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The UK-Nigeria Tech Hub, an initiative by the UK Government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sports (DCMS), has opened applications for a social impact accelerator program to support the growth of the technology ecosystem in Nigeria. 

The program is specifically targeting startups from 6 Nigerian states, which include Edo, Adamawa, Kwara, Kaduna, Enugu and Osun.

The Country Director of the Hub, Oyinkansola Akintola-Bello, announced the opening of the applications in a statement released on Thursday.  

She disclosed that selected applicants would undergo bespoke 16-week in-person and virtual training from local tech hubs and business leaders.

According to Akintola-Bello, the training was designed to equip applicants with the expertise needed to scale their impact while remaining profitable. 

Access to resources 

Highlighting other benefits of the program for the startups that would be selected, Akintola-Bello said:  

  • “The UK-Nigeria Tech Hub partnered with NINE to launch an impact accelerator, ‘Social Innovation Driven Entrepreneurship’ for social impact entrepreneurs. Those selected will join the UK-Nigeria Tech Hub founder pipeline and gain access to resources and network. 
  • “In addition, they will undergo a bespoke 16-week in-person and virtual training, from local tech hubs and business leaders, designed to equip them with the expertise needed to scale their impact while remaining profitable.” 

Akintola-Bello added that the initiative would support inclusive and sustainable economic growth and jobs, build high-end digital skills, and forge innovation partnerships between Nigerian tech sectors and international businesses.

She said that in the build-up to the accelerator, NINE and Kaduna Business School had developed a challenge brief to identify market and sector-specific gaps in health, climate change, education and food security affecting underserved populations in six pilot states in Nigeria. 

  • “This collaboration to scale social impact innovations underscores the UK’s commitment to nurturing brilliance in underserved regions, ensuring that every idea, regardless of location has the resource and support required to scale, she added.  

Stimulating innovation beyond Lagos, Abuja 

Also speaking, the Chairman of NINE, Mr Bankole Oloruntoba, said there was a need to stimulate the emerging city-based innovation ecosystem in Nigeria beyond Abuja and Lagos.  

  • “This program is focused on these emerging state economies to stimulate the entrepreneurial economies as well as create job possibilities using digital tech,” Oloruntoba said. 
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Startups to be considered as eligible for the program must: 

  • Be addressing challenges within the specific sectors, namely education, employment, food, health, climate, and environmental change.  
  • Be in Ideation, Minimum Viable Product (MVP), or Early stage of development. 
  • Be operating within the geographic boundaries of Adamawa, Edo, Enugu, Kaduna, Kwara and Osun states. 

According to Akintola-Bello, female start-up founders and innovators are highly encouraged to apply. 

Qualified and interested startups can apply for the program here.  


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