihoods of the target group.

Major Outputs

  • Providing access to skills training, financial support, jobs and digital business platform
  • Building networks to enable access to freelance long-short-term employment.
  • Promoting business innovation by providing training, mentorship and visibility through an entrepreneurship TV program
  • Increasing access to technology and busines mentorship, and development services through Innovation Hubs


Main Activities

1. Creating a Technical Skills Training Institute (Hano Academy) to provide training, access to technology and sustainable business ecosystem.

2. Setting up an online platform for freelance employment (Baadigoob) to facilitate direct hiring of beneficiaries and online marketplace to buy and sell products and services.

3. Running an entrepreneurship TV program for developing viable business ideas, seeking finance, network and creating visibility for the best and profitable entrepreneurial ideas (Maan-Maal TV Entrepreneurship Program). This program is implemented in three phases namely:

  • Pitching of business ideas to a panel of experts with an aim of acquiring investment.
  • Business bootcamp to train those whose ideas succeed at the pitching phase.
  • Empowerment of the successful ideas through financial assistance, mentorship and investment of returnable seed capital.





Core Team are:

Dr. Sadiyo Siad who has a personal experience aas an IDP in Somalia and refugee first in Kenya and later in Europe. She witnessed how lack of skills training and unemployment affected refugees. Her hunger for education and desire for success compelled her to work hard in her studies which later earned her four degrees and a PhD. Upon completing her studies in the UK, she travelled back to Somalia to help the marginalized communities.

Prof. Michael Campton, a teacher at Columbus College of Art & Design (USA), combines both creative artistry and data analysis with over two decades of senior level Fortune 500, NGO and government experience in various areas of strategic design, including business and service design. He has served and led local and international development initiatives in marginalized, immigrant and refugee communities. His development experience includes poverty, trauma and addiction.

Mr. Dotrus Wilstic is an experienced Educator, mentor and leader with experience in planning, implementation and evaluation of educational projects. He has worked with Refugees and IDPs both in Kenya and Somalia and understands what works best for them. Mr. Dotrus has worked on this solution for the past five years and currently serves as the Vice-chancellor of Hano Academy.

Mrs. Beatriz Valbuena is humanitarian professional who has dedicated the last 20 years to international development programs. She is a collaboration expert, acting as an integrator between NGOs, community organizations, beneficiaries, donors, governments, headquarters and field teams. Currently, she is conducting applied field research for innovating in the Durable Solutions sector within Somalia, finding long term solutions for internally displaced person.

We have also, 33 supporting staff and Mark Caldwell and Ahmed Shakur who have recently joined us. 


Visit these web pages to get a glimpse of what we do:

1. Hano Academy

2. Baadigoob – Connecting the Dots

3. Khibrad Recruitment Agency

4. Maan-Maal (The Somali Leapfrog Foundry for Innovative Business Ideas)

5. Hano Social Innovation Hub