Ugo Aliogo and Joan Madubugwu
The federal government has expressed its determination to empower start-ups businesses in Nigeria in order to promote economic diversification, financial inclusive and foster job creation.
The government made the pledge during the Aso Demo Day (AVDD), a programme of the Presidency, which aimed at celebrating and supporting the best in the field of creativity and entrepreneurship.
The event which was held in Lagos was organised by the office of the Presidency, Federal Ministry of Communication, National Information Technology Development and Agency (NITDA) in partnership with Intermarc Consulting Limited.
The Project Supervisor, Davida Chibuike-Ahuama, stated that the AVDD would involve a meeting with the presidency, private investors and the qualified start-ups in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). “They did a selection process which we cut down to a thousand, but they organisers did not want to take the 1,000 to Abuja, therefore they decided to have the pitch in Lagos”, she explained.
She further stated that the selection process of the Lagos pitching was narrowed down from 236 to 80, adding that the 80 young entrepreneurs were those chosen to pitch, “the number would be reduced to 30. Then the 30 alongside established companies would be taken to Abuja to meet the Presidency.”
Ahuama noted that when they realised that some persons may have ideas they want to pitch, but they might have financial challenges, the pitching was organised in three different regions, Lagos (representing the West, Abuja representing the North and Port-Harcourt representing the Central).
She noted: “From Lagos we would choose 30, from Abuja we will choose 10 and Port-Harcourt, we will choose 10. The reason is that Lagos is bigger in size than other states. For Abuja, it will be held in 25, June, while the Port-Harcourt edition will be held on 28 June. We sent out a text message to everyone asking them where they would like to pitch. So we had Lagos and Abuja. In Lagos here, they are pitching with a time of two minutes, but when they get to Abuja, it will be an opportunity to sell their ideas in full to the President and the private sector.
“For this initiative we have different sponsors who have been very supportive. Diamond Bank has been very supportive towards the initiative because they have belief in the start-ups. They decided to key into the initiative because of their passion for start-ups. Some funds will be realised though that is still in the pipeline, until they see the essence of the idea before it can be released.”